One of the most bizarre situations in MLB over the past several weeks has been Anthony Rendon and his refusal to provide any updates to reporters on the injury that has sidelined him since July 4.
The situation somehow got weirder on Friday.
After nearly two months on the injured list — officially due to a left shin contusion — Rendon told reporters that, actually, his injury is a fractured tibia, which would make his lengthy absence make much more sense. However, he said he doesn't know why the Angels haven't told anyone about the diagnosis, which he apparently received via a second opinion a month ago.
The Athletic's Sam Blum noted that the Angels have long said the former All-Star's injury is not a fracture, so it appears we might be migrating from a player vs. media standoff over the injury to a player vs. team one.
Rendon's status had been a sideshow in the Angels clubhouse, as he went to unusual lengths to avoid providing anything notable to the media contingent about the leg injury or other issues. Here's a sampling, via the intrepid Blum:
Asked Anthony Rendon how his wrist was.
“I have two,” he said, holding them up as he walked out of the clubhouse.
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) June 29, 2023
When asked how he was feeling today, Anthony Rendon (shin) said “I’m not here,” and left the clubhouse.
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) July 19, 2023
Anthony Rendon was in the clubhouse today when reporters were there for the first time during this home stand.
However, he said that since he’s on the “dead list” he doesn’t have to do interviews.
So, no update from him on his injury.
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) August 6, 2023
Anthony Rendon, when asked for an injury update: “No habla inglés today.”
He then put on a hoodie and left the clubhouse.
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) September 4, 2023
That's not exactly the stuff you want to see when you're a team that gave Rendon a seven-year, $245 million contract after the 2019 season, and it didn't help the third baseman's reputation of not caring about baseball, which he once said he finds "boring."
Rendon's revelation Friday suddenly shifts the perspective with all those avoidances and brings up the ever-popular question of what on earth is going on in the Angels clubhouse.
As things stand, Rendon, the highest-paid player on a team that employs Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, has been out nearly two months after hitting a career-worst .236/.361/.318 in 43 games, and he waited until Sept. 15 to allege that the team has basically been lying about his injury, all in a season that was already a smoking trainwreck.
Rendon was famously injury-prone even before he signed with the Angels, but that issue is now reaching exotic new heights.