Angels' Anthony Rendon under investigation for altercation with A's fan
OAKLAND, Calif. - The 2023 baseball season just kicked off and the blood is already boiling.
After his team's 2-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics, the Los Angeles Angels' Anthony Rendon was caught on camera gripping an A's fan by his shirt and swinging an open hand toward the fan's head.
It's unclear exactly what sparked the confrontation, but Rendon claimed the fan called him a b----.
"What'd you say? You called me a b----, huh. Yeah you did. Yeah you did. Yeah motherf----," Rendon told the fan while gripping his shirt.
That's when Rendon let go of his grip and then tried to swipe at the fan's A's hat.
Angels teammate Mike Trout stopped in his tracks to witness the war of words, but everyone walked away before things got worse.
MLB said it is investigating the incident.
"We are aware of the video, and we are now looking into the matter," MLB said in a statement.
Oakland Police Department said they are investigating this incident as a battery and that the victim has not contacted police.
Rendon didn't make contact on the swipe, so fans were quick to take their own jabs at Rendon, who has struggled to stay healthy since signing his seven-year, $245 million deal in 2019. He hasn't exactly performed well when he has played, hitting .250 with a .776 OPS in 158 games since joining the Angels.
A baseball fan told Oakland's KTVU he was sitting behind the young man involved in the altercation. Michael Gailey said he was stunned.
Gailey said the game had just ended ant that Rendon was specifically looking for that fan.
"He was very adamant. He wasn't searching around. He went after this kid. You could see he took a swipe at him," Gailey said. "They break apart. The dad, the kid and his friend left pretty quickly."
Gailey also said the video doesn't show what happened a short time later.
"Anthony Rendon did come back down the tunnel and came back to the same spot. He was looking for the kid. You can tell he realized he made a mistake. He wasn't like agitated and aggressive. He said where did he go?"
Gailey said he felt like Rendon wanted to apologize to the fan when he returned.
"He was super kind and gracious to the fans who were in the area when he came back, so I think it was the heat of the moment. I think both people are in the wrong Obviously the player has a lot more to lose," Gailey said.
The Angels led 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth after six scoreless innings and 10 strikeouts by Shohei Ohtani, who also batted 1-for-3 with a walk, and a highlight reel catch by Hunter Renfroe.
But the bullpen allowed two runs in the frame, and the offense couldn't get back on the board. The Angels fell 2-1 to the A's.
KTVU's Amber Lee contributed to this report.