It is difficult to sum up the Los Angeles Angels' catastrophic 2023 campaign in one word, or even one sentence. The litany of misfortune and questionable decisions that have plagued the organization this year seem even too far-fetched for a Hollywood screenplay writer to buy.
But if a diehard fan had just resurfaced after being lost at sea and eagerly wanted to know how the Angels' season went, you could simply answer “Anthony Rendon.” They will know what that means. That is not to put all of the team's failures on his shoulders, by any means. The expensive third baseman just happens to be synonymous with the Halos' despair.
Rendon has played just 200 total games in four years since signing a seven-year, $200 million contract to join LA in 2019. That number will officially be frozen going into 2024.
“Anthony Rendon (shin) isn’t expected to play again this season, Phil Nevin said,” MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger reported Saturday. “He’s continuing to get treatment and doing baseball activities at Angel Stadium, but he’s not far enough along to get activated before the end of the season.”
The 2019 World Series champion has been dealing with a shin injury after fouling a ball off his leg in a Fourth of July showdown with the San Diego Padres. It was initially believed to be a contusion before Rendon himself revealed that he was diagnosed with a fractured tibia. With that new information, and the Angels' 69-85 record, the veteran's playing status was already in severe doubt.
Fans now have clarity, though. Anthony Rendon infamously refused to give the media an update on his health early in September, adding more negativity to his disappointing tenure in Anaheim. He still has three years left on this immovable contract, so the Angels and their distressed supporters can do nothing but hope for the best.
But that is incredibly difficult to do these days, and in the ones that are sure to follow.