If new Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon had his druthers, there wouldn’t be fake crowd noise during games, or the intrasquad games the team is playing now at summer camp in Anaheim.
“It’s like two of your senses that aren’t coinciding with one another. That’s like, if you’re looking at a pizza, but you’re smelling a hamburger,” Rendon said on a Zoom call with reporters. “You hear the noise, but you know there’s nobody in the stands. You don’t see anybody. So I’d rather listen to music.”
When asked about Rendon’s comments, Angels manager Joe Maddon smiled.
“There’s nothing I can even make up to top that,” Maddon said. “That is pretty much the epitome of analogy right there.”
Rendon signed a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Angels in December, and shores up a position the Angels were lacking at in 2019. Last year Halos at the hot corner hit .243/.306/.345 with 13 home runs, last in the American League at the position in home runs, slugging percentage, and OPS (.651).
But Rendon’s first season with the Angels was delayed, now with opening day four months later than originally planned, and under new restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s annoying. It’s it’s anxious. It’s frustrating,” Rendon said Thursday. “But also, you’re happy at the same time because you get to come back to work.”
Rendon said while much of the public focus of negotiations between MLB players and owners was on salary, the two sides weren’t on the same page on health and safety protocols until a few days before players reported to summer camp.
“That was even more important than the salary, because it doesn’t matter if we got what we wanted or didn’t get what we wanted salary-wise if we could keep our families and our staff safe,” he said.
Outside of Monday’s hiccup when testing delays caused workouts to be postponed, Rendon said everything else in camp has gone well. People are adhering to the protocols.
“We have a lot of high risk people that are on staff. A lot of have family members at home that are high risk,” Rendon said. “We have to wear a mask just to protect other people. At this time, we have to be selfless toward everyone around us because we don’t know what everyone’s situation is. And I think this is a good opportunity for us in the world to realize that, you know, selfishness doesn’t go a long way. So we have to look out for one another.”
New faces in camp
Maddon said first baseman Jared Walsh and pitcher Patrick Sandoval reported to Angels camp Thursday, with Walsh in Anaheim and Sandoval at the alternate training site in Long Beach. Walsh and Sandoval were among the Angels missing from the first six days of camp, with reasons not disclosed by the team.
In addition, pitcher Adrian De Horta was added to the club player pool. The right-hander was a non-roster invitee in the earlier version of spring training in Tempe, and pitched in four Cactus League games. He was reassigned to minor league camp on March 10.
De Horta had a 5.33 ERA in 18 minor league games last season, including eight starts, mostly in Triple-A Salt Lake and Double-A Mobile, with 76 strikeouts and 33 walks in 52⅓ innings.
On Reid Detmers, the Angels first-round pick this year who has already been in camp, Maddon said it’s possible he sees time in the majors this year, but it’s still early. “There can be a chance, yes,” Maddon said. “We don’t have that all laid out yet. I’d like to see him throw.”