Ex-MLB star rips Angels' Anthony Rendon over baseball 'job' comments


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Jonathan Papelbon, a six-time All-Star and World Series champion pitcher who retired after the 2016 season, ripped Anthony Rendon after the Los Angeles Angels player said baseball was not his top priority.

Papelbon, who was on the Washington Nationals with Rendon in 2015 and 2016, said Tuesday that the third baseman just “doesn’t give a s—” on an episode of “Foul Territory.”

“Every single day this guy shows up to go out, it was like a chore,” the former MLB closer said. “He strictly got away with just raw athleticism and just raw talent. And you can do that … but there’s a reason why he’s not as successful as he really, truly could be. 

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Anthony Rendon vs A's

Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon, #6, runs on the field before a game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, California, May 15, 2022. (Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports)

“He’s got more raw talent than the three of us combined, but he just doesn’t give a s—.”

Rendon signed a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Angels before the 2020 season – right after the Nationals won the World Series.

“I knew that when he became a free agent … I was like, ‘whoever gets that dude is going to get totally bamboozled; it’s going to be the worst deal in history,’” Papelbon said. “And it’s proven that way.”

Rendon ruffled feathers with his comments about the sport earlier this week.

Jonathan Papelbon in 2021

Former Red Sox pitcher Jonathan Papelbon gets ready to throw out the first pitch before Game 3 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on Oct. 18, 2021 in Boston. (Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

Aside from the 52 games he played in 2020, when the season was shortened to just 60 games, Rendon has not played more than half of a season with the Angels due to injuries.

He appeared to be healthy entering the 2024 season and spoke to reporters about his enthusiasm for playing baseball. He said it has remained the same throughout his entire career, but he does not put the sport at the top of his priority list.

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“This is a job,” Rendon said. “I do this to make a living. My faith, my family comes first before this job.

According to The Athletic, he mentioned how he found a pros and cons list from 2014 deep in his email inbox. It was his second season with the Washington Nationals, and he led the league in runs scored that year, earning some National League MVP votes along the way.

Between 2014 and 2024, Rendon said his priorities have differed.

“It’s a lot different. I’m married. I have four kids,” he said. “My priorities have changed since I was in my early 20s. So, definitely, my perspective on baseball has been more skewed.”

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Jonathan Papelbon vs Marlins

Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon reacts during batting practice before a game against the Miami Marlins at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, May 27, 2023. (Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports)

Since joining the Angels, he has played in 200 games. He has hit .249 with 23 home runs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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