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Angels' Anthony Rendon saying baseball was not a top priority was 'tone-deaf,' Craig Carton says

Anthony Rendon's comments about baseball not being a "top priority" came off as "tone-deaf," FOX Sports' Craig Carton said earlier this week.

Anthony Rendon told members of the media earlier this week that baseball has "never been a top priority" throughout his career.

The Los Angeles Angels third baseman even admitted he was contemplating getting out of baseball in 2014, his second season in the majors.

"This is a job," Rendon said. "I do this to make a living. My faith, my family comes first before this job. So if those things come before it, I'm leaving."


Craig Carton, of FOX Sports' "The Carton Show," said on Tuesday that family, of course, comes first, and "I'm very respectful" of those who are religious - but considering Rendon has not played in more than 60 games since his inking a seven-year, $245 million deal in 2019 (he did play 52 of the 60-game season in 2020), his comments came off harsh.

"When a dude like Anthony Rendon, who has a $245 million guaranteed contract with the Anaheim Angels, comes out and says ‘baseball has never been a priority to me,’ I'm saying to myself ‘give that money back and go live your life. It's all good. No one's making you bat .210 and miss 70 games every single year,'" Carton said on OutKick's "Dont @ Me" with Dan Dakich

"The average fan of sports is a blue-collar, hard-working man or woman who takes whatever little bit of extra income they have to enjoy the sport and the team they love the most. And when a player is that tone-deaf to the plate of the average fan, it ticks me off.


"It's offensive," he continued. "Because the average fan of the Anaheim Angels is shelling out a couple hundred bucks to bring his wife or husband and kid to a ballgame, and they want to see a guy that gives a damn. Because they worked their asses off to buy those tickets and hot dogs and expensive beer, etc. And it's a problem with athletes, maybe of every generation, I suppose, but certainly today's athlete is completely tone-deaf to the fan experience and what it takes for an average fan to go to a ballpark, an arena, or stadium."

Carton admitted that Rendon could get a pass if he were his Washington Nationals self, when he was a perennial MVP candidate and won a World Series during his playing days in Washington, D.C.

"Even if you produce, and you play 90% of your team's games and hit 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, I guess maybe you have a different leg to stand on, because you perform. But when you're a guy who misses half of every single season, and in the course of the last four years, you hit four or five home runs, and they pay you to be a top 10, 15 player in the league, it's just tone-deaf."

Rendon also said last year that the season needed to be shortened from its 162 games.

From 2013 to 2020, Rendon was a .290 hitter with a .862 OPS and was on the MVP ballot five times. Since 2021, however, he is slashing .235/.338/.364 with just 13 homers and 80 RBI in 148 games played.

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