Over the weekend, Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon was caught on video getting into a physical altercation with an Athletics fan at the Oakland Coliseum. The clip ended up going viral and Rendon was suspended for four games by Major League Baseball for his role in the incident.
There's no question his behavior warranted punishment, but if he was indeed called an expletive by an opposing fan -- while we're not condoning the behavior -- most can understand why this may have escalated to the point that it did.
Just ask Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Max Muncy, who was asked about the situation prior to LA's game against the Colorado Rockies on Monday. While he admitted Rendon went too far ... he also wondered what would've happened to the fan if this situation didn't feature a high-profile baseball player with cameras everywhere.
Seemed like a bit of a fair warning to all those out there ready to unload trash talk on Muncy: don't do it ... because you at least know he'll say something back (re: Madison Bumgarner incident).
Dodgers' Max Muncy talks Anthony Rendon-fan incident after MLB ruling
"I think as players we're all on Anthony's side a little bit. But he took it a little too far. It's a tough one for me because you know, obviously as a player you have to understand you have a lot more to lose, you have certain responsibilities. But, if that situation happens in any other situation in life, you know, whatever that guy said he's probably going to get his ass beat for that. But, unfortunately that doesn't work in our world. So you have to understand where it's at — you ever have a situation like that, you're over."- Max Muncy via Sports Illustrated
Muncy's no stranger to being in such a position. He knows what it's like to play poorly and draw criticism. He knows how it feels to be greatly disliked by opposing fans. Thankfully, he's been able to keep his composure while standing up for/defending himself, but everyone knows it's a fine line.
Muncy's started the 2023 season 1-for-13 with nine strikeouts and is coming off a very rough 2022. He also went through a difficult injury situation after suffering a partially-torn UCL in Game 162 of the 2021 season, which derailed his offseason and performance the following year.
Rendon, similarly, has performed poorly as a result of injuries every since signing with the Angels. His first season with LAA was the shortened 2020. Ever since he's played in just 107 games, so it's easy to understand why his frustrations might've boiled over after a fan allegedly crossed the line.