Brandon Belt cleared for baseball activities

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Brandon Belt has been limited to just five games since July 19 due to concussion symptoms, but there’s some good news on his status this evening.

Belt initially suffered a concussion when he was hit in the face by a thrown ball during batting practice on July 19. The 26-year-old started the game later that evening, but ended up leaving due to dizziness and was soon placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list. He made his return on August 2, but appeared in just five games before going right back on the disabled list with recurring symptoms.

Belt has hit just .237 with 11 homers and a .742 OPS over 51 games when healthy this year, but it would be big for the Giants to get him back before the end of the regular season. Michael Morse, Travis Ishikawa, and Buster Posey have seen most of the work at first base during his absence.

Anthony Rendon explains why he didn’t go to the White House

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Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.

And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”

What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.

But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:

A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.