Update, 5:47 PM ET: The Twins’ Dustin Morse reports that no fracture was found in Buxton’s ribs after undergoing multiple tests on Saturday. It appears that he was just playing with intense rib pain following the collision at the wall, and is now facing a much shorter recovery period as he looks forward to a fairly normal offseason.
Twins’ outfielder Byron Buxton left it all on the field during the AL Wild Card game on Tuesday, grinding out a run with an RBI force out and slamming into the center field wall to corral a would-be extra-base hit from Todd Frazier. It’s the latter play that got him into trouble, though he played through three more innings before the Twins yanked him in the bottom of the fifth with upper back tightness. Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press corrected that diagnosis on Saturday, reporting that Buxton had instead suffered a cracked rib on the catch.
While the club has yet to address Buxton’s injury, he’s expected to make a full recovery well in advance of spring training. He missed 18 days with a bone contusion in his left hand and a left groin strain earlier in the year, but has been largely healthy for his third campaign with the Twins and finished the regular season batting .253/.314/.413 with 16 home runs and a career-best 3.5 fWAR in 511 PA.
As for the center field wall itself, it doesn’t seem like the Twins are inclined to spruce it up with extra padding over the offseason. Per Berardino, the club shelled out over $100,000 back in 2014 when Aaron Hicks and Sam Fuld sustained concussions after similar collisions at the wall.
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.