Phillies outfielder Odúbel Herrera received an 85-game unpaid suspension from Major League Baseball, the league announced Friday. While his suspension is retroactive to June 24, it is still expected to extend through the 2019 postseason and into 2020 season and will not be appealed by Herrera. Per MLB’s official statement, Herrera will also participate in a “confidential and comprehensive evaluation and treatment program supervised by the Joint Policy Board.”
The 27-year-old Herrera was arrested on May 27 and charged with simple assault and knowingly causing bodily injury after leaving handprint marks and scratches on his girlfriend’s neck and arms. He was placed on administrative leave and appeared in court on July 3, after which his girlfriend declined to press charges and he agreed to complete “batterer’s counseling” sessions.
The Phillies released their own statement following the announcement:
Prior to his placement on the restricted list, Herrera appeared in just 39 games for the Phillies. Whether or not he is welcomed back to the team at the end of his 85-game suspension has yet to be determined, but Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic covered the Phillies’ precarious position — and limited options — in detail here.
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.