Today we wish a very happy 36th birthday to Edgar Renteria! Yes, I said a happy birthday.
Edgar Renteria enjoyed one of the weirdest and misunderstood tenures in recent Red Sox history. He was signed to much fanfare as the replacement for Nomar Garciaparra, and was never really given a chance in Boston. Renteria came to the Sox advertised as a gold glove shortstop with a superb bat. He was given a four-year deal that was supposed to solidify the shortstop position for the near future. The size of his contract, and the size of his expectations, eventually led him to be run out of town after only one unfortunate season. I never really understood it.
There were questions about Renteria almost right away. Tony LaRussa played into the opinion that some people just can’t play in Boston, saying the Renteria just wasn’t a good fit. So, the question was instantly in the back of people’s minds. Then, went Renteria got off to a slow start, people started to assume it was true. He wasn’t hitting as well as the media thought he should. He was making more errors than the media thought he should. So, the normal adjustment period was ignored. It was suddenly a fact. Renteria was too soft to play in Boston. The fact that his name fit easily into the “Rent-a-Wreck” moniker was an unfortunate coincidence. After a year of abuse, Renteria was shipped off for spare parts even with the Sox covering most of his remaining salary. That’s the part that always bugged me. If they were paying him anyway, he wasn’t a bad option at short. Just ask the Giants. He just needed a minute to get his bearings.
So, unfortunately, Edgar Renteria will be remembered in Boston for two things. For his wasted 2005 season, and for making the last out of the 2004 World Series. And that’s just too bad. The least I can do is wish him a happy Birthday.
Happy 36th Birthday Edgar Renteria!