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Giants: Edgar's A Redgar

(originally written 1/9/11)

Edgar’s now a Redgar. Signed by Cincy for $3M. 

He is just the fourth reigning WS MVP since 1990 to change teams the following season (Jack Morris, ’91 Twins to Blue Jays; John Wetteland, ’96 Yankees to Rangers; Hideki Matsui, ’09 Yankees to Angels).

Good for him. 
Can you remember the last time an aging utility infielder (to-be) generated this much press? Probably when Manny Alexander’s boy got caught with steroids a decade ago.

Renteria’s whole story is confounding. I’ve discussed said story with a number of fans—on the street, via message boards, you name it—and reached this conclusion: we’re not at all bitter that he left.
We’re bitter that he left on his own terms.
But we shouldn’t be.

The consensus feeling from Giants fans (prior to the 2010 World Series) was that Redgar essentially stole money during his forgettable two-season stay. His contract couldn’t expire fast enough, and if TMZ caught him fornicating with a streetwalker a la Denny Neagle, all the more better.

Then, the improbable happened—Renteria dipped into the fountain of youth, not to mention the hot tub of health, and hit two of the biggest home runs in the 52 years of the San Francisco Giants. Just like that, all the oh-fers and groundouts and pulls and strains emblematic of Edgar’s tenure up to that point—it was like they never happened. NOW we knew what Brian Sabean was thinking when he locked Renteria up! He wasn’t high! Renteria can deliver!

Honestly, given Redgar’s resume—five All-Star appearances, a career .287 average even after his two down Giants years, two Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers, and the WS MVP—it’s not hard to understand his antipathy toward a $1M deal. It’s also not hard to understand why he was offered such a deal; if he hadn’t hit those two bombs, the Giants might not have offered him anything. How bad would it look for a team in need of a shortstop to completely ignore the shortstop who brought home the World Championship? It would be like John Crece being replaced as little Pita’s bodyguard after being shot four times in Man On Fire.

As I said about Juan Uribe, at this point in his career Redgar owes it to himself to get paid every cent he can while he can. Somebody still wanted him and was willing to pay handsomely for his services. Just like he had to take the Giants’ $18M, he had to take the Reds $3M. It’s funny that in spite of Renteria’s heroics, it still kind of feels like he owes the Giants, and that somehow playing for a “measly” million could have made everything right. It’s almost like we needed to avenge the bad signing by getting rid of Renteria at our convenience—not the other way around. We’re a tad scorned.

But we’re going to have to get over it.

(In case you CAN’T get over it, the Reds make their lone 2011 visit to San Francisco June 9-12. Will you boo or cheer Redgar?)

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