A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Edgar Renteria

The snow now laying on my sidewalk, I procrastinate going outside as I choose to acknowledge the snow for what it is - something beautiful rather than work I have to do. My window affords me a view of the world, and while it's just an alley way, it's a place that is all my own and my wife's. This is our world and in the time it's taken to get this house into shape, we've made it quite homely and unique. Actually, she has done much of the work. This is her vision, and it's amazing.
In that, visions are good things. Goals and affirmations that lead to mantras of what is and what will be. This blog will be. My writing will return, and that too will be. As a 39 year old man, I see my life in terms of what is ahead instead of a retirement ceremony. As I look for better and supplemental employment to go with the classes that I teach and the Masters Degree in Education that I have just received, I know that while my future is limited due to my having a liberal arts degree (and while I can ask "Do you want fries with that," I know that McDonald's would probably see me as over-qualified while many colleges and universities see my not having a degree in 13th century British Poetry as meaning that I am under-qualified - despite the fact that I've taught writing for the past 6.5 years on the community college level.
But alas, the future is here and now, and as I think about my future, I know that Edgar Renteria sees his life in terms of the future and the past as well.
"That offer from the Giants was a lack of respect. A total disrespect, to play for a million dollars, I'd rather stay with my private business and share more time with my family," he said. "Thank God I'm well off financially and my money is well invested."
But since this is baseball money and this is the guy who won the World Series for the Marlins and this is the guy who hit the home run that put the Giants up for good in the final game of the 2010 World Series.
"I have received at least another offer since I was a free agent, but it wasn't what I'm looking for to continue playing," Renteria said. "If I got a good offer, I'm playing, and if not, it's better to stay at home."
This is also the guy who is 34 and hit into the final out of the 2004 World Series against Boston.
And while I would pretty much do anything but a handful of things for $1million a year and endorsements, this is baseball money he's looking to earn. The $3million that he could earn instead of the $1million that he was offered represents respect - respect for a man who batted 35 times in the World Series because he was considered second to Juan Uribe who completely phoned it in when he wasn't jacking his single home run. And while Renteria wants good baseball money for his World Series heroics, he wasn't that good in the League Championship.
But he is Edgar Renteria, and he is a mainstay on many teams, and now he will have a chance to be a $3million man for the Reds. Hopefully, this stay will end up better than Boston and the Tigers and more like his stay with the Braves.
And just like Edgar, I think about what my next stay will amount to. What contract will I get? What options will I have? Will they pay me incentives? Will fans wear my jersey? Will I get a shoe deal? Hell, I could use a pair of hiking boots that are good for hiking in the creek, a new pair of sneakers, they don't even have to be endorsed by an athlete, and a shiny black pair of dress shoes. You can't imagine what I'd do for a shoe deal right about now!
But teaching and writing arbitrary baseball blogs are not baseball money, which was just under $3million in 2009. The league minimum for the same year was $400,000 - chump change, I know, but when Alex Rodriguez is making over $30million, a man has to do what he has to do.
Thus, the question is am I good for $25... an hour?

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