MVP Renteria clearly right choice on left side

Predicts Series will head back to San Francisco

November 02, 2010|By Phil Rogers, Tribune newspapers

ARLINGTON, Tex. — It took seven games for Giants manager Bruce Bochy to get the left side of his infield right in the playoffs.

He tried three combinations at shortstop and third base, mixing and matching with the likes of Pablo Sandoval and Mike Fontenot. But before Game 3 of the NLCS, he installed Edgar Renteria at short and Juan Uribe at third.

Bochy rode that combination the rest of the way and wound up with a World Series championship, with Renteria an unlikely MVP.

"Edgar's been through it," Bochy said. "I wanted a leader out there. He's a guy all the players respect. I know it's been a tough year for him, all the time on the DL, but once we got to that point, I knew I wanted to put it on him and to put Juan at third base. That was our best club."

Renteria was grateful for the chance he received.

"I thank the organization," he said. "They had a lot of patience with me this year."

Renteria delivered a walk-off single in Game 7 to give the Marlins the 1997 World Series over the Indians. His three-run home run off Cliff Lee was just as magical, even though he had to sweat out nine outs before the celebration.

"It was the same feeling," Renteria said.

Renteria, who hit .412 in the series and .333 in the postseason, got ahead in the count 2-0 and thought Lee might pitch around him to get to No. 9 hitter Aaron Rowand.

"The first two pitches, I thought they were going to pitch me around," said Renteria, 34. "But I know Cliff Lee is a great pitcher. I had a lot of respect for him. I was looking for one pitch, and if I got it, I was going to swing. … He threw a cutter inside, and the ball didn't cut."

Status crow: Rangers players declined to guarantee a victory in Game 5 of the World Series, but their boss did.

"The World Series is going back to San Francisco," Rangers chief executive Chuck Greenberg wrote in a post on his Facebook page Monday.

He signed the post, "Believe. Chuck."

On deck: Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said his first order of business after the World Series will be to sign manager Ron Washington to a contract extension.

"I don't think that'll be an issue whatsoever," Daniels said.

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