We all have that one player. That one guy that you grow irrationally attached to, the guy that reminds you of someone or maybe even yourself, the guy you'll defend to even your fellow fans when they all turn against him, the guy you keep rooting for even when he's dispensed with his Red Sox laundry, and often, a chequered Red Sox career.
For my dad, that player is Edgar Renteria. He also has had a soft spot in his heart for Alex Gonzalez, but the one that really gets people scratching their heads around my dad is Edgar, or as he would say it, "My boy Edgah."
Throughout Edgar's lackluster tenure in a Red Sox uniform, my father was determined to defend him at every turn, and has not stopped doing it since. "See?" he'd say whenever ESPN reported on Edgar's more successful season with the Atlanta Braves in 2006. "My boy Edgah. He's a good playah."
It was no exception last night, when Edgar once again re-entered what had been an errorful house of horrors in Fenway Park, this time as a member of the Detroit Tigers.
And it was Edgar who killed us yesterday. He went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI, as well as a walk, and picked it deep in the hole at short, like it had been some other guy who committed 30 errors there three seasons ago.
As someone who actively booed Edgar Renteria when he was a member of the Red Sox (and it's not something I'm proud of, but he's probably the only player on my own team I've ever done that to), I wonder where that effort and sense of urgency were when he was here, and can't say I've worked up much but disdain for the fact that apparently he's motivated by his own failure with the Sox to prove a point as a member of an opposing team, but actually being paid by the Sox evidently wasn't enough motivation to show that same intensity. You could say I'm the yin to my dad's yang--as irrationally hateful toward Edgar as he is perhaps unrealistically loving.
But my dad sees him as shy and diplomatic rather than wishy-washy, taciturn and listless. He always admired the way he took in the catcalls and kept on quietly grinding away. And last night, on the phone from the front row of the State Street Pavilion, my dad was the one silver lining on a messy game for me, waxing enthusiastic and proud of his boy Edgah.
P.S. Mikey Lowell! Noooo, etc. But I'm also taking a moment to be grateful for the Sean Casey signing--the man they call the Mayor filled in for Lowell nicely with two hits and a run. And for Kevin Youkilis, the first baseman that takes a licking and keeps on ticking (I wonder what the bruise from that wicked shot he took off the collarbone last night looks like today) at just about any old base you want. It's not cool to lose Lowell, but it could be far, far worse.