Edgar Renteria has played just 71 games this season due to an assortment of injuries and poor production, and yesterday the 34-year-old infielder told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that he’s considering retirement after 15 seasons in the majors:
I feel good. My mind is good, but sometimes the body says, “No,” because I’ve had a lot of injuries this year. I’m not proud of what I’ve done. If they pay me to play, I just want to give back, not get injured. That’s me.
Renteria has earned $18.5 million over the past two seasons while hitting just .260/.317/.346 and playing in just 60 percent of the Giants’ games. The retirement talk is interesting, in part because he could no doubt stick around for several more seasons as a part-time player and in part because his current contract includes a $10.5 million team option or $500,000 buyout for 2011.
Retiring would free the Giants from having to pay that buyout, so if Renteria does decide to call it quits after the season expect him wait until San Francisco cuts him loose and he gets that final check.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.
Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.
Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.
Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.