Don’t cry for Rick Renteria
The truth is we didn’t want you
All through our losing days
Our sad existence
You have your contract
Now keep your distance
Too rough? This is hardball, folks. Stop the pity party for Rick Renteria.
We all knew this wasn’t a long-term relationship. Didn’t we?
Sure, the Cubs signed him to a 3-year contract. Even then, didn’t we all know that the door was still open a crack? Renteria must have felt this even from day one.
Have the Cubs acted dishonorably? Does it matter if they did? I don’t have answers to those questions. We don’t know what went on behind closed doors. We have no idea what Cubs executives told Renteria or what he reasonably believed.
Do the Cubs owe Renteria an explanation? No. They owe him nothing, other than the two years left on his contract, which is nothing to sneeze at. It’s not like they are throwing him out on the streets penniless. The Cubs will still be paying Renteria more than most of us will ever see in our lifetimes, to do nothing at all but go away and be quiet.
And let’s face it. Renteria will land on his feet. We all saw his predecessor Dale Sveum looking somewhat lost in the dugout of the Kansas City Royals at a place the Cubs haven’t been since 1945. If Sveum could take his Cubs resume and find a job, Renteria surely won’t be waiting in the unemployment line for long.
Renteria is that classic Nice Guy. As another former Cubs manager Leo Durocher astutely taught us, there’s a place that nice guys finish and that’s exactly the place that Renteria took the Cubs.
No one can fault Renteria for being at the helm of another last place team. He was dealt a losing hand. Occasionally he made us scratch our heads, but he was a stand-up guy and he will be forever grateful to him for helping to get the careers of Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro back on track.
But we all knew the Cubs were going to eventually dump him. Didn’t we? Isn’t it better to end it after just one year than to string him along for two or three?
There’s nothing really wrong with Renteria; he’s just not that guy riding the white stallion. It was never going to be him. Theo Epstein’s eyes had to be straying from the day he signed him. When Joe Maddon became unexpectedly available, those eyes must have lit up. If ever there was a ray of hope for a team that had not won a World Series in 106 years, the former Tampa Bay manager was it.
They say that breaking up is hard to do, but sometimes it’s the right thing to do. The Cubs couldn’t let Maddon get away. They had no choice but to act swiftly and coldly to get their man.
Renteria’s feelings might be bruised. But he has two years to heal, and that’s plenty of time. Don’t cry for Rick Renteria. He’s going to be okay. And maybe – just maybe – the Cubs will finally be, too.