Killion: World Series MVP returns to San Francisco

June 9, 2011, 2:22 am
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June 8, 2011

Programming Note: Tune into Chronicle Live, Thursday at 5 p.m. on CSN Bay Area with special guest Edgar Renteria.
Ann Killion

This is the last one.

The last emotional ceremony. The last World Series ring to bestow. The last postseason legend to honor.

Perhaps the most important one.

Edgar Renteria will be in town tonight with the Cincinnati Reds. There will be a pregame on-field ceremony when Renteria will receive his ring.

Well see a highlight film of his three-run home run in the seventh inning Game 5 of the World Series, the hit that delivered a championship to San Francisco and MVP honors to Renteria.

And the ovation will be deafening.

REWIND: Sad end to Renteria-Giants saga

As with Juan Uribe, players from the 2010 team may shed their Giants uniform but they can never shed their legacy. They will always be a part of the greatest moment in San Francisco Giants history and will always be beloved.

Especially the only World Series MVP in San Francisco history.

No matter how uncomfortable his exit was.

Back in December, Renteria caused a stir by saying that the Giants 1 million offer to return was a total lack of respect. He and his agent later backed off those comments, but he signed with the Cincinnati Reds for a reported one-year 2.1 million contract and a promise of more playing time.

I wanted Edgar to come back, Bochy said. I talked to him. Brian (Sabean) talked to him. He made his decision, which we respect.

And while the Giants shortstop position isnt quite settled (though Brandon Crawford is making strides toward stabilizing things), its questionable whether Renteria could have helped the Giants. Hes played only 32 games this season and has recently been sidelined with a bad back which could be aggravated if the Giants surround him and pound on him tonight, the way they did with Uribe when he got his ring at AT&T Park.

No matter how things ended in the offseason, there are no hard feelings. It will be an emotional reunion with the 16-year veteran.

It will be so good to see him, Andres Torres said. He helped me a lot; not just me, but all of us. He taught us how to do things offensively and defensively. How to keep our minds in the game.

Despite his frustrations over injuries that limited his playing time and effectiveness for his two seasons as a Giant, Renteria was a touchstone inside the clubhouse.

It was Renteria who got up to speak at an emotional September meeting in the batting cage at Wrigley Field when the Giants were struggling. In his tear-filled speech, he told his teammates that it didnt matter if he had a reduced role on the team, that he would support every player and believed they could win a World Series. That night the Giants beat the Cubs 13-0.

Edgar was so respected and revered in the clubhouse, said Bruce Bochy. He was a calming influence.

REWIND: Renteria's two HRs earn World Series MVP honors

In one of the most masterful decisions of his genius postseason managing, Bochy put Renteria on the postseason roster, despite his limited contributions during the regular season. In Bochys mind, those limits might have helped.

He went into the postseason fresh, Bochy said. He wasnt worn down.

Renteria tore through his biceps tendon in the NLDS, which actually reduced the pain in his arm. When the World Series started, Bochy made Renteria his starting shortstop, moving Uribe to third. It changed the team dynamic.

He and Uribe both, Bochy said. With them anchoring the left side of the infield, there was such a sense of confidence.

The defense was solid. And, in terms of offense, Bochy had a hunch that Renteria might do something big. After all, he was the only guy on the roster who had the World Series-winning hit back in 1997 when he was with the Marlins.

Certain guys have a way of coming through in the big moment, Bochy said. Hes a clutch player. He finds a way to become a better player with the game on the line.

He did it all through the World Series. The 34-year old had an impressive statistical line: Renteria was 7-for-17 with six runs, six runs batted in and three home runs.

He saved the best for last. With Cody Ross and Uribe on base and two outs, Renteria sent a 2-0 pitch over the left-center fence. He gave the Giants a 3-0 lead. Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson closed out the game and the Giants were World Series champions.

Tonight the Giants will break out the jewelry. And the memories. And, quite possibly, the hankies.