Thu Apr 24 11:56am EDT
There's some fascinating reading to be had over at ESPN: The Magazine, where they've brought Edgar Renteria, Orlando Cabrera and the bad-blooded soap opera that is Colombian baseball into the American spotlight.
Short back story: Detroit's Renteria and Chicago's Cabrera are the two greatest baseball players to come from Colombia. But while Renteria came first and became a national hero for recording the game-winning hit in the 1997 World Series, Cabrera remains the outcast.
A Maris to Renteria's Mantle, if you will.
Things between the two camps really came to a head last year, when Cabrera bought a team in the new Colombian Professional League from the Renterias, only to sell it back and withdraw his involvement at the end of the season. Now, despite Cabrera's previous belief that everything between the camps was cool, Renteria has sparked a very public squabble between the two AL Central shortstops by making the charge that Cabrera is trying to sabotage the league.
Check out the quotes from Jorge Arangure, Jr.'s story:
Renteria: "He wanted to buy one team so he could wreck everything that's been done with the league. I think he did it out of malice. You should ask him what he has against the Renterías. For several years, people have told me that he's jealous of me. People have always known me more in Colombia than him, and I think that bothers him."
Cabrera: "These are ignorant comments from an ignorant person. I've always respected Edgar as one of the smartest people on the field, who, because of his intelligence, has excelled beyond his abilities. For him to make comments like that is disappointing."
There's more to read, of course, and it's a shame to read that Colombia isn't big enough for both of them, especially since they've both won World Series titles and become very successful here in the U.S.
The strange part is that, just like the Venezuelan spat between Ozzie Guillen and Magglio Ordonez in 2005, this one also involves the Tigers and White Sox.
But unlike that episode, this rift doesn't look like it's going to be resolved anytime soon.
A big BLS head nod goes to Daily Fungo for the tip.