Coming to Boston was an offer Edgar Renteria could not refuse. The four-year multi-million dollar contract and the opportunity to play for the World Series champions was a special thrill. But the move to Boston came at a steep emotional price. Renteria, who is very attached to his cat, Muffin, was unable to find a condo in Boston that would allow him to keep the cat. Even if he had, Renteria, who enjoyed bringing the cat to the ballpark in St. Louis, would have had to adhere to the Red Sox strict, “No Cat” policy in the clubhouse. For the heartsick shortstop, it has been a struggle that has affected his play.
“There’s no question I miss my little Muffin,” Renteria said, fighting back tears. “Sometimes, when I’m grounding into a double play to end a potential rally, or making an error on a routine ground ball to let in some unearned runs, I’m thinking of Muffin, and knowing that she’s missing me. I wonder if she thinks I just abandoned her.”
Renteria said Muffin has been especially helpful to him during his career, always there to lend a paw during some of the darkest moments of Edgar’s career, including last season’s World Series loss. “When we lost to Boston last year, Muffin wouldn’t touch her cat chow for a week, so we sort of mourned together. I’m just not the same without her.”
“It’s getting a little silly,” Terry Francona said. “He’s on his cellphone between every inning calling home to St. Louis to make sure Muffin is okay: Is she getting enough milk? Does she have enough cat toys? Is the kitty litter clean? He’s a little fragile emotionally now, but I did tell him I’d like him to focus on baseball first, and then poor little Muffin. Look, Puffball (Francona’s cat, whom he keeps a framed portrait of on his office desk) means the world to me, and I love the little fella’ like crazy. But baseball comes first.”
“Once I have Muffin with me, you just watch, I will start hitting the ball and will no longer make embarrassing errors,” Renteria vowed. “I can’t wait to take her to Legal Sea Foods to try that delicious clam chowder.”