Colombian Shortstop Blood Feud


The two best baseball players ever from Colombia, Edgar Renteria and Orlando Cabrera, are engaged in a bitter feud and trading verbal attacks. In retrospect, it seems obvious that the two stars should never have done business together. "Really, there has never been a relationship with Orlando," says Rentería, an 11-year major league veteran. "We've never been friends." But last year Team Rentería, a family business that runs the four-team Colombian winter league and a youth baseball academy in Barranquilla, was looking for investors. Edinson Rentería, Edgar's older brother and the league's president, offered to sell the Cartagena franchise to Cabrera, who'd already opened a competing academy in his hometown. Cabrera put in $25,000 to buy the Indios but sold them back to the Renterías at the end of the season, in January, when, he says, his interest waned. Despite many disagreements with Edinson over such issues as TV-rights fees and ticket sales, Cabrera believed the separation was amicable. In fact, it was not. "He wanted to buy one team so he could wreck everything that's been done with the league," Edgar says. "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."