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#pounditThursday, May 13, 2021

Articles tagged: Yadier Molina

Yadier Molina now open to playing for team other than Cardinals

Yadier Molina

Yadier Molina has spent his entire 16-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals, and he told reporters over the winter that the only way he will continue to play in 2021 is if the team wants him back. However, Molina is now committed to playing beyond this season, and he is willing to do it in a different uniform if need be.

Molina, who will turn 38 in July, told ESPN’s Marly Rivera this week that the pandemic has “changed everything” for him and he is thinking about playing another two years. He acknowledged that he said back in January that he would retire if the Cardinals don’t re-sign him, but that is no longer Molina’s mindset.

“Obviously, St. Louis is my first option. But if they don’t sign me, then I’m willing to go into free agency,” he said. “This situation has changed my mentality and all I want to do is play.”

The 1,947 games Molina has caught with the Cardinals are the most games a player has ever caught with a single franchise in MLB history. While he would love for St. Louis to sign him to an extension, he is no longer willing to let the team’s interest in re-signing him dictate when he calls it a career. He knows the market may not be vast for a 38-year-old catcher, but Molina said a potentially shortened 2020 season could benefit him physically.

“I had in mind that if St. Louis didn’t sign me, I would retire after this season, at 38. With this situation, obviously, we probably won’t have a chance to play a full season; we may not be able to play a lot of games,” Molina said. “I think it will feel like unfinished business. Any player that says that they’re not going through a difficult time and not worried about what the 2020 season will look like, is lying.”

It’s hard to envision Molina playing for any team other than the Cardinals. He proved during the playoffs last year that he is still as enthusiastic as ever about playing, and he has been a leader in St. Louis for many years now. We would be surprised if the two sides were unable to work something out.

Yadier Molina responds to Ronald Acuña with throat slash after winning game

Yadier Molina throat slash

The St. Louis Cardinals are still alive in the playoffs, and they can thank Yadier Molina for extending their stay.

Molina came up clutch for the Cardinals with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth to tie Game 4 of the NLDS with the Atlanta Braves on Monday. Then in the 10th, he was up with runners on second and third and one out in a 4-4 game. Molina hit a deep fly ball to left that scored Kolten Wong to end the game in walk-off fashion.

Molina and the Cardinals were fired up about the win, as you could imagine. The All-Star catcher launched his bat after driving in the winning run and did multiple throat slashes in celebration:

Here’s a better look at his bat throw:

What’s the deal with the throat slash? It was a response to Ronald Acuña doing the same thing after the Braves’ win in Game 3 Sunday:

Molina’s big hits helped tie the series at two, and he wanted to show Atlanta that they’re not dead yet.

The deciding game will be on Wednesday in Atlanta, and you better believe Atlanta will have motivation to return the favor.

Cubs’ Brandon Kintzler calls Yadier Molina ‘stupid’ over reaction

Yadier Molina Cole Hamels

Chicago Cubs reliever Brandon Kintzler called Yadier Molina “stupid” for the catcher’s reaction to being hit by a pitch during Saturday’s game.

Molina was grazed on the elbow by a pitch from Cole Hamels in the bottom of the second inning and stared down the pitcher. The two traded words, which led to players congregating around them, though nothing much happened.

Considering how little damage was done to Molina with the pitch — and how Hamels reacted — Kintzler thought Molina was “stupid.”

Kintzler has it right. Molina certainly overreacted, but it was probably done to try firing up his team. The Cardinals lost 8-6 and have now dropped four in a row. They have a 1-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central and face getting swept by the Cubs on Sunday.

Molina was probably trying to wake up his club with his reaction, though that didn’t pay off. Kintzler ended up wagging his finger at the Cardinals after closing out the win.

Yadier Molina sparks benches-clearing incident after being hit by Cole Hamels pitch

Yadier Molina Cole Hamels

Yadier Molina sparked a bench-clearing incident between his St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs on Saturday due to his reaction to being hit by a pitch.

Molina was grazed on the elbow by an inside pitch from Hamels in the bottom of the second inning and stared down the Cubs southpaw. The two started trading words, and Molina then veered from the base path towards the pitcher.

Nothing much happened after the two benches cleared. Hamels actually retired the next eight batters before Molina hit a single off him in his next at-bat.

Hamels’ Cubs started to pull away thanks to a couple of Ian Happ home runs.

Justin Verlander gets into it with Yadier Molina over Marisnick play

Jake Marisnick Jonathan Lucroy collision

Yadier Molina is not happy with Jake Marisnick’s collision with Jonathan Lucroy, and he’s willing to take on anyone who isn’t going to condemn it.

Molina posted a profanity-laced caption on Instagram Sunday night calling for Major League Baseball to take action against Marisnick for plowing over and injuring the Angels’ catcher. Marisnick’s teammate, pitcher Justin Verlander, defended the outfielder, replying to Molina’s post with a simple “#fakenews.”

Molina’s response was simple: “fake u a–.”

In other words, people are going to see this one differently. Marisnick has been apologetic and defended his actions, but Angels manager Brad Ausmus is in line with Molina in calling for MLB to take a look at the play. Marisnick had to make a last-second decision on what to do as he approached the plate, and he clearly made the wrong one, angering a lot of people in the process.

Yadier Molina furious over Jake Marisnick running into Jonathan Lucroy

Yadier Molina

Yadier Molina stood up for his fellow catcher Jonathan Lucroy in a comment he made on Instagram Sunday night.

Lucroy was nailed by Jake Marisnick during the bottom of the eighth inning of the Los Angeles Angels’ 11-10 loss to the Houston Astros on Sunday as Marisnick was trying to score. The Astros outfielder ended up hitting Lucroy in the head as he dived towards home plate.

Molina, who has caught for the St. Louis Cardinals since 2004, posted a photo of the collision on Instagram. Then he shared his thoughts in the caption (edited for profanity).

“Bulls—!!!” he said, adding two angry face emojis. “MLB need to take action on this Bulls—t play! F—! Praying for Lucroy! slide slide slide f—– !!! F— u if u think this is Ok .. f— u!!!!”

Molina clearly has strong thoughts on the matter. Those words were much stronger than what Angels manager Brad Ausmus had to say, and Ausmus said Marisnick should be suspended.

The Astros outfielder did defend himself, saying on Twitter he never intended to hurt Lucroy and that he only went that direction because he thought the play was going the other direction.

MLB will likely take a look at the play and evaluate it for potential discipline.

Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina trade jerseys in emotional embrace

Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols’ memorable return to Busch Stadium in St. Louis came to a close in a fitting way on Sunday night.

Pujols’ Los Angeles Angels played a three-game series with the Cardinals, marking the former three-time league MVP’s first time playing in St. Louis since leaving the team in free agency. He got a tribute video and several ovations during the first game of the series on Friday night. On Saturday, he received an ovation after a homer.

Then on Sunday, to cap off the weekend and Angels’ 6-4 victory over the Cardinals, Pujols swapped jerseys with his former teammate, Yadier Molina. The love between them was evident as they made the trade:

Molina began as a rookie for the Cardinals in 2003, while Pujols was a rookie in 2001. They went to the playoffs five times together, reaching the World Series three times and winning it all twice. They have a lot of history together and clearly feel fondly about one another.

Yadier Molina heads to IL with thumb tendon strain

Yadier Molina

A rough month gets rougher for the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals placed catcher Yadier Molina on the 10-day IL with a right thumb tendon strain, offering no indication how much time he’ll miss as a result.

Molina is hitting a modest .265 this season, but his importance to the Cardinals goes beyond statlines. He’s the clear team leader and handler of the pitching staff, and will now be sidelined for at least a week, if not more.

Even with Molina in the lineup, the month of May has not been a good one for the Cardinals. They’re 8-18 since the start of the month, and are hitting a miserable .234 as a team over that span.

Yadier Molina hits out at Kris Bryant for calling St. Louis ‘boring’

Yadier Molina

The rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals is alive and well, even though it’s only January.

Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant called the city of St. Louis “boring” at his team’s fanfest on Friday. That got a quick retort from Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who said “only stupid players and losers” make such comments.

Molina has never been shy about firing back at perceived disrespect. Bryant looked to be having a little bit of fun with his comments in front of a partisan crowd, but the Cardinal catcher is taking them completely seriously. The rivalry won’t be boring in 2019, if nothing else.

Cardinals buy ballistic cups for use after Molina injury

Yadier Molina

The St. Louis Cardinals are taking action in the wake of the severe injury suffered by veteran catcher Yadier Molina.

The 35-year-old Molina was hurt over the weekend during a game against the Chicago Cubs when he took a 102 mph foul tip right to the groin. Take a look:

This week, Jeremiah Raber, the CEO of a company called Armored Nutshellz that manufactures ballistic cups, revealed that the Cardinals reached out to him following the Molina injury and purchased three sets of his product.

“The players that are having these injuries realize now that they need something a little bit more than the companies that are trying to sell them,” said Raber, according to Erika Tallan of FOX2Now in St. Louis.

Tallan adds that the Cardinals heard about Nutshellz through the Baltimore Orioles, who have supplied them to all their catchers in both the major and minor leagues. Cleveland Indians catchers are also said to use them as well.

The description of the product on the Nutshellz website reads that the cups are designed for “law enforcement and military professionals.” It also claims that they are “not only lab tested and proven to stop a bullet but also field tested for ultimate comfort and mobility.”

That … sounds like pretty heavy-duty stuff. But it should be worth it for the Cardinals, especially given how long Molina will be sidelined with the injury.