ST. LOUIS - I like Yadier Molina. I like the way he encourages pitchers. He's almost affectionate with them; the arm around them, the pat on the back, and the smile. If I were a pitcher, I would want to throw to that man.
He's not exactly media friendly. He's not rude. He's just not talkative or outgoing. He never gives good soundbites. However, that's okay. We do a feature on him during Spring Training and get a few sound bites during the year and that's about it. I have been around him for 12 years but don't really know him. He seems like he is a great father too.
I think he has a great chance for the Hall of Fame. Eight Gold Gloves and 8 All-Star games are pretty serious business. I am not sure if there have been many better defensive catchers in baseball history. I think if you factor in all the winning the man has done, he has an excellent shot. He just has to finish off his career. He can't take a nose-dive. He needs to keep producing.
Photos: Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina
That factors into the Matheny feud. He can't be a part time player. When the manager hinted that Yadi didn't look right, Molina was like an exposed nerve. He responded by going public and hashtagging '#misinforming.' When you look at what's at stake for Yadi - Cooperstown - maybe you can understand him reacting like he did.
With that said, he was wrong. Yadier was given $60 million by the Cardinals to hit, field and handle a pitching staff. He was not given the money to call out his manager on social media. He was not given that money to be a distraction in the stretch run of the season.
The amazing thing to me is how he can turn on Matheny. This is the manager who plays him more than any catcher in baseball. This is the manager who bats him fifth when he shouldn't bat fifth. This is the manager who literally groomed to take his own job. This is the manager who never ever says anything negative about Yadi. No one has ever defended Yadi more than Matheny.
The Cardinals don't know what to do. Bill DeWitt said Yadi screwed up last Friday. Then Monday night, Yadi posts a photo of him with Jose Oquendo and expresses his love for the man who didn't get the manager's job that Matheny got.
I think it could get worse too. Maybe it will quiet down for the next few weeks. However, phenom catcher Carson Kelly can't sit and watch Yadi for three more years. The kid will be 24-years-old next season. He needs to play. So does Yadi. I just don't see how this will work. Maybe for next season, not in two years.
Molina is thinking Cooperstown. And that's not wrong. However, the Cardinals have to think about what is best for the franchise. Playing Yadier Molina at age 36 or 37 with 150 games a year is probably not best.
Stay tuned, the drama continues.
© 2017 KSDK-TV