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Commentary: Appreciating Molina, Wainwright partnership on their last opening day together

"We say it all the time, but it bears repeating on their final opening day together. We'll never see a duo like Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina ever again."

ST. LOUIS — Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina's Major League relationship is of driving age. For 16 years, the pair has been joined at the hip.

We sometimes take it for granted in St. Louis.

Oh, there's Wainwright and Yadi, at it again. Like it's some normal thing. But it isn't. Not in the slightest.

The special nature of their relationship is something that deserves the spotlight on their final opening day together. We'll never see a duo like Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina ever again. Let's make sure we take some time to sit back and appreciate this final run in 2022.

In this day and age, seeing one player stay with the same franchise for their entire career is rare. Seeing that career last almost two decades is insane. Having two players do that at the same time on the same team is ludicrous.

With just 20 more starts, Molina and Wainwright will break a record that likely will never be broken. They'll pass Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan for the most starts by a pitcher/catcher battery in Major League history.

Is it the all-time home run record? No. Is it among the most glamorous records in baseball history? Nope. But it's a record St. Louis will never forget.

The Molina/Wainwright relationship has accounted for almost two decades of incredible baseball. No, they didn't do it all themselves, but they've been the one constant.

Their relationship is the backbone of the Cardinals' success.

Listening to Adam Wainwright talk, 2022 could very easily not be his final season. And if he performs like he did in 2021, it shouldn't be.

But Molina had said this is it. And with Albert Pujols back in town for a final run of his own, I don't think Yadi will be pulling a fast one on us this time. He's making 2022 his victory lap.

So this is the last opening day we'll get to see Wainwright to Molina. And things won't be the same after that.

Since 2004, the year Molina debuted, the Cardinals have won 1,562 games as a franchise, four National League pennants and two World Series titles. Molina has played in 102 postseason games. Wainwright has made 29 postseason appearances.

For reference, the Seattle Mariners have played in 34 postseason games in the entire history of their franchise.

The legacy of Molina and Wainwright will be winning, and loyalty. And for that, they'll always have a special place in the hearts of Cardinals fans.

Let's enjoy one last ride for a baseball relationship unlike any we've ever seen before, or will in the future.

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