Tag:Yadier Molina
Posted on: December 14, 2010 8:49 am

Cards to sign Laird as backup

Just to point out all the news isn't Cliff Lee news, the Cardinals agreed to terms with free-agent catcher Gerald Laird to back up Yadier Molina, Sports Illustrated 's Jon Heyman reports .

MLB.com's Matt Leach reports the deal isn't done, but that doesn't mean it won't be.

Laird, 31, hit .207/.263/.304 for the Tigers last season, but the Cardinals have always looked for a defensive catcher as their backup. Laird is considered excellent behind the plate. And with as much as Molina plays (he's started at least 130 games each of the last two seasons), offense can be secondary for the backup.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 12, 2010 12:17 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2010 1:16 pm

Cards hope to add a Molina

Bengie Molina The Cardinals are looking on cornering the market on Molinas, as they have "pressed" to sign Bengie Molina to backup his brother, Yadier in St. Louis, Joe Stauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes .

Bengie Molina, who played for the Rangers and Giants last season, has publicly mulled retirement.

"I don't know where he is [in his decision process]. Only he knows that," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told the paper. "As far as the fit, it's great for us. But anybody who's used to playing a lot has to make an adjustment as a backup. You work so close with the first guy, if you give off any vibe about playing time, that's not good, whether it's Bengie or anybody else trying to clear that hurdle."

Strauss writes the Cardinals have $1 million to spend on a backup catcher, their only hole on the roster. Bengie Molina made $4.5 million last season.

The Cardinals have also expressed interest in Josh Bard and Gregg Zaun. The team may not make a move on their catcher until they make a decision on shortstop Brendan Ryan, who is drawing interest from the Twins.

UPDATE: On Twitter , Strauss notes "For what it's worth, TLR sounded less than optimistic Sat. that B. Molina would sign for backup $$/playing time."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 1, 2010 2:02 pm

Top defensive players named

Chase Utley
Chase Utley didn't have a great time with the glove in the postseason. OK, Chase Utley had a lousy time with the glove. But put down your torches and pitchforks, Phillies fans. Utley is still an elite defensive player as measured by sabermetric alphabet soup -- in the past three seasons, he's first in baseball in UZR/150, OOZ plays and DRS.

A group of humans also thinks Utley is good. He was named the top second baseman Monday in the Fielding Bible Awards, which are determined by a panel chosen by fielding guru John Dewan. There was a unanimous selection for the first time: Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, as the littlest Molina now has something to brag about when he and the rest of the catching Molina brothers gather for the holidays.

The top three by position:

First base -- Daric Barton, Albert Pujols, Ike Davis

Second base -- Utley, Orlando Hudson, Mark Ellis

Third base --Evan Longoria, Ryan Zimmerman, Adrian Beltre

Shortstop -- Troy Tulowitzki, Brendan Ryan, Alexei Ramirez

Left field -- Brett Gardner, Carl Crawford, Jose Tabata

Center field -- Michael Bourn, Franklin Gutierrez, Chris Young

Right field -- Ichiro Suzuki, Jay Bruce, Jason Heyward

Catcher -- Molina, Carlos Ruiz, Kurt Suzuki

Pitcher -- Mark Buehrle, Zack Greinke, Trevor Cahill

Baseball's official defensive honors, the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, will be announced November 9 (AL) and 10 (NL).

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 27, 2010 5:31 pm

Jays pick up Molina option

Jose Molina
The Blue Jays have picked up its option on catcher Jose Molina for 2011. Jordan Bastian of MLB.com says via Twitter the option was for $1.2 million, though Cot's Baseball Contracts says it's $1 million.

Unless the Jays plan to trade Molina, this is a pretty good indication Toronto is going to let John Buck leave in free agency and install J.P. Arencibia as the starter, with Molina remaining the backup.

Molina, 35, the middle of the three catching Molina brothers (Bengie of the Rangers is 36, Yadier of the Cardinals is 28). He batted .246/.304/.377 in 57 games last season.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 23, 2010 5:18 pm

Cardinals' Molina likely done for year

Yadier Molina The Cardinals are likely to be without their starting catcher for the rest of the season, as MLB.com reports .

Yadier Molina has struggled with right knee soreness in August, but played through it. However, he's sat out the previous two games and general manager John Mozeliak said Thursday that the backstop will be rested to have the inflammation in his knee go down.

"At this point he probably won't play [again this year]," he said, while adding that there was no structural damage found in an examination, just inflammation under the patella.

"The most important thing is just making sure he's OK, and rest is probably the best treatment for this," he added.

Despite the step of shutting Molina down for the rest of the year, Mozeliak said the injury really isn't significant.

"Another way to think about it is, if we were playing two weeks from now, he could be ready," he noted.

The decision to shut down certainly has to do with the Cardinals out of the postseason race and little point in harming the 27-year-old Molina, who took a major step back on offense this season, hitting .262/.329/.342 with a .671 OPS -- the worst since 2006.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 8, 2010 5:03 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 5:43 pm

Profane fan gets thumb from umpire

Bruce Davidson
Umpire Bruce Davidson has a reputation for grandstanding, but he outdid himself Tuesday night.

Not content with ejecting Brewers manager Ken Macha, pitching coach Dave Duncan and outfielder Chris Dickerson in separate incidents, Davidson decided to have an unruly fan thrown out of the park in the eighth inning at Miller Park. Davidson walkled toward the backstop and motioned for the removal of a fan in a Brewers shirt identified by the Associated Press as Sean Ottow, 44. Ottow had been heckling Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.

"I don't care how much this costs me ... you're a loser Molina!" Ottow shouted while being held in the ballpark's police outpost. He was charged with disorderly conduct.

Baseball's director of umpire administration Tom Leppard was asked in a recent online chat about whether an umpire can eject a fan and had this to say:
Umpires are entrusted with maintaining discipline and order on the playing field, and sometimes fans can interfere with order on the field. Security at the Major League level normally precludes the necessity of an umpire causing a fan to be removed, but this does happen on rare occasion. Umpires are thick-skinned by nature and ignore comments -- however inflammatory -- from fans. So what did this fan do that Davidson decided he couldn't tolerate? Retired umpire Bruce Froemming was in the crowd at Miller Park and told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the fan was being profane. He said he had ejected fans several times in his career.

"Davidson did what you do when there’s profanity in the stands with women and children sitting there,” Froemming said. "He told security to get the guy out."

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 12, 2010 12:25 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 1:47 pm

Suspensions for Reds-Cardinals brawl handed down

The punishments for the Cardinals-Reds brawl on Tuesday have been meted out, according to Victor Rojas, an Angels TV broadcaster formerly of ESPN.

Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto has been suspended seven games, a harsh punishment but not entirely undeserving as Cueto was backed up against the home plate backstop, kicking willy-nilly . Jason LaRue came down with a concussion and Chris Carpenter suffered scratches on his back.

Managers Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker, who had choice words for each other and were ejected after a shouting match, were dinged two games apiece. The managers and Cueto were also fined along with Yadier Molina, Brandon Phillips, Chris Carpenter and Russ Springer.

Molina and Phillips were the instigators of the brawl after Phillips came to the plate in the bottom first. Philips had previously referred to the Cardinals as "little bitches ," which Molina took exception to and let Phillips know about it. The two jawed nose-to-nose before the fracas got out of hand.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 10, 2010 11:33 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 12:49 am

Cardinals accuse Cueto of hurting 2 players

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said backup catcher Jason LaRue suffered a concussion in Tuesday's fracas in Cincinnati.

La Russa said LaRue suffered the concussion at the feet of Reds starter Johnny Cueto, who kicked outward when he was backed up to the backstop during the near-brawl.

"I've got Cueto kicking me in the back. It's super unprofessional. I don't know where he learned how to fight," Cardinals pitcher said Chris Carpenter, who claimed he ended up with scratches on his back.

Cueto said he was just trying to escape after being pinned against the wall.

"When 15 people get over you, you get scared," he said after the game, using catcher Ramon Hernandez as a translator. "I did get nervous, a lot. I put my feet up, trying to get out of the way. I was trying to get up. My back was against the wall and I was trying to get people out of the way so I could get up."

Cueto can expect a suspension as soon as Wednesday for his role in the fracas.

Carpenter said he didn't have a problem with former teammate Scott Rolen, who grabbed him and drove him to the backstop.

"It was fine. I think Scott grabbed me and they thought we were doing something. That's when the bullrush got me. Scott was pulling me out and I was fine with that," Carpenter said. "I didn't know what happened, I felt someone grab me. Next thing you know I'm laying on the net getting kicked."

When a Reds radio network reporter said to Rolen that it looked like he was trying to serve as a peacemaker, Rolen paused and said, "That's a very friendly way of putting it. It's a very nice thing to say."

Of course, this all started Monday when Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips called the Cardinals "little bitches."

Phillips, the Reds leadoff hitter, always taps the shin guards of the opposing catcher and umpire with his bat before the game. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina took issue with the gesture.

"The comment he made last night ... that's going to happen. If you think I'm going to be in a good mood about the comment you made last night, don't say hi to me," Molina said.

Molina then said something to Phillips, kept him from getting into the batter's box and Phillips started jawing back. Then the benches emptied, with managers Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa getting into a shouting match.

"One thing led to another and guys were chirping and some guys said be quiet and then one of their coaches told our guys to be quiet," Baker said. "I told him to be quiet and Tony told me not to talk to his coaches."

After the managers were pulled apart, the second wave went on behind them with Rolen, Carpenter and Cueto caught up in it.

No players were ejected, only the two managers.

Molina then backed up his words, hitting a home run in the second and imitating Phillips' home run trot.

Molina finished 2 for 3 with two RBI, while Phillips was 1 for 5 with an RBI and made the last out in a Reds' loss for the second consecutive night.

Afterward, Phillips didn't have much to say.

"We just lost today. Regardless of what happened, it's all about wins and losses and we got an L today," he said.

With the 8-4 win, the Cardinals take over the lead in the National League Central by percentage points over the Reds.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com