ST. LOUIS – Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has been so good for so long, he’s transformed into something of a local institution.
Reliable as the sun rise, Molina has long been regarded as one of the best catchers in the game over his 14-year career, with eight Gold Gloves and eight All-Star Game appearances to his name. The 35-year-old belted a solo home run in his most All-Star Game appearance, the only run the National League scored that night.
So you can imagine Molina might have been perturbed to read his manager implied he’s either old, slow, or lost a step in recent years. In an article appearing in Friday’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch, manager Mike Matheny was discussing backup catcher Carson Kelly’s recent call-up from the minors. Matheny said Kelly would be a fixture on the team and get more opportunities to start games.
“Yadi’s caught a lot,” Matheny said. “Yesterday, just kind of watching him go around the bases, too, you could tell that he’s, you know…” Matheny changed course mid-sentence, but he was implying that Molina is tired.
The statement clearly didn’t sit well with Molina, who took to Instagram to say he’d let the club know when he’s “tired.”
Molina talked to media before Friday’s home game against the Diamondbacks. He told reporters he was offended by Matheny’s comments. The two haven’t spoken in recent days, he said.
Molina stressed that he supports Kelly getting more playing time.
Both Molina and Matheny have contracts through the 2020 season, so barring any sudden change, catcher and coach will have to squash any brewing beef and move forward.