Yadier Molina is finally getting his due, as he is featured on the cover of the most recent ESPN Magazine. In the article titled “Molina Knows Squat”, writer Lindsay Berra portrays Molina as today’s prototypical catcher; with the way he plays and controls the game.
Berra who is the granddaughter of Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra, describes Molina as “the sports one true game-changing catcher”, all within the first paragraph. She does a great job trying to back this quote with comments from Jorge Posada, Brian McCann and Victor Martinez. Molina’s brother Bengie also describes what it is like to have him and his brothers all being a Major League catcher.
“Do you know how much we care?” Bengie asks. “You can’t care to win a game only. We care that the pitcher is going to have a family, that his kids will have kids. The relievers, the closers, all of them. We have a chance to make them get paid so they can have a nice life. We care about them beyond baseball.”
The article also features pitching coach Dave Duncan and his thoughts on how Molina changes the way opponents approach the game. Molina’s ability to deter base runners with his throwing ability influences the other team’s strategy. Duncan also talks about how many players Molina has picked-off when he was part of the Midwest League Champion Peoria Chiefs (A). The team does not keep track of those stats but Molina does and so does opposing base runners. A. J. Hinch solidifies that theory, “We love to run, and we didn’t run (against Molina). That says enough by itself as to how much that combination and Molina specifically being a big part of that shuts down the running game. … You feel if you’re 10 feet off (the base), you’re too much (off). If you’re nine feet, you’re too far off. If you’re seven feet off, you feel too much off. Where to gauge to where it doesn’t invite a throw?”
Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.
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