Matt Stairs was content to be a high school hockey coach back home in Maine this past winter, but he got on Nutri-System, lost 40 pounds and found the spark to come back and make the Padres out of camp. Rather than a last hurrah, Staris tells MLB.com’s Corey Brock that he’d like to play one or two more years.
I suppose it’s possible he could do it too. He hasn’t had a great season, even in his limited role (.227/.303/.455), but he has a little power left and he can even flash some occasional leather. For him anyway.
What he really has going for him, I think, is that every single thing I’ve ever read or heard about him suggests that people just like him and want him in the clubhouse. That only goes so far — Brad Ausmus probably stretches the limits of the concept — but as long as you can do one or two competent things on a diamond, it can get you a roster spot.
On Monday, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras showed he was very confident heading into the 2018 season, saying, “I know that I’m going to be better than [Yadier Molina and Buster Posey].” Contreras explained that his goal is to become “the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”
Apparently, Contreras ruffled Molina’s feathers as the Cardinals’ veteran backstop took to Instagram to respond. Posting a picture of himself with Buster Posey and Salvador Perez, Molina wrote, “Respeten los rangos NOVATOS!! aqui con los q si han probao que son los duros!!” That loosely translates to “respect the ranks,” referring to Contreras as a novice.
Molina is no stranger to using Instagram to air his grievances. He apparently used the social media app to take a swipe or two at manager Mike Matheny last year.
Of course, Molina seems to be misreading the intent of Contreras. Contreras seems to think highly of Molina, having referred to him as being one of the best catchers in the game — even if it was in the past tense. Molina should know, being someone who also competes at the highest level, that having confidence is an important part of the recipe for success. Perhaps this will make for some interesting games during the season, breathing new life into the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.