Tracking the increasing Molina hegemony

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I was all excited when I saw the news nugget about Jose Molina nearing a deal to catch for the Rays embedded in Matthew’s post about the free agent catching market last night.  Because it meant that a Molina was going to catch for a team that no Molina had ever caught for before.

So excited that I sat down to create a Molina Matrix tracking all teams that have been Molinafied since the brothers took control of the major league catching racket.

But I’m sad, now, because it seems that between Bengie, Jose and Yadier, only seven teams have been graced with Molinaness: the Jays, Yankees, Angels, Rangers, Cubs, Cardinals and Giants.  Sure, the Jays and Angels have each had two Molinas, but the Molina Hegemony has not reached nearly as far as I had imagined it to have reached thus far.

If you would have asked me I would have said that there was something close to a 50% Molina Saturation Factor already. Nope. If Jose signs in Tampa Bay we will have only just barely cracked 25%.  I think the latest generation of Boones might be able to challenge that themselves, and there was only two of them.

Anyway, I blame Yadier. One team? Dude, get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.

Jose Altuve and Corey Kluber head list of Esurance MLB Award winners

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The 2017 MLB award season officially drew to a close on Friday with the Esurance MLB Awards, handed out to the best hitters, pitchers, front office members and moments in the 2017 season. Jose Altuve was crowned the Best Major Leaguer overall, beating out fellow finalists Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, while two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber took home honors as Best Pitcher.

Here’s the full list of winners:

  • Best Rookie: Aaron Judge
  • Best Defensive Player: Nolan Arenado
  • Personality of the Year: Adrian Beltre
  • Best Postseason Major Leaguer: Jose Altuve and Justin Verlander
  • Best Postseason Moment: Alex Bregman‘s 10th inning walk-off single in Game 5 of the World Series (video)
  • Best TV/Radio Call: Joe Buck and John Smoltz call Jose Altuve’s game-tying three-run blast in Game 5 of the World Series (video)
  • Best Play (Offense): Nolan Arenado completes the cycle with a walk-off homer (video)
  • Best Play (Defense): Austin Jackson‘s over-the-wall catch in the Red Sox’ bullpen (video)
  • Best Single-Game Performance: Anthony Rendon‘s six-hit, three-homer, 10-RBI game (video)
  • Best Player-Fan Interaction: Joey Votto gives Walter “Superbubz” Herbert a bat and jersey (video)
  • Best Fan Catch: Fan’s brother-in-law grabs Yasiel Puig home run ball and chucks it back on the field (video)
  • Best Manager: A.J. Hinch
  • Best Executive: Jeff Luhnow

No surprises here — the world champion Astros ran away with seven awards, including those for Best Manger and Executive and a dual award for Best Major Leaguer of the Postseason. Altuve added to an impressive run this offseason after earning a Silver Slugger, two Players Choice Awards, Hank Aaron Award and MVP Award for his outstanding work in 2017, while Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge continued to be a lock for all AL rookie-based awards after locking down the Rookie of the Year title earlier this week.