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’.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.