Yadier Molina hurt trying to avoid pitch, leaves game

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4:35 p.m. EDT update: The Cardinals report that Molina departed due to lower back spasms. Consider him day-to-day.

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Yadier Molina was removed from Saturday’s game against the Cubs in the ninth inning after injuring himself while getting out of the way of a Carlos Marmol pitch.

It appeared to be either a hip or oblique injury, but nothing particularly serious. Molina wanted to stay in and was upset about not getting his way. Once back in the dugout, he slammed his bat into the top of the dugout and again on to the front railing.

Tony Cruz replaced him at the plate with a 1-0 count and stayed in to catch.

Tom Ricketts says the Cubs don’t have any more money

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Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.

First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.

More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:

The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.