Cardinals nix response to the Brewers’ humorous political attack ad against Yadier Molina

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The Brewers released a political attack ad spoof Tuesday against Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina as part of a campaign to get Jonathan Lucroy more votes for the National League All-Star team. You can probably guess how that went over in St. Louis.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny addressed the video Wednesday with reporters and Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gathered some quotes:

“I saw it and, you know, it caught me a little by surprise,” Matheny said. “I get that a lot of it was trying to be maybe tongue in cheek a little bit, but … it caught me by surprise. I think you have to take it in the nature that it was meant, and it was … obviously geared toward their fan base. It’s just amazing that it was that much directed at our organization. I think that caught me off guard the most.”

Jim Hayes, a reporter for the Cardinals’ regional television network FOX Sports Midwest, said Wednesday morning on a St. Louis radio show that a rebuttal to the attack ad was in the works featuring “sound from Cardinals players,” but Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the club requested they nix the idea.

This should only grow the reputation that the Cardinals and their fans take themselves far too seriously.

Winning is important — and the Cards win a whole lot — but this is pro baseball, not moral jousting.

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.