On Friday, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina caused a stir when he made a post on Instagram, responding to a comment manager Mike Matheny made about the veteran’s durability. Matheny said, “Yadi’s caught a lot. Yesterday, just kind of watching him go around the bases, too, you could tell that he’s, you know…”
Molina wrote, “I train to play 174 games because that’s what it takes to be Champion, I’m not tired and the day I feel tired I’ll express it myself #misinforming.”
Molina made another Instagram post, this time posting a picture of a younger him with Jose Oquendo, currently the Cardinals’ special assistant to GM John Mozeliak. Oquendo had been a coach with the Cardinals from 1999-2015. He had a knee injury that required surgery, which ended his stint as a coach. Molina wrote, “missing this men right here ‘secret weapon’ old school baseball” while also providing a Spanish translation.
Oquendo was a candidate for the Cardinals’ vacant manager position going into the 2012 season. The Cardinals decided to go with Matheny.
Matheny has come under criticism as the Cardinals opened Tuesday’s action at 52-53. The club didn’t make any upgrades at the trade deadline and remains on pace to have the worst record during his tenure. Molina’s post might have been innocent, but it could also have been publicly hinting at a preference for a managerial change.
Tom Ackerman of KMOX spoke to former Cardinal Kyle McClellan, who said, “…the timing of it all puts into question the intent, for sure.” He added, “You can jump to conclusions, but I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to pin that on anyone, but [Molina’s Instagram account is] certainly something to keep your eye on going forward…they’re going to have to get a handle on it, because it could get out of hand really quick.”
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Major League Baseball has told Cardinals infielder Kolten Wong that he has to get rid of the colorful arm sleeve he’s been wearing, pictured above, that pays tribute to his native Hawaii and seeks to raise awareness of recovery efforts from the destruction caused by the erupting Mount Kilauea.
[Wong] has been notified by Major League Baseball that he will face a fine if he continues to wear an unapproved sleeve that features Hawaiian emblem. Wong said he will stash the sleeve, like Jose Martinez had to do with his Venezuelan-flag sleeve, and find other ways to call attention to his home island.
None of these guys are being singled out, it seems. Rather, this is all part of a wider sweep Major League Baseball is making with respect to the uniformity of uniforms. As Goold notes at the end of his piece, however, MLB has no problem whatsoever with players wearing a non-uniform article of underclothing as long as it’s from an MLB corporate sponsor. Such as this sleeve worn by Marcell Ozuna, and supplied by Nike that, last I checked, were not in keeping with the traditional St. Louis Cardinals livery:
If Nike was trying to get people to buy Hawaii or Venezuela compression sleeves, I’m sure there would be no issue here. They’re not, however, and it seems like creating awareness and support for people suffering from natural, political and humanitarian disasters do not impress the powers that be nearly as much.