[This Sunday: Mikey Whiplash, aka, Yadier Molina, suffering his second concussion for the Cardinals)
*** Update: Calmer heads prevail dept./ Molina sat tonight out, and the Cardinals lost to the mighty KC Royals 2-1, as the Cubs managed to do 3-2 in Tampa Bay. The Cards are saying “at best” Molina could be back in by Thursday, meaning the Royals’ first winning streak of the season is finally here. ***
The Cardinals remain tight-lipped today about the Yadier Molina situation. On Sunday, their all-star catcher got his second concussion in a year when the Phillies’ Eric Bruntlett plowed into him full tilt (ESPN-ized: “Yadda yadda yadda took the Bruuuuuuunt-lett of this one …). The Tards have had some bad luck with concussions (David Eckstein, Jim Edmonds, and a career-ender for Mike Matheny), and spent $$$ to have player neurological diagnostics done on the whole roster. That is, until they need these guys to play in a tight race with the Cubs. Today, Tony La Genius will walk Yadi out to the plate, face him forward, and have baseballs thrown near his head at near 80 mph (ok, it is Cardinal pitching). Yadi needs time off, lots of it, in the objective opinion of this Cub fan, along with Pujols, no matter where the Cards end up in the standings. Put down your slide rule for once, Tony, these are human beings. Here, Yadi is
eulogized praised by his number one fan, the not at all ambitious Card 2nd-string catcher Jason LaRue, in The Belleville News-Democrat:
(Dr. La Russa’s advice: “Walk it off, whatever, just get the fuck out there, kid.”)
Two hours later, the Cardinals announced Molina had a mild concussion. That was amazing news to backup catcher Jason LaRue, who will receive the bulk of the playing time while Molina is sidelined –whether it’s for a few days, 15 days or even longer.
“His back was to the runner,” LaRue said. “You don’t see the runner, you don’t know when you’re going to get hit. For him to be able to get the tag on the guy — and obviously, No. 1, the most important thing, hold onto it — he did an unbelievable job.
“For me, being at the same position he is, he’s one of the guys that I respected a ton. He’s got some of the most unbelievable ability. In my opinion, he’s the best catcher in the game right now. To sit there nonstop on a day-in, day-out basis and put his body on the line, especially in a key situation like that, is awesome.”
The Phillies had runners at first and third with one out in a 6-6 game when Jimmy Rollins hit a grounder to first baseman Chris Duncan, whose throw wasn’t true and forced Molina to reach to his right to make the grab.
Molina, not exactly sure where Bruntlett was, spun to his right and tagged him out before absorbing Bruntlett’s forearm to his head and neck area.
Bruntlett said he ran into Molina because Molina had the plate blocked. Neither the Cardinals players nor manager Tony La Russa blamed Bruntlett.
“You don’t like to see that,” LaRue said of Molina going down. “He’s one of the core players on this team. He’s one of the more key guys you need to have out there every single day. As far as pitching, he’s probably the most important guy on this team. He’s the one that goes out there and handles these guys on a day-in, day-out basis. You cringe any time you see a play like that.
“Also, on the other hand, it shows what kind of player Yadi is.”