I have, on occasion, differed with other Cards fans on things (Jon Jay, Jaime Garcia, my fascination with Ty Kelly) and that’s one of the things about being a fan that’s we can all have our own opinions.
One of the things I agree with everyone else on though: Yadier Molina is a Cardinals legend. (He’s a hall of famer too, but I won’t get into that debate today.)
Yadi, of course, isn’t retired. He’s 33, and (hopefully) has more good years ahead of him. If we stop him where he’s at though, he’d already be worthy of instant enshrinement into the Cards HOF: All those gold gloves, his gradual development into a better hitter, the fact that he’s a second pitching coach a field manager overall. (If any of our players would make a good managerial candidate, it’d be Yadi.)
It’s funny how just last year everybody was anointing Jonathan Lucroy as the greatest thing since sliced bread while moaning the decline of Yadi. Lucroy’s slash line for this year: .242/.308/.336, while Yadi is at .290/.326.367 and climbing as he’s been on fire lately.
Yes his power isn’t what it was a few years ago, but the fact is, power isn’t his game. his 22 homers in 2012 are an outlier: 2012 was the only year he hit more than 14 homers, and over a 12 year career he’s only topped 8 homers 3 times. Yet people long for 2012 Yadi, the year that was the exception, not the rule. In fact, I think 2012 spoiled people a little, much the same way Jason Heyward‘s 27 homer season (also 2012) did.
These were some of the things running through my mind as I watched the replay of his bases clearing triple that ultimately won the game for the Cards last night. I laughed when I found out it was only the fourth triple of his career, but that’s probably typical for catchers.
Is he 2012 Yadi? No. But 2015 Yadi, a gold glove catcher who helps pitchers greatly and still holds his own at the plate, is just fine by me.
As always, thanks for reading.