Yadier Molina isn’t exactly a spring chicken anymore. But that doesn’t mean the 38-year-old catcher can’t demonstrate just how good he still is behind the plate.
We got a glimpse of Molina’s greatness -- and his fiery competitive spirit -- again on Sunday in the seventh inning of the Cardinals’ 8-5 Grapefruit League exhibition win over the Astros in Jupiter, Fla.
With non-roster invitee Jose Siri pinch-running for Houston at first base, Molina tried to pick him off and very nearly nabbed the rookie. That’s when Siri committed a Cardinal sin: He wagged his finger as if to say, “nope, not getting me.”
Insert Michael Jordan “And I took that personally” gif here.
Molina saw the gesture and pointed to second base, daring Siri to take off and try to swipe a base against one of the greatest defensive catchers in baseball history. Two pitches later, Siri obliged, and what followed was not only a caught stealing, but one where the runner was out by about 10 feet.
Yadi must’ve gotten a good pitch to throw on, you might be thinking. Actually, it was a low changeup. Perhaps you’re wondering if Siri stumbled. Nope. It was purely Yadier Molina doing Yadier Molina things as if he were 28 instead of 38.
The moral of the story: Run on Yadi at your own risk, particularly if you’ve just provoked his ire.