ST. LOUIS -- The social media chatter has died down, but Yadier Molina assured that Kristopher Bryant's characterization of St. Louis as "boring" won't soon be forgotten."Oh, it will. It will carry [into the season]," Molina insisted on Monday. "I can't wait to get on the field."Molina took to Instagram
ST. LOUIS -- The social media chatter has died down, but Yadier Molina assured that Kristopher Bryant's characterization of St. Louis as "boring" won't soon be forgotten.
"Oh, it will. It will carry [into the season]," Molina insisted on Monday. "I can't wait to get on the field."
Molina took to Instagram on Saturday with a defense of St. Louis that included referring to Bryant and former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, who echoed Bryant's sentiments, as "losers." After signing autographs for fans over the final two hours of Winter Warm-Up on Monday, Molina explained why he offered such a passionate response to Bryant's seemingly playful comments.
• Bryant tweaks St. Louis; Yadi snaps back
"St. Louis is home," Molina said. "If anybody says anything bad about my home, I'm going to be there for us. I said to the guys, 'We are like a family. We have to stick together. We have to defend ourselves, and we have to defend our ground.' Whoever says something about us, we are going to be there to defend us."
The first matchup between the Cubs and Cardinals this season will be May 3 at Wrigley Field.
Flaherty benefiting from Hall of Fame mentor
Since rushing out to the dugout after learning that Bob Gibson wanted to meet him in mid-August, right-hander Jack Flaherty has remained in touch with the greatest pitcher in franchise history via phone call and text messages this offseason.
"When you hear that a guy like that wants to meet you and you know that is not something he does, ever, I jumped at that opportunity, and I try to reach out whenever I can if I ever have any questions," said Flaherty, who is coming off a rookie season in which he finished with 182 strikeouts and a 3.34 ERA. "He's pretty good about getting back to me. That's just special, really special."
Flaherty said he had made it a point during his climb through the system to study more about Gibson's place in the game. He admitted that he "didn't really understand how good he was" until doing a deeper dive into the numbers and hearing so many stories.
As for his choice on Gibson's best piece of advice so far? Don't let being tired slow you down.
"You're going to reach a point of being tired," Flaherty explained, "and you just have to take whatever percentage you're at and give 100 percent of that."
Pitchers vs. position players
Cardinals teammates have been trading playful barbs over social media recently after Flaherty insisted during a radio interview that pitchers would beat position players in any athletic competition.
"We win, and it's not even close," he said.
But William Fowler wasn't ready to concede, and that has prompted a text chain in which Fowler and Flaherty have been drafting teams for a pickup basketball game that isn't going to actually happen.
Fowler took Kolten Wong, Drew Robinson, Jedd Gyorko and Paul DeJong to round out his starting five. Flaherty countered with John Gant, Mike Mayers, Daniel Ponce de Leon and Miles Mikolas. Flaherty noted the depth he'd have off the bench, too, with Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha in waiting.
"I know Jedd can shoot. I know Dex is a good athlete," Flaherty said. "I don't know that we're going to be super worried about that. I'll give our guys the easy buckets. We'll take the height advantage every day."
Edmonds coming to camp
Cardinals Hall of Famer Jim Edmonds has accepted an invitation to serve as a guest instructor at Spring Training, meaning that players in camp will have the chance to be mentored by two of the franchise's all-time best defensive center fielders. The other, Willie McGee, is returning to manager Mike Shildt's staff as an extra coach.
Among those most looking forward to the added instruction is Harrison Bader, a potential future Gold Glove center fielder who has been earmarked as the starter for the position.
"Spring Training is a time to obviously get ready, but, to an extent, experiment. So I'm looking forward to working with Jim," Bader said. "Obviously, he's somebody I've looked up to my entire life, just as a young baseball player. So the information he is going to give me is going to be invaluable, and I'm looking forward to taking advantage of it."
All weekend, Cardinals players shared stories about where they were and how they heard news of the organization acquiring Paul Goldschmidt via trade last month. Molina was especially gleeful to recount his.
"I think I was in the boat [near Jupiter, Fla.]," he said. "When I got the news, I was like, 'Oh, give me a beer! Give me a beer, please, because this is great news.'"
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.