Yadier Molina Injured: Part of the Game or Cheap Shot?

Yadier-Molina-riverfront.jpg
So a bad thing happened last night. No, not the Cards losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-0. I mean, don't get me wrong; that was definitely a bad thing. The Cardinals coming out and laying such a magnificent egg in such a big game sucked in a big way, and the fact James McDonald apparently just owns this team is more than a little bit disconcerting. 

But, giant blowout and miserable to watch or not, it was just one game. Counts the same in the standings as any other game. The bad thing I'm referring to is the thing that could have much more lasting repercussions, as in it could very well affect how the rest of the season plays out for the Redbirds. 

Yadier Molina was injured in a collision at home plate with the Pirates' Josh Harrison, who was trying to score the game's second run. Yadi managed to hold on to the ball, recording the out, but he had to be helped off the field afterward. Concussion tests and x-rays all apparently came back negative, which is unbelievably good news, but the fact is Molina may still have to miss a fair amount of time. 

Which would, of course, be very bad for the Cardinals. And oh yeah, pretty good for the Pirates. Funny how that works, huh? 

Before we go any further, here's the video. Check it out. Ouch, right? 

I'm not going to say Josh Harrison went after Yadier Molina on purpose, trying to hurt him. I'm also not going to not say that. Sure, taking out the best player of the team you're trying to chase down in the wild-card race seems like the sort of thing some second-rate team desperate to make the playoffs might be tempted to do, but hey, modern players would never go in for something like that, right?

After the game Harrison fell back on the usual line we hear in cases like this: "We play the game hard." Which is generally code for, "Yeah, I totally tried to take that guy out/plunk him with the pitch/sweep the leg, Johnny." I expected him to break out something about playing the game the Right Way, also. 

But you know, I have a hard time swallowing this particular line of excuse. I don't blame Harrison for going into home hard, not at all. He was trying to score, Yadi was trying to block the plate. Collisions are going to happen. That really is part of the game. 

However, Harrison went in with his forearm up, right about head height. It was, in fact, the sort of thing you would expect to see another Harrison who plays in Pittsburgh do: James Harrison, that is. You know, the constantly fined defensive linebacker for the Steelers famous (or perhaps infamous) for targeting opposing players up high and leading with his head on a fairly regular basis. Harrison -- Josh, that is -- didn't just try to bowl Molina over. He went up high with an elbow. The NFL regularly fines players for that kind of hit; I wonder exactly what will happen in this case?

So here we have a desperate team trying to hold on to its waning playoff hopes, taking on the team threatening to run off with its wild-card spot. And somehow the best player on the latter team is taken out in a collision in which a player from the former team goes into home plate with what looks a lot like a flying elbow to the head. I'm not saying anything. I'm just saying. 

In cases like this, I always like to fall back on my usual criterion for judging just how bush-league a particular move is: What is the likelihood Nyjer Morgan would have pulled a similar stunt?

I'll let you decide for yourself.

My Voice Nation Help
49 comments
herbie
herbie

"Harrison -- Josh, that is -- didn't just try to bowl Molina over. He went up high with an elbow."

 

Watching the footage he's clearly leading with his shoulder.  Why would he lead his elbow into a guy wearing full catcher's gear anyhow?  That's a great way to dislocate an elbow or tear a ligament.

 

"I'm not saying anything. I'm just saying."   

 

What rhetorical hogwash.  I'm saying your article is poorly contrived and reeks of homer-ism.

Pettycomments
Pettycomments

Yadi said it was clean after he watched the clip.  It's not like he was angry.  He's a man and a good baseball player and I'm sure he has a little more respect for Harrison.  He understands the role he plays and the risk associated with the position.

TypicalCrybabyStL
TypicalCrybabyStL

Poorly written article from a whiny St Louis fan. Funny you have nothing to say about Westbrook hitting Harrison in the knee with a pitch. Surely that could be described as a dangerous play as well. Collisions at home plate are a part of the game. If Molina doesn't want to get hit, don't sit in the base line. Simple as that. What's Harrison supposed to do when he sees Molina blocking his path? Stop and put his hands up and give himself up? Give me a break you crybaby.

el_siddd
el_siddd

One of the most poorly written articles I've read in a long while. No, it was a regular play and it happens all the time. It was a close game that both teams needed and unfortunately  Harrison struck him at an awkward angle. It happens.

 

Plus, how do you write this entire article without even referencing Jon Jay's bush league play last year? Unbelievable...

Brian Swartzbaugh
Brian Swartzbaugh

Part of the game but so was the next batter getting beamed! Love it

Brian Swartzbaugh
Brian Swartzbaugh

Part of the game but so was the next batter getting beamed! Love it

CP999
CP999

And not a word was spoken about Beltran's throw going up the third base line and hanging Yadi out to dry when he had to reach his glove out and expose his head to potential contact.  Nope, instead Beltran was the first to insinuate foul play.  Whatever.  WLBs will be WLBs.

bielakc
bielakc

I doubt there was this sort of reaction in STL when Jon Jay plowed Carlos Ruiz in the NLDS last year, but I digress. 

Yadi put himself directly in the base path and offered the runner no chance of reaching home plate unless he went directly through him.  This type of play happens on a regular basis in Major League Baseball and is 100% clean.  Furthermore, Yadi turned into Harrison at the last moment to apply the tag, which left his head exposed.  This play was broken down on Baseball Tonight for about 10 minutes and all the analysts agreed that Harrison led with his shoulder, not his elbow.  To insinuate that Harrison should be arrested on assault charges just speaks of blatant homerism and/or complete ignorance of how baseball is played.

Bethaney Cox Chiesa
Bethaney Cox Chiesa

The runner needed to learn to slide. Cheap shots at the plate are completely uncalled for.

Brian Johnson
Brian Johnson

Part of the game, it was a clean baseball play. Yadi was blocking the line and the runner had nowhere to go. Cards fans shouldn't be hypocrites and say otherwise when they have applauded the likes of Jack Clark or Ray Lankford's infamous home plate collisions. With that said I hope Yadi will be okay and will return soon. The Cards are not the same without him.

chayes1892
chayes1892

Uggh... reds' trolls searching for an excuse to make cards fans look whiny - how can we be as whiny as you say when you are constantly screaming and crying about how apparently whiny we are. Get a life. 

chayes1892
chayes1892

Yeah I really don't think he was trying to INJURE Yadi per se - but it was not a clean play. He was definitely trying to send him a message. Since when do you hunch over, elbow at head height, straight into the catcher's neck to try and slide into home? Yadi was trying to catch the ball and that's where he could best make the catch - catchers always make plays like that and baserunners can be aggressive when sliding in - Cards players do it all the time, sliding into 2B to break up double plays - but this was head first with an elbow. 

 

The retaliatory pitch was also an obvious message - but that's a normal part of the game. Head first tackles like Harrison's are not. I have a great respect for the Pirates and have been enjoying watching them this summer so I don't want this one incident to lead to any bad blood between the teams. However, it was very obviously a dirty play. 

2011WSwhiners
2011WSwhiners

WLBs.  Funny how you omit the part where Harrison was plunked 2 innings later obviously in retaliatory fashion. 

 

And I'll go ahead and play spoiler here: "The NFL regularly fines players for that kind of hit; I wonder exactly what will happen in this case?" Nothing. The play was clean and legal. Perhaps your best player shouldn't have put himself into the position he was in. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.  LOL

Whinybirds
Whinybirds

found a clip from the NLDS last season - John Jay put a forearm right to the chin of Carlos Ruiz on a play at the plate.  Where was your outrage then?

paganicon
paganicon

Phillips was right about you guys.

Whinybirds
Whinybirds

Molina was breaking the rules.  The proper call would be to award the Pirates the run for interference.

 

If Yadi doesn't want a collision, Yadi should stay out of the baseline.  He invited a collision.  Heck, he forced a collision.  If you want to be mad at someone, be mad at the whiny little catcher who caused the whole thing.

jeni_iz_me
jeni_iz_me

I think it was definitely a cheap shot from someone scared of losing their hope at the playoffs!  What a scumbag!!

sap7w2
sap7w2

"I'm not saying anything, I'm just saying" ....wow! You're a fucking idiot.

keeponch00glin
keeponch00glin

 @TypicalCrybabyStL He hit him in the leg, not the KNEE.  As dirty as that play was against Yadi, he's lucky Westbrook didn't go headhunting. 

It's telling how weak your argument is: you must lie to bolster your bullcrap.

TypicalCrybabyStL
TypicalCrybabyStL

Not to mention Josh Harrison is 5'7 170 lbs and Molina is 5'11" 210 lbs.... Quite the size disparity there. Maybe I would be preaching sour grapes too if my team's best player got squashed by someone that small

jeni_iz_me
jeni_iz_me

 @bielakc 

 

That's what catchers do.  What Harrison did is not the norm.  While it apparently isn't illegal, it was dirty and I don't care what anyone says to say otherwise.   He could have slid with his feet like a good player would have done..and the way it looks, that would have been his best shot of getting past Yadi.  It's obvious he's a huge threat and people know they haven't got a chance in hell of getting past him otherwise. 

WAHWAHMOMMY
WAHWAHMOMMY

 @chayes1892 You whine and whine and whine about how no one should be allowed to run into your catcher (but if John Jay does it, well that is just part of the game).  If you don't want to be called a whiner, stop whining like a miserable little baby.  And it's not just you, but your whiny little players - I can't wait to hear Beltran and Yadi condemn John Jay.

jeni_iz_me
jeni_iz_me

 @chayes1892 

Exactly...and the only whining I heard the other night was Reds fans every time Yadi came to the plate.  I see teams happy that someone tried to take out their biggest threat.   Too bad they just couldn't better themselves instead of trying to take someone down to their level the dirty way.  

WAHWAHMOMMY
WAHWAHMOMMY

 @chayes1892 "Clean Play" = when Cardinals do it.  "Dirty Play" = When it is done to the Cardinals.  Shoulders are not elbows, you blinkered idiot. 

emmycat
emmycat

 @2011WSwhiners There's a SLIGHT difference between hitting a player on his leg in a retaliatory pitch, and running full-speed at a player, forearm elevated and outstretched, aimed suspiciously at head-height.

I saw the video last night, and it was awful to watch. And it was clear that it was a deliberate hit. I think Josh Harrison should be fined, AND suspended for the rest of the season. No one should be able to get away with that. If Josh Harrison did that to someone on the street, the cops would have booked him for assault/battery. Why should the law not apply in baseball?

 

Remember when Johnny Cueto kicked Cards catcher Jason LaRue in the head so hard that it ensured he could never risk playing baseball again? Well, Cueto got away with it. Now look what's happened to Molina; if we let players get away with crap like this, then of COURSE the arrogant ones are going to keep doing it.

Lets_Play_Baseball
Lets_Play_Baseball

 @Whinybirds Are you stupid? Harrison hit Molina with his forearm while running full speed and NOT trying to slow down a bit or even lower his forearm.

kentuckypirate
kentuckypirate

 @jeni_iz_me What are you talking about? It was a collision at the plate, which is legal and happens all the time. He did not target or hit Molina (who is 3 inches and 40 pounds larger than Harrison) in the head. He lowered his shoulder and hit cleanly into Molina's shoulder. Tough play to be sure and unfortunate that it happened to the Cards best player but not cheap at all. If you don't want Molina to play such a physically taxing position, then move him to 1B. If he's playing catcher, he's open to clean, hard plays like this. You iz stupid jeni...

TypicalCrybabyStL
TypicalCrybabyStL

 @keeponch00glin How is it weak? Please explain. Couldn't Harrison have been injured as well? If the author is going to talk about dangerous plays, he should reference the beanball.

Lets_Play_Baseball
Lets_Play_Baseball

 @TypicalCrybabyStL The thing is, which you two tards don't understand, is that Harrison charged Molina full speed and rammed his elbow into his neck. After it, he just got up and walked away like nothing happened.

el_siddd
el_siddd

 @Lets_Play_Baseball  @jacksonwarner16 That's irrelevant, though, because the writer in question wasn't complaining so much about Molina getting hurt but moreso that it was a dirty play. That's like saying drink driving should be legal as long as you don't kill anyone, it makes no sense. Either everyone who does it is breaking the rules or no one is, not just when someone gets hurt. It is all down to luck whether or not that happens or not, and Ruiz wasn't hurt due to luck on an similar play.

 

If the guy thinks it was a dirty play then fine, but don't refuse to acknowledge your own team does the same thing in important situations.

keeponch00glin
keeponch00glin

 @kentuckypirate  @jeni_iz_me To KY Pirate, and other Arm-Pitt fans here:  I'll bet you cackled maniacally when it happened.  And you probably bust a nut on your Stoolers jersey every time James Harrison tries to behead someone too (like the hit on McCoy, for instance). 

You're just jealous the Butt-Pirates haven't sniffed the WS since the '90s, and can't even manage to bring out 18,000 fans in the midst of their first playoff run in eons. 

Nevertheless, we wish you well.  Perhaps one day you'll have something viable to root for between hockey and football. 

jeni_iz_me
jeni_iz_me

 @TypicalCrybabyStL  @Lets_Play_Baseball 

 

The ball did beat him and he had time to go down sliding in hands first.  His best chance at beating Yadi in that play would have been to slide..but he chose to brace himself and go in head first.  If he had enough time to brace himself, he had enough time to slide.  Noone expects them to give up.  Just saying if he WANTED to avoid hurting Yadi, he had the time to do something about it.   

 

And you can throw Jays name out there all you want.  That wasn't his best moment, but I'm sure he didn't do it out of fear of his waning hope at a championship and seeing it as a way to cripple what stood in their way.  Think about it though, we aren't in the way...we past you several games ago. lol  

Lets_Play_Baseball
Lets_Play_Baseball

 @TypicalCrybabyStL If I just plowed someone over and knew they were hurt, I'd of checked on them instead of getting straight up and leaving like I didn't give a damn. The ball did beat him, clearly. It didn't beat him by a whole lot, but it still beat him. I'm not whining you fucking retard. Harrison did it on purpose and that's that. Plus, he got fined for it too.

TypicalCrybabyStL
TypicalCrybabyStL

 @Lets_Play_Baseball "then he just gets up and leaves like nothing happened" What's he supposed to do? Take the trainers bag and start applying medical treatment? Give me a break. What a piss poor argument

TypicalCrybabyStL
TypicalCrybabyStL

 @Lets_Play_Baseball Besides, the ball did not beat him, it was a bang-bang play. You're sitting here acting like Molina was standing there waiting for him. Quit your crying. This can not be interpreted in any other way than a bunch of sour grapes from whining St Louis fans.

Lets_Play_Baseball
Lets_Play_Baseball

 @TypicalCrybabyStL The ball beat him in the first place and he never plows people over, so why did he do it this time?Then he just gets up and leaves like nothing happened. He didn't even care Yadi was hurt.

TypicalCrybabyStL
TypicalCrybabyStL

 @Lets_Play_Baseball What do you want me to say to that? Maybe Harrison is just tougher than Molina? "Full speed"... do you expect him to run to home plate at half speed? Again, neither of you can answer my question "What's Harrison supposed to do when he sees Molina blocking his path? Stop and put his hands up and give himself up?"

Lets_Play_Baseball
Lets_Play_Baseball

 @el_siddd  @jacksonwarner16 John Jay was the only one that did that and that was a year ago. You're right about them getting in trouble, but it seems as long as no one gets hurt, it's legal.

jeni_iz_me
jeni_iz_me

 @Lets_Play_Baseball  @kentuckypirate 

LOL  No wonder you aren't Cardinal fans...classless, verbally challenged baffoons!  

 

Baseball rules aside...If you are human and care about people in general, wouldn't you take steps to avoid a collision?   

 

It's really pathetic how threatened you all are by the Cardinals.  It must be terrible rooting for 2nd rate teams year after year.  =P

Now Trending

St. Louis Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...