Over the last decade Yadier Molina and his brothers Jose and Bengie have amassed six championship rings. All other current MLB siblings are minor compared to these three champions. The odds of making it to the World Series with a single Molina on a team are huge, and with Bengie assisting the new Cardinal hitting coach John Mabry in 2013, things look rosy for the Redbirds.
Yadi is now the heart of the everyday Cardinals. In 2012 he received lots of MVP votes, won his first GIBBY (Defensive Player of the Year), his fifth consecutive Gold Glove, fourth straight All-Star selection, and cracked his 1,000th hit. He is not a comeback player, or a rising star that had a great year, and he wasn’t a guy who had to clear his name. He is a backstop in his prime who raked while guiding a pitching staff with a new pitching coach and manager to an ERA (3.71) right behind the San Francisco Giants (3.68). The youngest Molina has led the league in pickoffs by a catcher since 2005. What is most remarkable and unfortunate (MVP voters) is that no one is surprised. Buster Posey, Ryan Braun and Andrew McCutchen were all extraordinary last year, but Yadi’s 2012 season was expected. His career statistics improve every year making his production chart look like flu vaccines or hybrid cars.
During Yadi’s first year in 2004, he played through October and saw Boston lift Babe’s curse while starting over Mike Matheny in the final game of the World Series. After smashing an epic home run in Queens to advance the Birdinals into the Fall Classic in 2006, he then commanded great games for good pitchers to easily defeat Detroit. No one can forget the 2011 “Comeback Cards” when Yadi acted with consistent leadership and confidence. In 2012 his bat sizzled throughout the year and he hit with more power than ever. In 2013 Yadi is still the man, and for four more years he will be a St. Louis man.
Like second basemen Daniel Descalso tweeted last month, more Molina’s is a good thing. The question is will we see “Yadi” and “Bengie” on the backs of their jerseys, or will they read “Y. Molina” and “B. Molina?” Regardless of appearance, Cardinal Nation is excited to witness a family dynamic like when Dizzy and Daffy Dean pitched for the Gashouse Gang. While Credence Clearwater Revival didn’t know where “Molina” was going, it is clear that number four will eventually be retired on the left center wall at Busch Stadium and Yadi will get Hall of Fame consideration.
Molinaville part 2 coming in February: Statistics that support awesome neck tattoos and Mohawks