St. Louis Cardinals: The faux pas of Willson Contreras

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 13: Willson Contreras
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 13: Willson Contreras /

The St. Louis Cardinals have one of baseball’s best catchers on the squad even if a certain catcher for the Cubs thinks it appropriate to disparage him.

The St. Louis Cardinals must consider themselves lucky to have been the exclusive home of one of the greatest catchers in baseball: Yadier Molina. The Cubs’ catcher, young Willson Contreras, made a massive mistake with his comments released claiming himself to be as equally great as the Cards’ backstop.

If you missed Tito’s heart-filled tribute to the great Cardinals’ catcher, jump over here and take a read of an appropriate response to the name Yadier Molina.

Here’s the real skinny (an intentional pun thanks to Yadier’s weight loss of a few seasons ago), Molina has made catching for the St. Louis Cardinals a master class in the art of serving as a backstop. To this end, the St. Louis Cardinals are often left searching for an acceptable backup which is a testament to Molina’s insistent and consistent playing time.

Now having Carson Kelly in the ranks, Molina is able to not only catch but serve as mentor for the future all-star backstop for the Cardinals.

Pile all praise as possible upon Molina.

But wait… Contreras thinks otherwise. Here’s what he said via Easton Leonard:

I love competitiveness but this ticks me off. Let me be clear though that I have NEVER been a fan of Wilson Contreras.

Why? I’m not impressed with his catching abilities. Yes, he has some pop in his bat but his pompous attitude steals from any positives that his abilities may prove. And speaking of pompous, if you need an example, just reference his statements above.

Why would you ever take a shot across the bow of a master’s ship? What smart person would ever disparage those who came before and paved the way? I guess the answer to these questions is, “…the ilk of Contreras.”

Speaking of my dislike for Contreras, I need to admit that he was part of my single-most favorite moment from the 2017 season. Here it is in all it’s glory:

This topped my list for two reasons: (1) Contreras was ejected, and (2) John Lackey lost his cool and was ejected. Two pompous a$es tossed in one wonderful moment.

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This moment did leave me confounded, however, as Contreras received only a 2-game suspension for making contact with home plate umpire Jordan Baker. The suspension was said to be related to his helmet making contact after Contreras showed his touchdown moves. What confounded me was the fact that MLB ignored the near-body-to-body contact that followed.

I believed Contreras deserved more than a 2-game suspension. Additionally, Contreras appealed his suspension meaning that he was at-the-least delaying his absence from the lineup.

Back to the comments… In response to Contreras’ insulting a few of the greats who came before him, Yadi posted the following, appropriate response:

This perfect post illustrated to the young hot-head three of the greatest catchers in baseball: Salvador Perez, Buster Posey, and the greatest #4. The only thing missing from this post would be recognition of other great catchers like Johnny Bench and/or Yogi Berra.

It goes without saying that Contreras just isn’t even in the conversation with names like these…

Let me say this, Contreras certainly COULD become as great as Yadier and Posey and Perez but greatness is earned though service time and two years of MLB service is just not enough to establish oneself as deserving in the greats club.

To his credit, Contreras did crab-walk his comments. Read about it here. My hope is this was a learning experience for Willson and allows him to find some humility as he continues to grow and become one of the great catchers.

Next: Cardinals' farm system protects

At the end of the day, I hope that Contreras learns from this attitude-filled faux pas. Competitiveness is one thing (one thing I like, see the recent comments from Tommy Pham) but denigrating a trail blazer doesn’t engender my admiration (and hopefully not too many others as well).