Some things never change. For as long as Yadier Molina is a St. Louis Cardinals catcher, he’s going to be booed in Cincinnati.
It may have happened 11 years ago, but fans in Cincinnati still won’t forget the brawl that happened between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Reds back in 2010.
The brawl all began between Yadier Molina and Reds’ second baseman Brandon Phillips at home plate. After Molina and Phillips got into it, the rest of the players on the two teams joined in quickly.
We all know how it ended with the tragic concussion that ended the career of Cardinal catcher Jason LaRue. 11 years is a long time, but almost every time that Molina has come to the plate in Cincinnati since then, the boos have rained down on him. The best occurrence of this was probably in the 2015 All-Star game, but surely it’s something he’s come to expect.
I’m not sure how I normally feel about Cardinals players being booed, but there is something sweet, something familiar about Molina being booed Thursday at Opening Day. 2020 was a short season where cardboard cutouts and piped-in crowd noise dominated the experience of watching baseball.
Watching the games with empty stadiums and motionless spectators was better than watching nothing at all, but it was different and definitely made the games feel hollow.
Now though, in front of around 12,000 fans on a 39-degree afternoon in Cincinnati, fans were back and participating. Spring training was a taste of what it would feel like to get fans back in the stands, but it was nothing compared to the joy that was almost palpable during Thursday’s game.
It was the small things like Yadier Molina getting booed that I think were missed more than most thought in 2020. Fans may not have realized how much these little things matter, but now it’s easy to tell that they did.