Yadier Molina was out. Sure, it may have looked like he was not running his hardest out of the box, but let’s be honest, it takes him a while to get his motor running. Also, considering it was an inside pitch, it naturally pulls him away from first base so it took him a while to gain his footing.
Clint Fagan made the worst call of the game while making the correct call on the exact same play. Molina was out–no doubt about it. Upon running through the base, Yadier Molina slammed his helmet to the ground in disgust–but he never once said a word or even looked at the umpire.
What kind of disgust did Molina express? There is absolutely no way that Clint Fagan knows. Thus, he had zero right in throwing out Molina the way he did. He could have been upset with the call, but he did not say a word to Fagan, so he cannot prematurely assume that. He could have been mad that Crawford made an amazing play to thwart a rally. Or he could have been mad at himself for not running his hardest out of the batters’ box.
The thing is we do not know why Molina slammed his helmet; thus, there is no way Fagan knew why he threw the helmet, either. Baseball is a long season that is full of emotions, and we all know Molina is a very passionate player. He takes pride in his craft and has consistently worked to improve every aspect of his game–from hitting to fielding to base running.
Thus, considering he did not say a single word to the umpire nor look at him, one can make a pretty good assumption that he was just mad at himself or upset with the situation as a whole. The way he reacted immediately after the ejection is good evidence to this–he felt wronged for being ejected and wanted to speak his mind about it.
Watch this .gif to get a grasp at the severity of Molina’s reaction.
Based on his tantrum, Yadier Molina unfortunately deserves a 2-3 game suspension because he made contact with multiple umpires. It is just a bad situation where a young umpire made a rash decision because he felt threatened by one of the premier players in the league.
Yadier Molina is one of the best players in the game. He has been around long enough and has gained enough respect around the league (outside of Cincinnati) to be allowed to show some disgust and be given a chance to explain himself before getting ejected.
(By the way, he ejected Mike Matheny as well after he ran out to protect his player.)
Congratulations, Clint Fagan. You made a name for yourself…but for all the wrong reasons.
More of a rant than a blog…sorry!
Until next time…
FINAL UPDATE to story! As of 4:45 CST, with quotes from Matheny, Molina
Matheny said a suspension to Molina would be “further tragedy” and says the umpire was “looking for” the ejection. He also reiterated that umpire “went out of his way” for ejection. (Credit to Derrick Goold (@dgoold) and Martin Kilcoyne (@martinkilcoyne2) for the update)
Molina’s explanation: “I knew I was out. I wasn’t upset that (the umpire) made the out call. I was upset with myself.” (Thank you to Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) for this quote).
Thus, it looks like my assumption after the play was correct: Molina was mad at himself and the umpire really messed up the call on this one.