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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Where’s Molina? Playing softball with Pujols

As many St. Louis Cardinals fans know, Yadier Molina skipped the team’s Winter Warm-Up fan festival last weekend. After a discussion between club general manager John Mozeliak and the catcher’s agent, Molina will be making a contribution to the Cardinals Care charity in lieu of his attendance. The GM explained his catcher does not like the crowds and autograph signings.

This weekend, Molina is out and about, joining current teammate Rafael Furcal and good friend and ex-teammate Albert Pujols in the Dominican Republic. Molina lives in Puerto Rico, while Furcal and Pujols are native Dominicans.

The three Major Leaguers are scheduled to play in a softball game on Saturday in Loma de Cabrera, near the frontier of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, reports ESPN Deportes’ Enrique Rojas.

Pujols left the Cardinals last month, making a 20-year commitment to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Likely re-deploying some of the cash earmarked for the first baseman, St. Louis quickly signed shortstop Furcal to a two-year extension. Molina is on schedule to become a free agent himself following the 2012 season.

The Pujols Family Foundation explains more about why Pujols is in the area in a Saturday post on their Facebook page. The other players are not mentioned as being a part of the relief mission.

“Albert and Deidre Pujols are currently on the ground in the Dominican Republic providing beds for families who have no place to sleep. ‘Project Sound Asleep III’ rolls out today, delivering beds to over 70 families over the course of three days…”

“They are concentrating this trip on the Bateys around Consuelo, San Pedro de Macoris.”

A member of the Pujols traveling party, Ramon D. Carmona, has been posting photos of the players’ travels.

(My interpretation of Carmona’s captions: Pujols, Furcal, Fernando Villalona and Molina; The group posing by a river; Furcal driving with Pujols as passenger and Molina in the back; Furcal at the wheel; Pujols and Molina playing dominoes.)

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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10 Responses to “Where’s Molina? Playing softball with Pujols”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    The Phillies ace pitcher Roy Halladay went on a trip up the Amazaon with our Chris Carpenter, who vanquished him in a classic Game 5 in the first round of our 2011 title run. In the off season, seasonal opponents get together as friends.

    It is nice the events in the Dominican support a worthy cause, sponsored by Albert. Nice Raffy is attending too, lending his support. These men are representing MLB well to the local citizenry.

    Thanks for the photos! Great report.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    Raffy Fucal is an active guy in the off-season. He made it to Winter Warmup on 1/14/2012. A week later, he is back in his home nation.
    Raffy must love to sign autographs! Or he likes to keep money, not give some away to Mo’s charities.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Now that he is having to scrimp by on $7MM/yr, way down from his Dodgers salary, I wonder if Raffy is earning a few extra bucks as a chauffeur for Albert and Yadier?

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Rafffy is speedy. He can speed up from the Dominican, go to the Warmup so he does not have to pay Mo, sign autographs, then turn on a dime, reverse course quicker than the Captain of the Costa Concordia, zip back to the Dominican, serve the charitible purpose, and pick up a few exta bucks from doing the stressful automobile driving, so Yadier and Albert can just kick-back and rest after exerting themselves in besting Nolan Ryan and his lads.

      These are great and timely photos!

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    Brian did a super column above, folks. Provocative and clever.

    Is Yadier making Mo look bad? Does Mo know what is going on? Brian is giving us evidence of a filthy rich trio who pal around and who may be hatching plans to make themselves even richer. Very suspicious.

  4. blingboy says:

    I’m glad to see Yadi hanging with a man of character who said he wanted to stay in St. Louis and did. Raphael and Yadi will each pocket 7 million of Uncle Bill’s gringo greenbacks this year. Plenty more where that come from.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      In this trio, Kid Yadier is empoverished. He has earned about $16MM in his career, far behind Raffy’s $94MM in contracts. Albert is due to collect more than $300MM during his career. Albert and Raffy may hope their pal will be more rewarded, in his next deal.

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