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

Time to stand down on Molina’s contract

Reporting and digesting the news is generally a good and necessary endeavor. Yet in some cases, blow-by-blow reports and reactions to it can become too much. Such is the case with catcher Yadier Molina and his contract negotiations with the St. Louis Cardinals, in my opinion.

It is time to stand down, step back and let the process take its course.

There is no doubt in my mind that the wounds inflicted by the Albert Pujols loss via free agency have not healed for many across the Cardinal Nation. That has created a heightened level of sensitivity, or in some cases paranoia, that Pujols’ friend, Molina, is destined to follow the same messy path out of town.

Of course, that could prove to pass, and has been discussed here and elsewhere, it could end up being the best outcome for both sides. After one more season of service, Molina will have earned the right to enter the market if he so chooses, as the Cardinals have the right to decide how much money over how many years to offer and when.

Or, just as easily, the agonizing would be immediately forgotten if the two sides come to terms on a new contract.

This week alone, the needle has swung wildly from one extreme to the other, then right back in the opposite direction again.

First, the word was that Molina and the Cardinals were talking and would continue to do so throughout the regular season if need be. That seemed a reasonable approach to most.

Then, the sky fell as Molina mentioned that discussions had broken off, implied there would be no hometown discount and finally gave the impression that there be no talks during the regular season. The fact that the catcher had only said the discussions had ceased “for now” seemed to be lost in the resulting tempest.

Many took the news to mean the worst, that Molina had adopted a Pujolsian stance in architecting his eventual departure via free agency.

So what did we learn just a day or two later? The two sides are still talking, after all. Not only are they talking, but the discussions are moving in “a positive direction.” Molina’s agent Melvin Roman reportedly relayed to the club a “preference” to get a deal done and not negotiate in-season. Note that the word is “preference,” not an absolute.

If one wants to interpret it this way, the two sides could be viewed as “stopping” talks every time a meeting or phone conversation on the subject ends and “re-starting” negotiations as soon as a new exchange is scheduled.

My bottom line is that many, if not most, contract negotiations have their ups and downs. As outside observers, we learn what the two sides at the table want us to learn when they want. What is happening here is standard operating procedure in a very high stakes give-and-take situation.

From our distance, wouldn’t it be better to turn down the hyper-sensitivity to what is in reality a business-as-usual process?

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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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51 Responses to “Time to stand down on Molina’s contract”

  1. blingboy says:

    Any word on whether Elvis showed up fit?

  2. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Pablum, Brian…………….. Do you think the Cardinals expected to see Molina show up a week early…..10/15 lbs lighter………with agent in tow?????????????……….it took them awhile to get up to speed with what was happening here……………. Molina is making a play……as others have tried……the blanket hiding/cloaking the realities of the past 4 months……pulled tight over the heads of TLR/Dave and BD/Mo and Lozano……..Pujols still hasn’t figured it out……the truth grates against his self esteem……

    The game is simple……… DeWitt needs to sign him, to a market sensitive deal……..and just trade him if its suits ……….. You would be stupid to believe Mo hasn’t been fielding any inquires on Molina ……….

    You would also be stupid to believe that FOX, who seems to offering quite a few opt out clauses……..isn’t writing a few in for themselves…………… Cards 14…Angels 150..??????……there are other ways to pay BD me thinks than laundering out in the open………

  3. blingboy says:

    I’m not a twitterer but I understand there are some tweets from some sports media guy about Colby making comments about the Cards clubhouse scene and the St. Louis media. Can anybody provide a rundown?

    • crdswmn says:

      I only saw a few of them. Colby is not particularly articulate sometimes with his speech (sorry RC) and so it was hard to tell exactly what he meant. He said the St. media “takes what you can get” (I think he meant takes what they can get). He said something about being treated “like a young puppy” and that he was “mentally beat down” last year.

      I would say he did not help himself with St. Louis fans, but I doubt that is what he was trying to do. Lots of negative reaction from Cardinals fans as would be expected. I stay out of these brouhaha’s over Colby because I think it is pointless.

      • RCWarrior says:

        I guess its like therapy for him. Get it off your chest young fella and then be done with it. Why should Colby or Albert for that matter worry about Cardinal fans? If your experience sucked why not just call it like it is? I said many times…..St. Louis is good to be rid of Colby and Colby good to be rid of St. Louis.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Seems like he got it off his chest in July, too.

          • RCWarrior says:

            Yea but spring training is where everyone wants to know if everything is alright and the mind is fresh for the new year. Albert has had to deal with the St. Louis questions as well. Nature of the best. One thing you can bet is that Colby doesn’t like talking about St. Louis or TLR. I’m scared every time I hear he has spoken about either. He is way too honest and forthcoming. The more he talks the more truth slips out of his mouth and nobody needs to hear the truth. Colby has been traded away from St. Louis…….both party’s are better for it. end of story. For my part I won’t ever mention Colby on this site again. I enjoy reading about the kids who play for the cardinals and thats why I continue to read the commentary on this site and scout. As for Colby……he is no longer a cardinal and cardinal fans should consider him a person who wasn’t enamored by the history of the cardinals and just write him up as a lost cause. Good riddance should be the mantra in regards to Colby Rasmus.

            • Brian Walton says:

              Albert didn’t leave in July.

              Colby could have helped himself with a very simple script:

              “I already said all that needs to be said about my time with St. Louis. Congrats to them for winning the World Series. Now, let’s talk about the 2012 Toronto Blue Jays.”

    • Brian Walton says:

      Here is the link to the article so you can read it yourself. Interesting timing that Colby and RCW both resurfaced the same day! 😉

      P.S. If you are really interested in the subject, check out some of the videos linked in the left sidebar while you are there. Apparently all the controversy was not left behind in the 314.

      • blingboy says:

        Appreciated the link, I hadn’t seen it.

        First, Lance wins the stache-off hands down.

        Second, I’m waiting for Westy’s commentary on Colby’s leg-kick comment.

        Lastly, I hope he’s able to get his game together and have a nice season.

        RC was probably sitting around waiting for some baseball to happen like everybody else, and I guess his boy arriving in camp qualifies. I’d be all excited too I’m sure. I wonder if he’s down there in Tampa.

      • crdswmn says:

        Now Brian, be fair, RC “resurfaced” long before today, his commenting has just been sporadic. 😉

        I didn’t see the quote about the media in the article but it was tweeted by somebody.

        I wish the whole thing would just die down. When something like the Colby mess blows up in the media like it did, then a whole lot of pointless gum flapping starts, people with agendas get talking and very little enlightenment on the situation occurs. It is the nature of the beast that the real story either gets lost in the melee or never gets revealed at all (by any party). Unless some neutral credible party sheds some light on the situation (which almost never happens) then we are left with nothing substantial, in my opinion, with which to make a credible judgment. So, I am keeping my counsel on this one and not taking sides. Most people have already taken a side and are sticking to it so arguing about the matter is pointless.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Yes, though I can give RCW grief because he is here to defend himself.

          Colby put himself in the news by the nature of his comments to the Toronto media today about his time in St. Louis. Seems an odd way to move ahead – by rehashing what happened prior to last August, especially when one of the Jays’ broadcasters is calling him out for perceived lack of hustle after joining the team. But that is his problem in Toronto now.

          Won’t it be great when there will be actual games again to discuss?

          • blingboy says:

            I can’t wait. There’s been a lot of lively and entertaining conversation and information all winter long here on your blog Brian. That’s saying something to your credit. Very nice job. I enjoy it.

          • crdswmn says:

            I didn’t say it was a smart thing for Colby to do. Rehashing past grudges doesn’t accomplish anything.

            Yes on the discussing of actual games.

          • RCWarrior says:

            I believe Colby’s\Blue Jays plan was to address the mess and be rid of it. I see it as a positive for Colby and could care less what the fans in St. Louis think about it. Unfortunately people continue to ask the questions so you have to deal with it. I don’t believe Colby not answering the questions would make them go away. Better to deal with it up front and put it behind you. I doubt you will hear St. Louis or TLR ever out of his mouth again after this.

            As for Zaun’s comments….I don’t have any problem hearing them. Without knowing the back story and seeing someone who looks like he is playing baseball right after he has just been diagnosed with cancer, it would be easy to watch someone who has been mentally beaten up and believe that they are just lazy. But for the record Colby played a really good CF after the trade. In St. Louis he was just horrible last year and kept getting worse after his first year.

            What the situation really shows you is how being somewhere and being miserable there can have a negative effect on, not only your baseball play but your life. Colby absolutely hated being in St. Louis last year and it showed all the way until he left Toronto at the end of the year.

          • RCWarrior says:

            And Farrell’s take in regards to Zaun’s comments.


            • CariocaCardinal says:

              RC, let’s talk about more interesting stuff.

              Any interesting news on Casey? There were rumors he might be switched to 2B – do you have any word on that? Does he hit with Colby in the off season?

              What can you tell us about Alabama prep phenom David Dahl?

              • RCWarrior says:

                Case has really worked hard this off season to be perfectly honest. He’s probably as strong as he has ever been. Case started baseball last year in January at Liberty U and was his teams only catcher so he caught every game, even through a sprained ankle so he obviously was gonna wear down as the season ended in pro ball…..and he did.

                Case used to play infield for me but we put him back behind the plate because he wanted to get drafted and as an undersized infielder, especially a second baseman, it would be hard to get drafted if you can’t hit a ton. You see Case was not like my oldest son growing up. He didn’t play baseball much and definitely didn’t put much into it and as with all my kids I didn’t care if they chose to be cooks, beauticians or whatever so he did what he wanted….which was video games, and music. But Case knows he is not a big time prospect so he has to outwork everyone to make it anywhere in pro ball and have the stars align perfectly to make it past this spring.

                I have not heard anything about Case switching to 2B. Case lifted with Colby every day along with a large group of pro guys this offseason and hit with our team every day we hit BP and hit in every squad game. He has worked extremely hard on his hitting. Hopefully it will pay off.

                David is a lanky kid who has a great arm, great speed, is left handed, and can hit it. He has an injury last year and didn’t do much baseball wise but had a huge summer to make up for lost ground. Great kid from one of the richest schools in Alabama. I’ve been assured by scouts in our area that he will be a top 15 selection in the draft.

                • RCWarrior says:

                  Mikey White is another kid from the Birmingham area who I hear could jump into the first round. He is a MIF who had a big summer as well.

                  We just had a kid transfer to us from Atlanta who is a uber athlete. Rock Rucker, a 6’5″ LHP/Of …..runs a 6.7 sixty and has hit balls in BP where noone has ever hit them here at RC. He is a little Raw but was ranked 9th in the state of Georgia by perfect game so he is a big time player/prospect.

        • blingboy says:

          Some people can turn themselves into a round peg if they’re faced with a round hole, and some can’t. And some people are willing to turn themselves into a square hole, and some aren’t. Oh well, we’ve got new pegs and new holes this year, and we’re about to find out how they fit.

          • crdswmn says:

            I find the issue of mixing veterans and young players in camp to be very interesting. I’ve seen and heard interviews of players about it and they seem to really like it (both the veterans and the young guys).

            • blingboy says:

              The thing that intrigues me about it is trying to figure out how, exactly, its different from last year. The mixing up is ‘official’ policy now, but in reality, were the NRIs and invitees kept seperate last year? Were the vets in their own pitching groups and the young guys in their own groups? I’m sure having the coach emphasize it, and make it policy, makes a difference as to the vibe in camp, but are the nuts and bolts of it that much different?

      • RCWarrior says:

        🙂 Come on now Brian……… I actually have 2 honors physics classes this spring and that combined with lifting at 5 every morning and then practicing all afternoon has kept me busy. And like BW will tell you…I don’t have an agenda this year so there is no need to try and piss TLR off on a daily basis. 🙂

        • blingboy says:

          I hope your eye is better, RC.

          • RCWarrior says:

            Bad news on the eye front but that’s life. I’d give you the skinny but I wouldn’t want to give too many people in Cardinals land reason to celebrate. Unfortunately it appears the root cause of this retinal detachment was something far more serious. But I do appreciate it Bling.

            • Kansasbirdman says:

              Sorry to hear that RC. I don’t have too many enemies, lotsa people I would respectfully disagree with but even so I wouldn’t wish harm on them by virtue of them being my enemy or on the opposite side of an argument at any rate.

              I have a friend who took a nail gun brad in the eye and now has had to learn to shoot a left-handed bow. With the advancement in bow technology nowadays a guy can shoot a fairly low pound bow and still hit high arrow speeds more than sufficient for hunting.

              I hope nothing is too serious and hope you get a chance to get “back in the saddle” so to speak, maybe “back in the treestand”.

    • RCWarrior says:

      Actually the people that read this site have heard this stuff for 3 years. Everyone just figured it was made up. I said back then that it was going to end badly and it did. I said the same for Brendan.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        I do not accept that things ended badly.

        Baseball is a business. We moved Brendan to the Mariners for Cleto, a nice trade for the Cardinals. Cleto is beast. And Brendan Ryan is cashing in, in Seattle.

        We moved Colby to the Jays and won a World Series! Because we needed Edwin Jackson, an $11MM starting pitcher.

        Now Colby has replaced Corey Patterson in CF in Toronto. If Colby keeps thinking positive, and keeps his Dad thinking positively, then he will play well. And he will earn millions during the years ahead.

        Where is the tragedy? What harm was done by trading Brendan or Colby? Absolutely none.

  4. Brian Walton says:

    As the needle moves further… a Joe Strauss tweet says:

    “Movement on Molina is significant enough that source familiar w/situation believes agreement could be reached w/in a week.”

    • crdswmn says:

      I hope that is true, but I don’t trust Joe Strauss. Has any other media confirmed it?

      • Brian Walton says:

        When does a confirmed rumor become fact? 😉

        Never get too high or too low… Twitter is already alive with those celebrating. Likely same people calling Molina Judas two days ago…

        • blingboy says:

          Maybe he’s excited about the new feel of things now that camp is underway. Also, I expect the org is paying more attention to the psych aspect of the thing than seems to have been the case with Albert. Different approach in other words. Maybe BDW is banning heavy metal in the clubhouse, or just laying some fundage on him.

        • crdswmn says:

          It doesn’t, but I wasn’t asking for fact, I was asking for a better rumormonger than Joe Strauss. 🙂

          I’ve been unhappy with Molina and I still am. Doesn’t mean I won’t be happy if he signs. But I will believe it when I see it.

  5. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Trying to keep perspective when that think large………do large………..

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