Molina tantrum fallout worries Cardinals
After the catcher was ejected for complaining about a ball called on Milwaukee's Corey Hart during the fifth inning of an 8-3 loss Monday night, Molina protested by taking off his gear and leaving it in a pile at the feet of plate umpire Paul Schrieber.
"We'll hear something," manager Tony La Russa said Tuesday before the Cardinals began a six-game homestand. "It's not going to go unnoticed."
Molina, the youngest of three catching brothers in the major leagues, declined to revisit the matter.
"Well, I thought it was a pretty good show," said pitching coach Dave Duncan, a former catcher who said he was never ejected during his playing career.
Duncan thought Schrieber did a good overall job on ball-strike calls but that Molina was set off by some calls that went against the Cardinals in key situations. The first-pitch call to Hart came two batters after Ryan Braun homered.
"What happens is the count gets turned around and it changes the whole approach," Duncan said. "Timing is crucial. Sometimes it can build up. He probably felt there should have been communication, not an ejection."
The quick ejection -- La Russa was coming out to the plate when Molina was tossed -- caught the rest of the team off-guard.
"I was surprised there was not more patience because he's established a reputation," La Russa said. "That's one of the things Paul admitted when I went out there. Yadi has established a reputation as being somebody umpires like to work with, and he's not confrontational. He got warned once, and the second time he was thrown out, and that's unusual for a guy with that reputation."
La Russa said he didn't learn about Molina removing his equipment until after leaving the field.
"You try to coach emotion in players, and that's what competition is about," La Russa said. "That's not his style, so evidently he was sincere. And if he's sincere, what can you say about it?"
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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