So many great nuggets of information came out of last week’s St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-Up, both here with Ann Warner’s coverage and all throughout the Cardinals media world. There’s one particular comment, though, that’s still bugging me a week later.
It was made by Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak about Yadier Molina — or, specifically, about Yadi’s last-minute cancellation at the Warm-Up for the second straight year. This is from Jenifer Langosch’s article on Cardinals.com:
“I just don’t think he really loves the autograph process and going through all of that,” said Mozeliak, noting that Molina did not appear at last year’s event either. “He’ll likely probably try to make a donation [to Cardinals Care] to make up for that. He understands the club’s stance on this. Clearly, it’s not something that’s become a big issue.”
It’s the biggest fan event that the Cardinals have, as well as the team’s biggest charity fundraiser, and one of the most popular players doesn’t attend because he doesn’t really love “the autograph process and going through all of that.”
Sure, a donation to Cardinals Care is fantastic. And I suppose it’s better for Mo to be honest about Yadi’s absence than to offer some flimsy excuse.
But what about the fans? You know, those people who have made Yadi into one of the most popular players and buy his t-shirts and jerseys with his name and number and cheer him endlessly and pretty much provide unconditional love for him?
Apparently, “going through all of that” — you know, talking to those very people who adore him while signing his name on their pictures or baseballs or jerseys– is too much, if what Mo says is to be believed.
Nice slap in the face to all those who’ve purchased autograph tickets for two straight years now — like Nicole — only to find out at the last minute that Yadi can’t be bothered to actually play nice with the fans like every other current and many past Cardinals. Not that many of them probably find it a burden. Seems like being showered with adulation and talking to those who love and support your team would be pretty decent way to spend an hour or two.
And those who wanted to get Yadi’s autograph were making a very nice donation to Cardinals Care to do so — $75 per ticket, a cost only surpassed by the $100 for Lance Berkman’s. Luckily, Nicole reports, she did receive a refund for her ticket … both this year and last. Yet her Yadi photograph still remains autograph-less.
She also reports something that I, and probably many Cardinals fans, are wondering since 2012 is the final year of Yadi’s contract. Is he already preparing for a new home in 2013 — one out West, on that team where his brothers won World Series rings in 2002 and where, oh yeah, that guy who played first base for the Cardinals last season also will be for years to come? Of course we all know that he and Albert are best buds.
Plus it’s not like John Mozeliak provided many words of comfort when it comes to thinking Yadi will remain a Cardinal beyond 2012 — unless that’s just my new, skeptical, post-Pujols way of viewing comments about upcoming free agents. According to Jenifer Langosch:
Mozeliak did not provide any specifics regarding negotiations with Molina, saying only that “he is certainly someone we would like to keep here long term.”
See? “Certainly someone we would like to keep.” After all he’s done as a Cardinal, yes, fans would certainly like to keep Yadi too.
But, it’s not up to us. Or to Mo, for that matter.
It’s up to Yadi. The very same Yadi who doesn’t like being around the fans or the autograph process and going through all of that, it seems.
Do actions — or inactions like not showing up at the Winter Warm-Up again this year — speak louder than words?
We’ll soon found out.
Might be a good idea to leave Koyie Hill down in Memphis and give Tony Cruz as much playing time as possible this season.