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Report: Yadier Molina, Gerald Laird fought last night

Aug 4, 2011, 7:03 PM EDT

Umpire Drake backs off, as Cardinals' Molina argues, and is restrained by Descalso at Miller Park in Milwaukee Reuters

The Cardinals just dropped two of three to the Brewers in a crucial early-week series, falling 3 1/2 games back of Milwaukee in the National League Central standings. And now it appears that the Cards’ problems have spilled off the field.

According to Craig Mish of SiriusXM, catchers Yadier Molina and Gerald Laird got into an “ugly” fight on Wednesday night after arriving in south Florida for a four-game series against the Marlins.

Not many details are currently available, and it’s possible that nothing more will leak out, but Mish was told that Laird called Molina a “cheater” at one point during the scuffle and that teammates eventually had to separate the two backstops.

Molina was suspended five games by Major League Baseball for bumping and spraying spittle onto home plate umpire Rob Drake during Tuesday night’s 8-7 victory in Milwaukee. Laird has been vaulted into starting duties in his absence. Perhaps that situation somehow played into Wednesday’s altercation.

Or maybe the brawl was born out of a high-stakes poker game. Bud Selig hates those.

UPDATE, 8:04 PM: According to Tim McKernan of KFNS 590 in St. Louis, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak has confirmed that Laird and Molina got “into a disagreement” on Wednesday night.

  1. elmaquino - Aug 4, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    I’m waiting to see if they say anything else, but it’s doubtful any players/Tony LaRussa will talk about it. Mish had a source who heard SOMETHING, though.

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Aug 4, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    Or maybe they’re a couple and Molina was stepping out on Laird.

    Hey — just brainstorming here.

    • jobooo - Aug 4, 2011 at 7:36 PM

      Gerald just heard about the “spittle”.

      I’m sorry.

    • screename529 - Aug 4, 2011 at 7:58 PM

      I think you mean “just spit balling here”

    • kiwicricket - Aug 4, 2011 at 8:51 PM

      Christ that would be an ugly baby.

      • elmaquino - Aug 4, 2011 at 10:11 PM

  3. paperlions - Aug 4, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    Good thing they got rid of that club-house cancer, selfish, team-chemistry destroying CF….imagine how bad things would be if they still had that guy knocking around.

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:31 AM

      Man, I can’t believe Brendan Ryan and Colby Rasmus are *still* ruining this team. It’s clear this is leftover from their time in a Cardinal uniform.

    • fearlessleader - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:53 PM

      Point taken! But… be fair, the knock on Colby was never that he was divisive in the clubhouse; it’s that he was lazy, petulant, resistant to attempts to help him improve, and terminally in thrall to his insufferable father. If anything, the rest of the team seemed to be rather unified in their assessment of him.

      As for Yadi and Laird—I’m sad to see this story. But I have to think that this sort of thing happens more often than we know, on lots of teams. These guys spend a ton of time together in a stressful environment during the hottest part of the year; of course there are going to be conflicts, and most of them are going to simmer down pretty quickly, as I hope this one will too.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 4, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    And now Freese gets popped right in the head. Might not be the Cardinals year…

  5. drmonkeyarmy - Aug 4, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    I wonder what Laird meant when he called Molina a cheater?

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 4, 2011 at 8:32 PM

      excuse me…allegedly called Molina a cheater

  6. paperlions - Aug 4, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    Gee….I wonder what is more likely to cause club house problems: 1) a flighty SS with a great glove and questionable bat, 2) a streaky CF that doesn’t handle public criticism from his manager well, or 3) a high-strung, control-freak micro-managing manager that constantly complains about everything that doesn’t go his way.

    It’s gotta be 1 and 2 right?

    • spudchukar - Aug 4, 2011 at 8:51 PM

      Just 2.

      • paperlions - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:13 PM

        Geez people, that was sarcasm….obvious sarcasm.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      Yeah, we get it. You don’t like LaRussa. Do you have the ability to make any comment that isn’t “I hate LaRussa”-related.

      Cubs fans just don’t know when to give it up, unless it’s a playoff series.

  7. kiwicricket - Aug 4, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    I sure hope the rest of Gerald’s clan were involved. Their family outing to the basketball a while back was comedy GOLD!!

  8. spudchukar - Aug 4, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    Nothing about this story makes sense to me. I am not questioning its accuracy, cause I have no idea if it is true. But it is so counter-intuitive. Molina is one of the most loved players on the Cards. Laird by all reports has been a pleasant addition. Never have I heard of any controversy between the two. Plus Molina’s suspension insures Laird playing time. I’m scratching my head.

    • okwhitefalcon - Aug 4, 2011 at 10:12 PM

      Probably an in flight card game got silly after a long day, less the pile of blow and ARod of course..

  9. chetwynnr - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    Getting into a fight with Laird would be pretty safe. When he was with the Tigers he couldn’t hit and I doubt it’s gotten much better since then.

  10. thefalcon123 - Aug 5, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    From the STL Post Dispatch:
    MIAMI — Cardinals manager Tony La Russa held a closed-door meeting covering several topics before his team began its pregame drills Thursday night.

    One of the issues was the five-game suspension handed down to catcher Yadier Molina for a beef he had with umpire Rob Drake a couple of days before in Milwaukee.

    Another touched on an animated argument catchers Gerald Laird and Molina got into at the team hotel, the Ritz Carlton in Fort Lauderdale, Beach, Fla., late Wednesday night after the club’s late arrival from Milwaukee.

    No punches were reported to have been thrown in the dispute, which quickly was mediated by teammate Albert Pujols.

    “It was a long hot day,” said La Russa, referencing the conditions for Wednesday’s 10-5 loss at Milwaukee. “And when you talk about a long, hot day, there’s frustration. But there wasn’t anything. They hugged each other. They’re friends.

    “It’s just one of those things that happens. It’s a long trip. There was no fight. They just got into an argument a little bit.”

    Laird, who played for the suspended Molina and went hitless in four at-bats Thursday, said: “It was just a disagreement. Long day. It’s a long year. When you spend a lot of time with these guys, obviously you’re going to have disagreements.

    “Two guys disagreeing about something and that’s about it. We’re friends. We get along real well.”

    • The Baseball Idiot - Aug 5, 2011 at 12:19 PM

      That can’t be right. If that is correct, that means there is no controversy, nothing for everyone to pontificate about, and no way for people to hate on the Cardinals or LaRussa.

      I demand you stop spreading common sense and start rumor-monging along with everyone else!!!!!

      We can’t have everyday reality interfere with our superior knowledge of everything that happens behind closed doors.

  11. 24missed - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Wow. I knew nothing about this Laird guy and just checked him out on the ‘net. He’s been arrested for assault and he’s done all sorts of other naughty stuff that I can’t remember. I’m not going to check up on Molina, ’cause I’d love to have at least one Molina brothers on our team.

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