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UPDATE: Yadier Molina day-to-day after home-plate collision

Aug 28, 2012, 10:22 PM EDT

Yadier Molina AP AP

UPDATE: Good news for the Cardinals. Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Molina checked out OK following a SCAT II concussion test and X-rays.

8:55 PM: Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Molina left with an back/neck/shoulder strain. The important thing to note here is that there was no mention of a concussion. He’s considered day-to-day as of now.

8:14 PM: Scary moment tonight in Pittsburgh, as Yadier Molina was involved in a violent collision at home plate with Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison in the bottom of the second inning.

You can watch video of the play here.

The collision occurred as Harrison was attempting to score on a single to right field by Jose Tabata. Molina got leveled in the head by Harrison’s shoulder, but he amazingly held onto the ball for the final out of the inning. He was helped off the field and appeared a bit woozy in the dugout before walking back to the clubhouse. Tony Cruz replaced him behind the plate to begin the third inning.

The obvious concern here is that Molina may have suffered a concussion, but we should know more after he undergoes tests.

  1. skerney - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    But according to the official MLB twitter feed it’s ok, “because he’s a man.”

  2. offseasonblues - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Hope he’s OK.
    I think in the NHL a play like that would get you called to the principal’s office.

  3. paperlions - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    That is just bad baseball (though not as bad as the Scott Cousins play last year). There is no rule in baseball that allows a player to purposely knock the ball out of a players glove and be called safe…it would be nice if the umpires started enforcing the rules. Harrison would have had a better chance to score if he tried to touch the plate or at least hit Molina’s glove….forearms and shoulders to the head of a guy that doesn’t have a chance to protect himself is just dangerous, cheap, and unnecessary.

    • Jonny 5 - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:58 PM

      While I wholeheartedly agree, I must mention that Molina did not hesitate to level Ruiz this season on the same play. He was also out and might have snuck a tag in and been safe had he tried because it was that close. Molina has been on my Sh!t list since. I’m sure Molina will state it was a good play. I still agree with you that trying to destroy a tag out by dislodging the ball is bad baseball.

      • paperlions - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:01 PM

        Now that you mention it, I do remember that play and thinking poorly of Yadi for doing it….it is always a cheap play. Of course, Yadi’s max speed is approximately 3 mph….still, running over a catcher is bad baseball.

      • paperlions - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:12 AM

        Fun fact:

        After Molina ran over Ruiz, the next time Philly played StL (which wasn’t for over a month). Molina was hit by a pitch. The next game, Molina was again hit by a pitch. It was only a 2 game series.

  4. randygnyc - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Paper, more importantly, there is NO rule in baseball saying that plowing into the catcher is prohibited. In fact, I think if a catcher is blocking the plate, the rules expressly allow going through or around. Rough collision, but clean as far as I’m concerned.

    • hittfamily - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:47 PM

      Baseball is the only sport in the world that ignores and promotes it’s most dangerous play. Football has outlawed a dozen plays. Soccer has outlawed slide tackles. Basketball has outlawed flagrant fouls. Hockey has outlawed many types of checks. Baseball looks the other way while this play takes out 20% of the starting catchers every year.

      $20 says this is the most replayed of the night on MLB’s own network.

      • rooney24 - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:52 PM

        20%?? I won’t argue your main point, but where are you getting 20% from? That would be six catchers knocked out on this play EVERY year, according to you. When you make up absurd numbers you undermine your argument.

      • hittfamily - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:57 PM

        Look dickhead, a simple google search should prevent you from calling reasonable arguements absurd.

        1) April 23- Jason Castro misses game after brutal collision with Matt Gamel (could have been horrible) http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/1080796/collision-final.gif

        2)Josh Thole went on the 7 day concussion disabled list after a home plate collision with Ty Willingham http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-05-08/news/31630291_1_josh-thole-collision-mets

        3) May 14 – Sandy Leon, making his Major League Debut, suffered a sprained ankle after a collision with Chase Headley. http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120514&content_id=31255096&vkey=news_was&c_id=was

        4) June 17th, Joe Mauer had to leave the game after a collision with Rickie Weeks. He missed 4 games. http://www.twincities.com/twins/ci_20924645/joe-mauer-back-twins-lineup-justin-morneau-sits

        5) August 11th-Mike Napoli is placed on the DL because of a lingering knee injury sustained caused by a homeplate collision with Miguel Olivo. http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/2012/08/rangers-put-napoli-on-dl.html/

        6) August 28th – Yadier Molina

        We still have a month to go. Should I make it 25% of starting catchers that are taken out every year?

        Brian McCann was placed on the DL in 2006 because of a homeplate collision. Carlos Santana missed a season because of a home plate collision. Buster Posey was sidelined for a season because of a homeplate collision. Mike Napoli was put on the DL because of a homeplate collision. Any other big names I left out?

      • dondada10 - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:34 PM

        Hell of a post, Hitt

      • thereisaparty - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:34 AM

        “Soccer has outlawed slide tackles”? “Basketball has outlawed flagrant fouls”?

        The first is completely false and the second one makes no sense. In fact, your whole argument makes no sense (and I think that this play neeeds to be outlawed). Most dangerous play is by definition what is allowed within the rules. There are infinite number of other possible plays that would be more dangerous if legal (ex. collision at second or third base).

        And please back up your 20% number with facts.

    • paperlions - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:51 PM

      Actually, if the player does NOT have the ball and if he impedes the runner, it is obstruction and the runner is awarded at least 1 base. There is no provision to run over anyone, but the fielder is obliged to get out of the way if he is not in possession of or in the process of fielding the ball. If a fielder has the ball and the runner makes contact in a way that is designed to dislodge the ball (any motion that is not a natural running motion or an attempt to reach the base) is interference and the runner is out (like the ARod-Arroyo play from years ago. Umpires don’t call it….but there is no scenario in which running over the catcher is allowed….it isn’t even baseball tradition…no runners ever tried to do such things until the 60’s….guys slid into the base because that is what the rules require.

      • hittfamily - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:02 PM

        People say it can’t be done any other way. Like you said, not even Ty Cobb ever went shoulder first into another man’s head. In high school players are required to slide into home. In college players are required to slide into home. These guys have done it their whole life, and know how to slide into home.

      • paperlions - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:10 PM

        I’m not sure what is more annoying…that people will argue about rules without bothering to know them….or that their stance on a rule is contingent on which team they root for.

        Throwing at a batters head without hitting him will get you suspended, throwing your forearms into a catchers face can be just as devastating as getting hit in the helmet with a ball and it gets you nothing.

      • hittfamily - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:39 PM

        I agree 100%. Anyone who argues this is within the rules of baseball doesn’t know the differance between interference and obstruction, and doesn’t know one of them directly applies to this. This is the most bloodthirsty play in all major sports. 1 off balance man retrieving a ball with his back turned to a world class athlete sprinting full speed at him with a 30 yard running start. It will take a brain dead man before baseball outlaws this, and a bled out man before they require sleeves on bats.

      • bigleagues - Aug 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM

        Again, I addressed this on your earlier post, you are mis-construing the rule to fit your argument.

        First of all, let’s make sure we have terms correct, OK? Because just like broadcasters I see people on here confusing the two interchangeably.

        It is obstruction when a fielder, without possession of the ball, impedes a runners clear path to a base.

        It’s interference when a runner or the batter (intentionally or unintentionally) impede the fielder in his attempt to make a play on a ball.

        A fielder cannot obstruct the runners path to a base – if the fielder does not have possession of the ball. This includes, but is not limited to the Catcher – and most notable in plays at the plate.

        Thus, when a Catcher – or ANY fielder covering Home Plate – sets up to block the plate as the runner approaches Home and before the ball arrives, the fielder is making that decision at his own peril.

        The Catcher (or the fielder covering Home) has the choice to block the plate or, say, set-up to the Pitchers Mound side of Home (and not obstruct or ‘block’ Home Plate) catch the ball and attempt to sweep tag the runner before the runner touches home.

        But Catchers CHOOSE to block the plate, because it makes it more difficult for the runner to score. Again, they have a choice. They choose to block the plate. They get knocked out, it’s on them. It’s a hazard of the job.

        You may not like it, but I am yet to hear a convincing argument why it should be outlawed in the same way that, say, blind side hits of a Quarterback or hockey players have been. Sorry, not the same thing. Not even close to as dangerous.

    • baccards - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:52 PM

      Look again at the video – Harrison zeroed in on Molina’s head 2 steps before the collison. Molina was ready to apply a tag down at the plate. A sliding Harrison most likely would have scored
      Not clean – cheap shot.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:07 AM

      Absolutely Randy. In fact, there are a lot of us who were actually taught (from a very young age)…that we had as much right to that plate as the Catcher (should he be blocking it). As a Cardinals fan…Yadi getting hurt stinks. In fact, it’s huge. But it was a clean play. The throw was up the line…Yadier fielded the throw and essentially had time to turn into the runner and that was it.
      A clean baseball play.

  5. randygnyc - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Htitfamily- if they change the rules, then it will have to start with not allowing the catcher to block home plate. They’ll have to stand in front of or behind it. Catchers can’t be allowed to camp out and block the plate without giving a runner equal access to it.

    • paperlions - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:05 PM

      They don’t have to change any rules….just enforce both rules instead of neither one. A catcher is not allowed to block the plate without possession of the ball by rule (just like any other base), but umps don’t call it even though it is obvious obstruction. Similarly, attempting to purposefully dislodge the ball is interference on the runner by rule, but the umps don’t call that either.

    • hittfamily - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:11 PM

      Either enforce the current rules, or employ the same rule they use in college, that the catcher cannot block the plate. This isn’t some new idea. It is literally employed at every other level. Require a tag that doesn’t block the plate, like at every other base.

  6. randygnyc - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    And sure it’ll be the most replayed action but not only because of the collision, but because it was a play at the plate, because he amazingly held on to the ball and because there was an injury involved.

    • hittfamily - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:15 PM

      The reason every fan stands on their feet for a play at the plate and not a play at third is because it is so exciting. The more violent the hit the better for the fans. But at some point baseball has to stop being violence pornographers and outlaw this vicious play that has cost hundreds of catchers their careers.

      • thereisaparty - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:44 AM

        Or it is exciting because of the impact on the game. A run is more important than a guy reaching third. The excitement is tied to the base, not the chance of collision.

  7. jlprati - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    give me a break. he wouldn’t have been safe if he slid like the dumbass said he would b. if he already had the ball as u said he would’ve been out. collisions r baseball.

    • paperlions - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:07 PM

      No, collisions are not baseball.

      • hittfamily - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:30 AM

        Agreed. People who don’t capitalize aren’t legitimate commenters either.

    • thereisaparty - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      Just because collisions currently “r baseball” is not a legitimate reason for why this play’s existence should continue. At one point, you couldve argued that 8-pitch walks “r baseball”

  8. rooney24 - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    If you don’t want collisions and want runners to slide, you can’t allow catchers to block the plate. The runner needs to have at least some chance to get to the plate.

  9. johnnyb1976 - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Harrison is a thug, he plays cheap this isn’t the first time. The Reds hit him with a pitch at least once a series because he’s a cheap player. You know Dusty if he don’t like you his pitchers will throw at you ask Derrick Lowe.

    • Marty - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:30 AM

      A thug? Wow, curb your emotions. Would a proper young man just stop before home and say “awe, hells bells… there’s a guy in front of the plate.”

  10. florida76 - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Gorgeous legal play by Harrison, and a beautiful win as well. For anyone who has actually played the game, this was a classic bang-bang play. Slow motion isn’t how the game is played, folks.

    Molina catches the ball low on the throw, and Harrison must assume in a split second he will be bringing the ball up to tag him in the upper body. Naturally, Harrison must lower his shoulder to try and dislodge the ball as he was sprinting towards the plate. Too bad Molina was injured, but that’s baseball. Had the roles been reversed, I would have not blamed the Cardinals.

    Huge win for the Pirates tonight, who would have believed they are solidly in the playoff race near the end of August?

    • hittfamily - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:36 AM

      “Slow motion isn’t how the game is played, folks.”
      “For anyone who has actually played the game, this was a classic bang-bang play.”
      “Gorgeous legal play by Harrison”

      Do enlighten me please. How is it legal, because when I read the actual rule book and don’t rely on what others have told me, it is illegal. I have also divulged hundreds of times, and HBT regulars know this, that I played D1 ball. I never made it pro, but this was illegal as shit when I was playing. Did you play pro ball, or are you just talking out of your ass?

      • bigleagues - Aug 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM

        I realize you weren’t addressing me with this reply, but I explained why its perfectly legal on the first page of comments in response to paperlions.

      • bigleagues - Aug 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        First page of comments over on the original Mathew Pouliott post from last night that is:

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/08/28/minus-tony-la-russa-cardinals-still-leagues-biggest-dipwads/comment-page-1/#comments

    • bdvlad - Aug 29, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      It’s also important to remember that Harrison is tiny. He’s listed at 5’8″ and 190, and if you see him in person, those numbers might be padded a bit. He wasn’t aiming for the head – that just happens to be how his body lines up with the catcher’s when he leans in, because he’s so short.

      Molina’s got three inches and 35 pounds Harrison by the listed height/weight info, not to mention all the body armor Molina was wearing. This could just as easily have turned out badly for Harrison, if the timing or positioning had been a bit different. I’m glad that Molina’s injury wasn’t as bad as it looked, because it was a hell of a smack. I was about ten rows back from the play as it happened, and I’ve seen NFL tackles that didn’t have that kind of force behind them.

  11. jlprati - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    I’m guessing u don’t watch many pirates games because josh Harrison doesn’t play enough for him to b considered a thug.

  12. Marty - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Thay should draw a chalk line 8 ft behind the plate and make it a force like they do in coed softball, because these aren’t professionals or anything.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:10 AM

      Hahaha! No shit Marty. It’s one of several reasons I don’t play coed softball.

    • thereisaparty - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      Yes the only options are clearly coed softball rules or continue to allow dangerous collisions. Instead of critically-thinking about realistic alternatives, we should make the argument that these players are getting paid and thus in a sport otherwise devoid of contact should be exposed to hits that would make a linebacker blush.

      Baseball is not a static game. The current rules are not perfect. Why do fans accept it as so?

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:22 PM

        Party: Who said baseball is “devoid of contact?” Baseball is very much a contact sport.
        Ever seen someone correctly break up a double play at 2nd?
        Ever see someone get drilled in the back with a 95 MPH dart?
        Ever see someone take out the 3rd Baseman on a close play?
        Ever see someone get bowled over at the plate?
        Ever see an Outfielder violently crash into the wall?
        Ever see an Infielder or Outfielder dive over the wall in foul territory to catch a ball?
        Yeah…no contact in Baseball huh?

      • thereisaparty - Aug 29, 2012 at 4:23 PM

        I believe that the “contact” in “contact sport” refers to repeated physical interaction between players on seperate teams (human-on-human contact). You are really stretching here listing plays that involve just one player. And almost all of these things rarely happen. It isn’t hard to picture a game where contact between players is not made at all.

  13. kozinsky - Aug 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Maybe baseball just needs to ban catchers from blocking the plate for everyones safety.

  14. jlprati - Aug 29, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    if we actually enforce the interference rule instead of letting catchers camp in the baseline without the ball most of these collisions would not occur. I was at the game and Harrison had no where to go. there’s no give up line so he went the shortest distance between two points…. straight

    • kozinsky - Aug 29, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      I agree with that. After watching the replay on here several times, Harrison had no chance of scoring unless he took the shortest route. And molina should have made the tag at the plate rather than, once securing the ball, repositioning himself even more in Harrison’s path. Stupid on his part, and baseball shouldn’t allow that to happen.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        Kozinsky: I don’t buy that you watch the replay several times. If so…you would know that he did NOT intentionally block (or “camp”) in the baseline.
        The throw was a little up the line. He fielded the throw and turned to the runner. Bang. Bang.
        Clean baseball play. Unfortunate for Yadier (and the Cardinals)…but clean.

      • kozinsky - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:40 PM

        Stlouie, if you don’t think that Molina’s intent, even after the throw was a off (debatable), was to not only receive the ball in the best spot to make a tag but also make it so Harrison didn’t have a clear path to the plate, you’re fooling yourself.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 29, 2012 at 3:58 PM

        Please know I hear exactly where you are coming from Kozinsky.
        That isn’t my point of contention. My point of contention is that it was very much a bang bang play. He was not camping out or otherwise blocking the plate out of the ordinary.
        The throw was up the line just a smidge. Yadier fielded the throw and turned to meet the runner. Bang…bang…serious collision. But I also feel he threw a little forearm shiver into him as well.
        But that’s okay. Rarely have I seen a collision at the plate that did not involve the runner giving the catcher a forearm shiver. It was a clean play.
        Again…unfortunate for Yadi (and the Cardinals). But clean nonetheless.

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