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Cardinals nix response to the Brewers’ humorous political attack ad against Yadier Molina

Jun 18, 2014, 7:49 PM EDT

molina matheny getty Getty Images

The Brewers released a political attack ad spoof Tuesday against Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina as part of a campaign to get Jonathan Lucroy more votes for the National League All-Star team. You can probably guess how that went over in St. Louis.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny addressed the video Wednesday with reporters and Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gathered some quotes:

“I saw it and, you know, it caught me a little by surprise,” Matheny said. “I get that a lot of it was trying to be maybe tongue in cheek a little bit, but … it caught me by surprise. I think you have to take it in the nature that it was meant, and it was … obviously geared toward their fan base. It’s just amazing that it was that much directed at our organization. I think that caught me off guard the most.”

Jim Hayes, a reporter for the Cardinals’ regional television network FOX Sports Midwest, said Wednesday morning on a St. Louis radio show that a rebuttal to the attack ad was in the works featuring “sound from Cardinals players,” but Jenifer Langosch of reports that the club requested they nix the idea.

This should only grow the reputation that the Cardinals and their fans take themselves far too seriously.

Winning is important — and the Cards win a whole lot — but this is pro baseball, not moral jousting.

  1. beefytrout - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    “a lot of it was trying to be maybe tongue in cheek a little bit”

    No, you schmendrick, the entire f***ing thing was meant to be tongue in cheek. Sorry that a few references to your team were so “amazing” that they “caught you off guard.” A lot of other fan bases can laugh about stuff like this. Not yours, though, apparently.

    • paperlions - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:01 PM

      Oh, good, I was worried that no one would take one person’s comments and use it to generalize about an entire organization and fan base. Thanks for stepping up to the plate.

      EVERY organization and fan base has some members that take themselves too seriously.

      • cur'68 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:11 PM

        Except the Beaver Worshiper fanbase. We never take ourselves seriously. Its the seal blubber keeping us loose.

      • beefytrout - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:37 PM

        except that *every* cardinals fan I’ve encountered is the exact same way. every. single. one.

      • paperlions - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:13 PM

        Don’t be an idiot. The Cardinal fan base is as varied in personality and opinion as any other base.

      • beefytrout - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:55 PM

        well, when MY personal experiences reflect that, I’ll stop being an idiot.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      This Cardinals fan immediately forwarded the video to all of his Redlegs loving buddies so they could ALSO get a laugh. I know this hurts your previous narrative. But it’s the truth!

  2. kcroyal - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    “Get a brain morans!”

    – Cardinals fans.

  3. paperlions - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    A couple points.

    Yes, Matheny obviously takes himself and the organization too seriously. If you can’t understand that it was a harmless tongue-in-cheek ad, then you have some issues. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you don’t have a sense of humor. I have see no evidence whatsoever that Matheny has a sense of humor.

    Nonetheless, nixing the response was a good idea. There is really nothing to be gained by it. The Brewers were the clever ones. Just appreciate the ad for what it was and move on….a response would come off like a cheap imitation, which is exactly what it would be.

    • padraighansen - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      Well said.

    • bfunk1978 - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      I didn’t really think about it like that, but you’re absolutely right. The only way to improve anything now is to hop in my hot tub time machine and brief Matheny to explain that *this* is why there wouldn’t be a response.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:29 AM

      I disagree. We’ve all seen enough political ads to know that they’re ripe for spoofing. There’s plenty of room for a clever, funny response.

      “The Brewers want you to vote for Matt LeCroy instead of Yadier Molina. But did you know that Matt LeCroy didn’t even play for the Brewers until 2014? What is Matt LeCroy hiding? Maybe he doesn’t want you to know his long history of playing for the [pause] AMERICAN LEAGUE Twins. [Slow motion image of LeCroy swinging and missing.] Don’t be fooled. Vote for Yadi.”

      • 18thstreet - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        Next ad:

        Who is the real Jonathan LeCroy? Is he a 28-year old catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, or is he actually MATT LeCroy, a 38-year old retiree who mostly played for the MINNESOTA TWINS? We can’t be sure. Don’t take chances with your ballot. Vote for Yadier Molina.

      • paperlions - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:37 AM

        Oh, I think the spoofing could be great, but the spoofing was the Brewer’s idea…..responding based on their idea would make it feel unoriginal (because it would be).

      • 18thstreet - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:54 AM

        Oh, everything is stolen now a days. The fax machine is nothing more than a waffle iron with a phone attached. — Grampa Matheny I mean Simpson

      • paperlions - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:59 AM

        Don’t you denigrate my waffle iron!

      • gostlcards5 - Jun 19, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        Well done.

  4. okwhitefalcon - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    So not putting together a clichéd rebuttal attack ad is “taking themselves too seriously” and “moral jousting”?

    I’m a card carrying member of the BFIB and am quite happy the organization chose not to play along.

    There wasn’t any way they could top the hilarity of the Lucroy bit without it being perceived as reactionary or overtly douchey.

    Call me old fashioned but I prefer the good ‘ol days of Chris Carpenter drilling Nyjer Morgan, but I suppose that’s “so 3 years ago”…

    • padraighansen - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      Actually, both Carpenter and Morgan were a little douchey. And add in Motte drilling Braun….

      ….but the fact remains that the Cards are still who everyone is chasing and hoping to emulate. Not only are they contenders every year, they also have one of the best farm systems, are consistently sold out, etc.

      The Brewers’ spot was brilliant. Give them their due. But the Cards are still the hump they have to get over….give the Cards their due.

  5. moogro - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    “They need to play the PR game the right way.”

    • sabatimus - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      Perhaps the Cards need to throw a billboard at Braun’s rear end…sorry wrong team 😉

  6. fearlessleader - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    “You can probably guess how that went over in St. Louis” — this is unscientific, but so far, among the many Cardinal fans in my life, the response has been about 95% “Oh, that’s actually kind of funny” and 5% “Whatever.” I think most of us are more concerned about the Cards’ offense than about the Brewers’ All-Star ads.

    • okwhitefalcon - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:46 PM

      I think the reaction by the usual suspects (insert writer/blogger here) to the lack of reaction from the Cards organization is even more funny (and predictable) than the ad itself.

      It’s like some hipster in a coffee house making fun of some dude in a suit, but ya know – less ironic.

    • paperlions - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:15 PM

      You must be lying. Beefytrout says we are all the exact same and that we take everything seriously….like little Matheny clones.

      • CyclePower - Jun 19, 2014 at 10:34 AM

        No, not every STL fan is exactly the same. That would be silly. But I’ve read disproportionate number of comments by STL fans lauding how their beloved Cardinals play the game the “right” way and act, as if it’s some sort of unwritten moral code, “like they’ve been there before,” that I can make an accurate generalization about their anal puckering self-righteousness.

        Sit down, Matheny clone.

    • uwsptke - Jun 19, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      Check out @BestFansStLouis on Twitter. Quite a few profane responses from Cards fans aimed directly at Lucroy, predictably calling the ad “unclassy”. The irony was completely lost on them.

      • fearlessleader - Jun 19, 2014 at 11:15 AM

        I’m shocked that a Twitter account that exists solely to find and mock crappy Cardinal fans would have found crappy Cardinal fans to mock!

        Look, I’m not going to go all #NotAllCardsFans on you, but this is getting silly.

  7. jrod2go - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    I know the ASG is supposed to be this great honor but every year, as a Cards fan, I consider not voting for our players just so they can get some extra rest. If Lucroy wants to go out and help the NL win home field I’m all for it.

    • kcroyal - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:43 PM

      Yeah because the ASG is freaking exhausting!

      • 18thstreet - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:38 AM

        The thing is, the players seem to prefer having a few days off.

  8. tmc602014 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    It’s not that the Cards take themselves too seriously. It’s not organizational hubris. It’s this: Lucroy, without the lengthy creds of Molina, is nevertheless having a much better year, and there is simply no response that would make any sense.

    • paperlions - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      Well, you could say, “Sure, Lucroy has had a great 2 months, but the ASG is not the all-first-2-months game, it is the ASG, and Molina is a star that fans want to see.”…but that wouldn’t be funny.

      The ironic thing is that people love to say the Cardinals whine all the time (thus the baby crying in the Molina ad), but it is actually the Brewers that have made two commercials whining that their players aren’t getting enough love in the vote.

      • uwsptke - Jun 19, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        But the Cardinal do whine quite a bit, but every team does. The ironic part is having to listen to guys like Chris Carpenter chastise other players for “showing him up” by displaying a little emotion, but Carpenter was one of the worst offenders of his own unwritten rule on the mound. Carpenter saying “how will I explain this to my son?” after the Cards/Reds brawl several years ago lives in perpetuity to show the double standards displayed by this franchise. “How dare you stand there and admire your homerun? Only our players are allowed to do that!” The irony is lost on Cardinal fans who don’t understand why other teams have a problem with them.

        An example. In August of 2011, Brewers reliever Takashi Saito hit Albert Pujols in the left hand on a pitch that sailed inside. The Brewers haven’t gotten into beanball wars since Ned Yost left in 2008. It was a tie game and both teams were fighting for the division title, so nobody thought that pitch was intentional (especially since it loaded the bases with nobody out). Nobody… except for Tony LaRussa. The following inning, Motte throws inside at Braun who has to spin away to miss getting hit. Bill Schroeder says on the air right after that pitch, “That’s typical of the Cardinals, too, right there. The last thing Saito wanted to do was hit Albert Pujols. But this is something the Cardinals will routinely do. Jason Motte going after Braun. That’s a surprise (said sarcastically). They are nothing if not predictable, the Cardinals.” The next pitch from Motte drills Braun. The Brewers TV guys continue on:

        Anderson: “And now they throw at him. And here we go. Everybody at the top rail.”

        Schroeder: “That’s as bush league as it gets. As bush league as it gets. There was no intent in trying to hit Pujols.”

        Anderson: “There is no ejection. I think the crowd thought there was an ejection. He just warned both sides. Now the crew chief Gary Darling is coming over to (Brewers manager) Ron Roenicke, pointing him back. The Cardinals fashion themselves as the keepers of baseball etiquette.

        Schroeder: “Right.”

        Anderson: “But that was uncalled for.”

        Schroeder: “Yeah, take a seat.”

        Anderson: “La Russa will take the ball from Motte.”

        Schroeder: “It’s just bush league, is what it is. Bush league.”

        Anderson: “He missed him the first time. He gets him here.”

        Schroeder: “Now he can take a shower and pay his fine. What have you accomplished? It’s a tie game. Once again they are nothing if not predictable. Complain about everything.”

        Anderson: “But that’s Cardinal baseball. So a new pitcher coming in. La Russa makes the change here.”

        After a commercial break, Anderson said: “It’s getting heated up. These powerhouse rivals, the Brewers and the Cardinals, the two top teams in the division. And Jason Motte left in the game obviously for one purpose. He missed Braun with the first one. And he came back and drilled him with the second one.”

        Schroeder: “Now how he is not getting fined – there was certainly intent in trying to hit Braun. I mean, how can you interpret that any other way?”

        Anderson: “There was no ejection. La Russa makes a change here. . . . The Cardinals have had run-ins with a lot of teams over the years. Earlier this year, there was bean ball incident with the New York Mets that got them riled up.

        A FS Wisconsin camera focused on La Russa in the Cardinals’ dugout.

        Schroeder: “It all starts with the guy in charge. It begins and ends right there.”

        Afterward, La Russa took issue with how Schroeder and Anderson characterized the incident.

        “They should have the guts and the integrity to call the game the way it is, instead of worrying about your paycheck,” La Russa said. LaRussa even went so far as to call Schroeder up the next morning and chastise him for what he said on the air.

      • beersattheballgame - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:02 AM

        @uwsptke So, your illustration of the cardinals whining a lot is giving a pretty one sided version of that game with no context, and using the opposing team’s announcer as your backup evidence?

        To start, if you recall, the Brewers and Cardinals were in quite a heated NL Central race at the time, and the Brewers team was anything but classy and quiet throughout the season. Maybe you remember your old platoon CF N. Morgan? Or Zach Greinke? Lot of smack talk coming from those two over the course of the season directed at Pujols, Carpenter and company. The entire season, Brewers talking trash to St. Louis, Morgan staring down Carp after striking out and throwing his chew at him while he walks away?

        So in this instance, the bitter rival of the season who has done nothing but instigate throws a pitch WAY high and inside on Pujols that nearly wrecks him in the head, but Albert is able to protect his head with his hand quick enough to not get knocked out but gets hit in the hand (not exactly an accidental inside pitch that just happened to graze his hand like you make it out to be). When you throw intentionally at someone you typically do it either behind them to hit them in the back or up and in. As Pujols even said after that pitch, if you throw it inside, you better keep it low otherwise bad things can happen.

        So, a team who has done nothing but try and start something with the Cardinals all season throws up and in almost hitting your best player in the face, you’re probably not going to take it too kindly. I’d assume that in the actual context of the situation and the severity of the pitch thrown towards his face, most managers would throw some chin music right back.

        So, you have a Homer radio announcer ALSO talking trash about the Cardinals (and for the record, I’ve been a fan for QUITE a long time, and that most certainly was not Tony’s thing unless it was warranted, and yes, it’s baseball so people get thrown at), but I don’t really think that’s very good evidence to illustrate your point.

        So go back and watch that pitch again, because I did and I can assure you that you’re mistaken if you think that it was an honest mistake and that tensions were not high. I’m not saying he tried to screw his team over loading the bases, but it was a pretty reckless pitch at a big player during a very heated game…retaliation is going to happen.

        At least it’s better than the whole Ortiz-Price scenario.

    • fearlessleader - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      Tmc602014, you may want to check the defensive stats before you award the “much better year” crown to Lucroy.

      • uwsptke - Jun 19, 2014 at 10:47 AM

        This is a common reaction I’ve seen from Cardinal fans that are simply going off of Molina’s reputation. Molina is a great defensive catcher, but Lucroy is no slouch, either. He’s the best in the game at framing pitches (statistically supported).

        Lucroy leads all catchers in Defensive WAR, and has an OPS that’s over 200 points higher than Molina. So yeah, he’s having a “much better year” than Molina.

      • fearlessleader - Jun 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        Well, actually, it’s an assessment I made after double-checking about twenty different statistical categories. The same defensive WAR rankings that show Lucroy leading all catchers also have Jhonny Peralta as the second best defender in the National League, so I’m inclined to look a bit deeper. :)

        This is not an argument worth devoting much more energy to. They’re both pretty.

      • beersattheballgame - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:17 AM

        @uwsptke well, if by statistically supported you simply mean he has a higher RAA, but I’d go ahead and say that team ERA is a pretty indicative factor in framing pitches as well, where Molina beats Lucroy pretty easily as well. And yes, it is not all the contribution of the catcher, but if we’re talking framing pitches I don’t see how you can overlook team ERA.

        And while defensively they’re fairly comparable this season, one thing Yadi is known for and a lot of people look at is his CS%, it’s astronomically higher than almost everyone else in the game (including your boy lucroy). Offensively Lucroy is definitely having a better season, but at the end of the day people will still vote based off of sustained success and continuity. Yadi isn’t having a bad year really, and is still the best in the game behind the plate defensively (I know, you disagree, big surprise), so he’ll be voted in because he’s done it for years, not just last year and the beginning of this season.

        ESPN had a debate over this and it pretty munch ended with laughter at the idea Lucroy is better. It’s still on their MLB page I think if you look for it!

  9. Bryz - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Ugh, this is so frustrating. All the ad basically said was “Don’t vote for Yadier Molina. Why? His crime against humanity is that he’s a St. Louis Cardinal.” Matheny is definitely taking this too seriously.

  10. jrod2go - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    What’s really “Moranic” is thinking StL and Mil fans can really sway a vote that much.

    First place for one day…man, some entire fan bases just can’t handle a little success.

  11. readtheball - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    I’m a Cards fan and I thought this was clever and funny.
    I hope that Matheny develops more humor down the road but
    I do agree that doing a reply ad would probably be a bad idea
    because of how people like to twist the meaning of things and
    blow it out of proportion just like the writer of this article did.

  12. cohnjusack - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:58 PM


    It’s hard being a Cardinals fan sometimes.

  13. miguelcairo - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    I thought the ad was clever. I honestly didn’t think anyone would take it so seriously. Why the excessive sensitivity?!

    • 18thstreet - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      I think we’ve learned that Matt Matheny is a humorless idiot. When I think of managers that I like on a personal level — Joe Torre and Terry Francona come to mind — I imagine them saying something like, “It’s all in good fun. I hope the fans are having a good time with this one. The All-Star Game is for them. But we know we’ve got a good one right here on our team, even though everyone can see the other player is having a great year. That’s what makes baseball so much fun.”

  14. metalhead65 - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    imagine that matheny and the cardinals whining over something as harmless and funny as that commercial. there is only one way to take it whether you are cardinal fan or not and that is to either laugh or just ignore it but to try and make something out of nothing is the exact reason non cardinal fans hate them.

    • okwhitefalcon - Jun 19, 2014 at 12:29 AM

      The winning consistently and being lauded as one of the best organizations in all of sports has nothing to do with why “non cardinal fans hate them” – nope, not one thing.

      • metalhead65 - Jun 19, 2014 at 1:03 AM

        I did not hate them before st. larussa took over them and created we are so much better than anyone else attitude. that along with his rules like if you throw inside you are trying to hit our guys but we hit you just an accident. up by 8 runs? no problem have to stael that base but don’t do that to us that is showing us up. funny how when they were winning the division every year you never heard them accuse other teams of cheating but win the reds finally started winning in 2010 suddenly their pitchers were cheating or the mound was to high or they scuffing the balls because they could not possibly be the better team. I could go on but your arrogance is the reason I and pretty much everyone I know hate them.

      • CyclePower - Jun 19, 2014 at 7:15 PM

        I’m an LA Laker fan, but I can respect the Spurs for being one of the best organizations in sports. The Cardinals have a great farm system and are successful without having to rely on high priced free agents. They, as well as Oakland, are great models for how small market teams can be successful in a sports league without a true salary cap.

        I just dislike them because of, as you demonstrate so effectively, the gratingly sanctimonious attitude of their players, manager and fans.

        Rooting for your successful local sporting franchise does not make you morally superior.

    • okwhitefalcon - Jun 19, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      Ah meat, still bangin’ the same drum you’ve been bangin’ around here for years I see..

      The inferiority complex that burns inside you stemming from an organization who hasn’t won a post season series in nearly two decades is shining through again, how (for lack of a better term) cute!

      Jealousy is an evil mistress…

  15. andreweac - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Not gritty. Kirk Gibson questions the Cardinals tWtW.

  16. Carl Hancock - Jun 18, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    The All Star Game is stupid enough as it is. Crap like this just elevates it to an even higher level of stupidity. Which is quite impressive given how stupid it already was.

    • CyclePower - Jun 19, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      Lighten up, Francis.

  17. lazlosother - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Thank the heavens that the Yanks had nothing to do with this.

  18. packerbackerg - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    Oh please, c’mon people…lighten up already. It’s all in fun.

  19. nottinghamforest12 - Jun 18, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    Clearly this entire charade was borne out of a not so thinly veiled hub or bigotry. A wealthy, white player from the financial hub of Milwaukee accosting a working class city & their immigrant player. Disgusting.

    • CyclePower - Jun 19, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      And to actively lobby to be part of the ASG is so lacking in manners and etiquette. Clearly, to adhere to the unwritten rule, a player should exhibit an affected sense of nonchalance that is in keeping with “acting like you’ve been there before.”

  20. Old Gator - Jun 19, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    “Yankees suck, daddy.”

    “Yankees suck, sweetheart.”

    Come on Cardinals, extract the pole from up your sphincters. You all look like the Molina ad was issued by Vlad Tepes.

  21. rickwenthe - Jun 19, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    Only one question do you think Derek Jeter earned his way to start the all-game, This is one guy that bleeds Yankee’s pin stripes! He should because he has proven to be one of the greatest players of our time and I hate the Yankees! I think Yadi has earned the same reputation he bleeds Cardinal red! I am sorry that we didn’t raise a stink about a cheater winning the MVP but that is something else. Kinda like the only 2 times you had a chance to be Champion(we kicked your ass) which Yadi has won 2 and been in 4, he throws people out better than any catcher in history 45%! Don’t go after a guy like Yadi he has class knows how to play the game right! This is a guy who is humble and any manager would rather have Yadi behind the plate! 11 yr caught every inning ask anyone the toll catcher takes on your body your guy has a good first half who cares the fans never pick the most deserving, but the pick the guy people say Yadi is a HOF give him his due!

    • CyclePower - Jun 19, 2014 at 7:24 PM

      Then why don’t we just wheel Johnny Bench out there? I mean, after all, the ASG is based on past performances and reputation and not on anything irrelevant like actual performance.

  22. onbucky96 - Jun 19, 2014 at 1:32 AM

    A response will probably be pure right wing talking points from STL. “The Cardinal Way”, tradition, and attack FSW as “The Liberal Media”. God I hate politics. Maybe get Braun in an ad w/Big Mac and Jhonny to talk about PEDs instead…

    • fearlessleader - Jun 19, 2014 at 2:44 AM

      You do realize that St. Louis is heavily Democratic, right? The last time the city elected a Republican mayor was 20 years before the Brewers even existed. Not that that has anything to do with this story in the first place, of course; if you really hate politics, maybe you’d be happier not injecting them where they don’t exist.

  23. perryt200 - Jun 19, 2014 at 2:24 AM

    i don’t really think people that don’t have the opportunity to watch Cardinal games understand the evolution that has really happened.

    when Bob Gibson was pitching the catcher barely made it halfway out and Gibson would send him back to the plate. Gibson owned the mound.

    today when Molina goes out to the mound and an infielder or two joins the group, Yadier tells them all what to do and the best possible response they can have is “yes Sir”. He owns the mound, he owns the pitch selection, he owns the infield positioning and probably the outfield.

    Mozeliak might help select the players, Matheny might help select the song; but Molina is the conductor.

    and he is a conductor that can throw you out at any base, hit better year after year and has been known as the toughest person to strike out on the team.

    in all honesty everyone should be calling him “Future Hall of Famer, Yadier Molina”

  24. realgone2 - Jun 19, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    The whole thing is stupid. Making an ad for your player to get into the ASG is stupid. Letting fans vote for who goes to the ASG is equally as stupid.

  25. jimmyt - Jun 19, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    They’re still playing the all star game?

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