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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Antonio Bananas
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Antonio Bananas
3 years 10 months ago

This was a few moments after I heard (and I didn’t hear the whole story so correct me) “he would strike out 3 times in a game just to get a good pitch to hit the game winning home run in the 9th, very smart player”. One of the Cards commentators said that.

Then the Molina play happened, and I saw that it was good.

chuckb
Member
chuckb
3 years 10 months ago

The announcer was talking about George Hendrick, not Yadi.

Mojowo11
Guest
Mojowo11
3 years 10 months ago

Did this to Kemp earlier in the game.

THOU SHALT NOT

Guy
Guest
Guy
3 years 10 months ago

can’t really throw a baseball more perfectly.

Balthazar
Guest
Balthazar
3 years 10 months ago

Agreed. I really like his miniimalist but precise footwork, and how he uses his core strength to shift his weight into the throw which is where the extra velocity comes from. Excellent accuracy of course, but that’s predicated on getting into position to make the mechanically clean throw. Dude’s a stud at his position.

Future manager material?

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
3 years 10 months ago

Well he did call a game-losing bunt the other day, so I think he’s got what it takes.

chuckb
Member
chuckb
3 years 10 months ago

He’s got a great arm but few ever comment on how great his footwork is. In my opinion, without the footwork, he’s not nearly as great. His footwork, both on attempted steals and on blocking pitches, make him elite.

prip
Guest
prip
3 years 10 months ago

No one is going to hire a manager with neck tattoos. Just the way things are.

zipperz
Member
zipperz
3 years 10 months ago

Unreal.

BSally
Guest
BSally
3 years 10 months ago

I’ve watched this about 30 times and it just doesn’t get old. The velocity he gets without having to reach too far back is astounding.

tz
Guest
tz
3 years 10 months ago

Amazing. It looks like the ball shoots out his hand like a laser BEFORE he gets to a typical release point.

Frank
Guest
Frank
3 years 10 months ago

Reasons to steal on Yadier Molina:
1.) “Rickey will steal on whomever he wants to steal on”
2.) There is no number two.

SKob
Guest
3 years 10 months ago

Is anyone else psyched to see Molina / Billy Hamilton showdowns starting in 2013? What are the Vegas odds Molina is responsible for over half of Billy’s CS total?

tbjfan
Guest
tbjfan
3 years 10 months ago

What I can say with certainty: It’s going to be epic.

Matt
Guest
Matt
3 years 10 months ago

baseball porn.

hamjenkinsIII
Member
hamjenkinsIII
3 years 10 months ago

That throw was clocked at 10.1 Jigawatts

GREAT SCOTT!!!

DD
Guest
DD
3 years 10 months ago

you mean 1.21?

Alex Remington
Member
3 years 10 months ago

SLACKER!

Ms1426
Guest
Ms1426
3 years 10 months ago

POP is impressive, even in gif slow-mo

zipperz
Member
zipperz
3 years 10 months ago

I’m not familiar with this acronym?

joser
Guest
joser
3 years 10 months ago

Poetry Of Pickoff. The formula is found in the glossary beneath ebon sweep of a nightjar’s moonlit wing.

Robbie G.
Guest
Robbie G.
3 years 10 months ago

Keep in mind that nearly everybody who is wondering who they should vote for MVP in the NL watched this play tonight and were equally stunned.

Have we ever had two catchers finish 1-2 in the MVP voting in either league? This could be the year in the NL. Buster Posey has the award all but locked up at this point but I can see Yadier Molina getting a few first place votes along with more second place votes than anybody else. Consider what the other candidates have to contend with:

Andrew McCutchen – his team collapsed down the stretch
Ryan Braun – no explanation necessary
David Wright – his team was an also-ran
Michael Bourn – too much of his value is tied up in his defense and baserunning
Jason Heyward – similar to Bourn
Chase Headley – small market team, and a losing team, at that

cowdisciple
Guest
cowdisciple
3 years 10 months ago

Ryan Braun – No explanation necessary

Except that he has .7 WAR on Posey and 1.7 WAR on Molina? I know that WAR isn’t the end-all, and that catcher defense is still largely a mystery, but that’s a lot of gap for defense to make up.

Regardless, this throw is fun to watch… over and over.

Neil
Member
Neil
3 years 10 months ago

I assumed that the “no explanation necessary” refers to PEDs. Unless there’s a massive attitudinal shift, the writers who vote for MVP will probably never allow Braun to win again.

Robbie G.
Guest
Robbie G.
3 years 10 months ago

Right. Braun will be punished by voters for the PED fiasco for the foreseeable future.

SKob
Guest
3 years 10 months ago

To not realize why Braun has no shot at the NL MVP award this year makes you a complete moron. Just sayin.

chuckb
Member
chuckb
3 years 10 months ago

He wasn’t arguing who SHOULD win. He was discussing who might win. Braun, though I agree he deserves it, has no shot whatsoever.

Frank
Guest
Frank
3 years 10 months ago

I’ve always looked at MVP as “Player who would devastate his team most by not being on it.” Giants are carried by their pitching. Cardinals are carried by excellent young core. Pirates were being carried by McCutchen until that all fell apart. Brewers are riding firmly on Braun’s shoulders.

Jon Anderson
Guest
Jon Anderson
3 years 10 months ago

I would say Posey would be the giants “player who would devastate his team most by not being on it.” 2 years of Posey they have won the west, half a season without him and they barely hung on to being over .500. The Giant’s pitching staff is great, but that team is nothing without Buster Posey.

Trotter76
Guest
Trotter76
3 years 10 months ago

And let’s not underestimate the value of Posey TO the pitching staff. He’s definitely been a little (understandably) hesitant to block the plate this year but he’s a top notch receiver and I bet the pitchers would say he’s a big part of their success.

Anon
Guest
Anon
3 years 10 months ago

Cardinals are carried by excellent young core.

Who would this include?

Alex Remington
Member
3 years 10 months ago

I wouldn’t necessarily use the word “hesitant.” Posey was explicitly ordered not to block the plate.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/sf-to-posey-dont-block-plate-twins-to-mauer-do/

Frank
Guest
Frank
3 years 10 months ago

@Anon. You’re correct. I thought Craig, Freese, Jay, and Lynn were all much younger than they are.

Tim Goodwin
Guest
Tim Goodwin
3 years 10 months ago

There is no more valuable player to the Cardinals than Molina. Pupils production has been replaced but there is no replacing Molina. And now he can hit too.

Bob
Guest
Bob
3 years 10 months ago

…and Vin Scully’s marvelously enthusiastic call:

“Molina just threw a blur!”

There are fans, and there are fans. But I don’t think there’s a person alive who just *loves* the game like Vin. Can’t be.

KCDaveInLA
Guest
KCDaveInLA
3 years 10 months ago

My favorite thing about Vin Scully? His only catchphrase: “A very pleasant good evening to you, wherever you may be…” Other than that, the man never repeats himself…EVER. Another great pleasure of listening to him are surprise verbal treats like “He only weighs about 160 pounds, and that’s on Thanksgiving evening.”

ausmax
Guest
ausmax
3 years 10 months ago

I’m gonna be sad when Vin Scully dies. He’s not the only great baseball announcer voice I’ve ever heard, but he’s the last one remaining.

Vit-D
Guest
Vit-D
3 years 10 months ago

I love Vin too, but he repeats himself all the time.

It’s not that he has catchphrases or anything, but there are times that he will repeat anecdotes about particular player 2-3 times a series.

With that said, it will be a sad day when he dies. He is the voice of baseball.

Hans Larson
Guest
Hans Larson
3 years 10 months ago

For as unreal as the throw is, how awful is that tag? It shouldn’t have been close, but he doesn’t lower the glove at all. Almost looks like he *raises* the glove a little when applying the tag.

vivaelpujols
Guest
vivaelpujols
3 years 10 months ago

meet skip schumaker

DD
Guest
DD
3 years 10 months ago

Correct, if he goes headfirst, he’s probably called safe.

joser
Guest
joser
3 years 10 months ago

Or just slides towards the outside edge of the bag, rather than right into the fielder. It’s not obvious from the GIF, but you can see it in the replays here.

The umpire is also in a terrible location to make the call correctly, but so what else is new.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
3 years 10 months ago

Brother Jose is good, too, and a probable free agent.

andys
Guest
andys
3 years 10 months ago

Shouldn’t this be…on…notgraphs?

Dexter Bobo
Guest
Dexter Bobo
3 years 10 months ago

Since this actually deserves to be seen, no.

Brandon
Guest
Brandon
3 years 10 months ago

The Cardinals middle infielders are gonna need first baseman gloves..

olethros
Guest
olethros
3 years 10 months ago

They need those anyway.

LaserVortex
Guest
LaserVortex
3 years 10 months ago

Does anyone have that poptime?

fireal20
Member
fireal20
3 years 10 months ago

Like Pudge in his prime

Omar Little
Guest
Omar Little
3 years 10 months ago

wow, never seen a catcher throw out a baserunner before.

ray
Guest
3 years 10 months ago

yeah, me neither.

Brandon Warne
Member
Member
3 years 10 months ago

Don’t get lost on your way out, guys.

RationalSportsFan
Guest
3 years 10 months ago

Totally agreed. Someone showed me one of Mike Stanton’s almost 500 foot home runs, and I was all like, “Wow, never seen a home run before.” I mean c’mon, I’ve even seen Jamey Carroll hit one!

Omar Little
Guest
Omar Little
3 years 10 months ago

Every day in the majors a catcher makes a perfect throw to nab a runner.
Perfect play by him? Yes Anything rare or special? No

jim
Guest
jim
3 years 10 months ago

omar there’s a forest over there, you just need to look past the trees to see it

joser
Guest
joser
3 years 10 months ago

And every day on FanGraphs, there’s a commenter that Doesn’t Get It. But those folks are, indeed, special.

Chris From Bothell
Guest
Chris From Bothell
3 years 10 months ago

And it took a perfect throw like that to get the runner, at least from this angle… if their slide was a little lower, or their leg didn’t do the hover thing over the bag and was a smidge more in line, the runner would have beaten it anyway. It’s like Yadier knew precisely where he had to throw, to have the infielder’s glove intercept the runner that fraction of a second early.

Scary strong arm from Molina. And he didn’t so much pop up from the crouch as just stand and throw, almost as an afterthought. Good grief.

Mojowo11
Guest
Mojowo11
3 years 10 months ago

Nitpicking — he was out regardless of whether his front foot were up in the air or not. The throw just cut him down, even with a pretty crappy high tag from Schumaker.

Here’s Schumaker tagging Gordon on the arm:

Victorious
Member
Victorious
3 years 10 months ago

btw, since it was not noted, the runner was Dee Gordon, probably one of the fastest guys in all of baseball.

When he took off and Molina threw that laser, I thought in my head, NO F***ing WAY…..

CharlesF
Guest
3 years 10 months ago

Glad you noted the runner, I had to look up the jersey # before I got here.

TX Ball Scout
Guest
TX Ball Scout
3 years 10 months ago

6.4 pop time. That’s awful. Must have been slowest runner ever.

DD
Guest
DD
3 years 10 months ago

It was Dee Gordon. Try Again.

Justin
Guest
Justin
3 years 10 months ago

Hey you win the miss the joke and be a dick about it award!

Ben
Guest
Ben
3 years 10 months ago

You forgot to take the replay off of slow motion.

kjmiles
Member
kjmiles
3 years 10 months ago

Anyone notice that his mask never moved? How do you get that much torque out of your body and the mask doesn’t move? Watch how much his head moves! It seems like every catcher’s mask ends up in a stupid position on his face. Just perfect technique period.

John Ford-Griffindor
Guest
John Ford-Griffindor
3 years 10 months ago

This is only special because of his arm strength. For all of those saying this isn’t special, realize that Molina has perhaps the best arm of any position player. Then realize he did have a very quick release which isn’t spectacular by itself but combined with the arm strength, it is special. Only special compared to other catchers though. I wouldn’t saw it is too spectacular for Molina.

TX Ball Scout
Guest
TX Ball Scout
3 years 10 months ago

You got your hyphen wrong, JFG!

Marver
Guest
Marver
3 years 10 months ago

I’m confused; didn’t Dave tell us catcher defense doesn’t really matter?

joser
Guest
joser
3 years 10 months ago

Yes, you are confused.

David
Guest
David
3 years 10 months ago

That might be the nicest thing that can be said about Mr. Marver’s view of the baseball world.

Marver
Guest
Marver
3 years 10 months ago
indyralph
Member
Member
indyralph
3 years 10 months ago

Direct quote: “Catcher defense is more than just blocking pitches, avoiding errors, and gunning down opposing baserunners. Those might be the only things we’re all that comfortable quantifying today, but good work is being done to further our understanding of the rest of the things catchers do behind the plate.”

From this article: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/is-jesus-montero-more-valuable-at-catcher-or-dh/

lewish
Guest
lewish
3 years 10 months ago

Molina is flat out AWESOME!…footwork, balance, exchange, release, and dialed in howitzer. That said I’m with folks looking at the other end, at second base, and not the baseman, though I realize there are different abilities at getting to position, while the throw is already on the way, making the tag etc…I don’t believe the fielder could have done a whole lot better…I mean Gordon was on top of him as the second baseman secures the ball. He could have gotten the ball at the base rather than out front, which is a skill (I don’t know that there is a metric to measure that?)…but Gordon was sliding inside(read catchers side) the base. His left leg didn’t even touch the base it was his right knee. The base is 17 inches wide, and with the angle of the camera it is hard to say but runners left(catchers side) is at least 6 inches inside the base…he would, if he only hit the outside corner of the base with his left foot gain 2 feet from the tag, and that isn’t looking at the width of the baseline beyond that, or sliding lower(which would be hard to do without sliding head first I’m thinking)…bitch’n gif…baseball’s a great game, there is always room to get just a little better get one more inch…if we want to! Thanks!

Hater
Guest
Hater
3 years 10 months ago

Too bad he was safe

adohaj
Guest
adohaj
3 years 10 months ago

I like how the video is in slow motion but if you look at only his arm it appears the video is sped up

Jimmy Dahmer
Guest
Jimmy Dahmer
3 years 10 months ago

WOW!

äxl
Guest
äxl
3 years 4 months ago

That throw looked faster then the pitcher’s! Love him!

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