I wrote the other day of the rivalry between the Cincinnati Reds and the St.Louis Cardinals. In the article, I mentioned the altercation between #Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. Since the infamous fight, Reds fans have had a vendetta against Molina, as Cardinal fans have had one against Phillips.
I’m here to break the chain. I’m here to admit that I don’t hate Yadier Molina.
I’m supposed to, right? I’m supposed to boo every time he comes to the plate. I do. But that doesn’t mean I hate him. As I mentioned in a previous blog, hate is a great thing in sports. But there’s a difference between hate rivalries and respect rivalries. This is the latter.
Take me to Great American Ball Park and I’ll boo louder than any fan in the stands when Molina steps to the batter’s box. Because it’s fun. Because I want the Reds to defeat him. But not because I hate him, it’s because I respect him.
Yadier is the best catcher in baseball, both offensively and defensively. Argue statistics with me if you’d like, but you can’t deny that pound for pound, he’s the best. Sometimes fans get so wrapped up in one incident, they fail to see the bigger picture. And there’s a bigger picture here.
We’re all Reds fan, but if you take a step back, you’ll realize it’s big bigger than that. We’re Reds fans because we’re baseball fans. Being a baseball fan requires you to have an appreciation for the game itself, and all who play. I admire greatness, and I see greatness in Yadier Molina.
I’ll always boo him. That’ll never change. But I’m not going to be in denial. If the Reds got a chance to snatch him, I’d be the first on board. He’s a great player and one we should all appreciate. He may be the symbol of the team I dislike the most, but that doesn’t mean I hate him. Far from it.