Tag Archive | "New Face"

Molina deal done, Cardinals fans can exhale

A man who wears a mask the majority of the time we see him may have just become the new face of the St. Louis Cardinals franchise.

Yadier Molina, who broke into the big leagues with the Cardinals back in 2004, will keep the bird on the bat logo across his chest through the 2017 season, with an option for 2018, at which time Molina would be 36 years old. The five-year extension is expected to pay the game’s best defensive catcher $75 million dollars, with a $15 million option for a 6th year.

And with that, Cardinals fans, you can drop your guards. You will not have to spend the next 10 months fretting over whether or not another one of St. Louis’ baseball icons will leave the team at the altar.

In the wake of Albert Pujols’ abrupt move to the Los Angeles Angels, Cardinals general manager, John Mozeliak, insists he didn’t feel any added pressure to get a deal done for Molina. If he really didn’t, he probably should have. Molina is the single most admired, appreciated, and beloved member of the Cardinals organization right now. Cardinals fans in minor league cities from Palm Beach to Memphis watched him grow up. Fans in St. Louis watched him persevere at the plate, where he started his first season as the Cardinals’ starter in an 0 for 25 slump before eventually breaking through. His confidence at the plate continued to rise, and eventually Molina turned himself from an offensive liability into one of the best hitting catchers in the game today. In 2011, he hit .305 with a career high 14 HRs and 65 RBI.

Along the way, Molina provided Cardinal fans with exhilarating moments, from game-changing pickoff throws to his game-winning home run in the 9th inning of Game 7 in the 2006 NLCS. Molina has been a key part of two World Series Championship teams, and is a four-time Gold Glove.

With Tony La Russa and Albert Pujols out of the picture, this is now Molina’s team. He and Chris Carpenter share the title as longest tenured Cardinal, both joining the team in 2004. But Carpenter is in the twilight of his career, and his current 2-year deal may very well be his last.

So yes, he wears a mask, but Yadi is the new face of the franchise.

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No “Savior” Needed

Happy Birthday Mr. Hosmer

On Monday, October 24, Eric Hosmer turned 22 years old. He looks, acts, and plays like a 10 year veteran, but is still just a kid with only one year under his Major League belt.

Everyone in Kansas City knows who this “kid” is.

He’s the new face of the franchise. He’s the future All-Star. He’s the “savior” for the Kansas City Royals.

The word “savior” gets thrown around in the sports world quite a bit. Lebron James was supposed to be the Cleveland Cavaliers’ “savior.” Tim Tebow is supposed to be the Denver Broncos’ “savior.”

James obviously wasn’t the answer in Cleveland. Despite Tebow’s comeback win this past weekend against the Miami Dolphins, I highly doubt he will be the real answer for any NFL team.

The point is, that the Kansas City Royals don’t need any one guy to fill that type of role. They don’t need one mega superstar to take them to the “holy land.” Guys that can carry a team almost all by themselves only come around once in a lifetime (Michael Jordan).

All they need from Eric Hosmer is for him to play to the best of his abilities. They have enough talent to take the pressure (that builds by the day) off of him. The last thing the Royals need is for a super talented player to get bothered by that type of pressure (although I think Hosmer is level-headed enough to not sink to Adam Dunn status).

So enough with all this “Eric Hosmer: The Kansas City Royals’ Savior” talk. He’s a beast, he’s a stud, everyone knows how good he is. But the Royals are building a team to contend, so every player could wear that title.

One more thing… I saw a tweet this past week that I thought was great. I think it would be fun to hand out a Royals “Tweet of the Week” from here on out, so here it is. It comes from Brian McGannon in Kansas City.

Royals 1b Eric Hosmer joins Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the only players to hit 3 HRs in a World Series game #FutureTweet
@BrianMcGannon
Brian McGannon

Great tweet, Brian.

You can follow him @BrianMcGannon and myself @tbryant824

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Royals Links: Digital Digest Weekend

Photo courtesy of Minda Haas

The off-season is drawing closer and closer to a bitter end and rosters are finally taking shape.

The Royals roster is coming into a complete, yet inexpensive, reality. With a flurry of moves this week they locked up their budding star, resigned a pitcher, signed a new face for the rotation, watched a player retire suddenly, and watched a catcher pick up a different kind of glove. All the while, the team also opened its doors to the blogging community for the Digital Digest.

Here is what is happening around the Royals blogosphere this week:

Old friend Nick Scott introduces the Internet to Dayton Moore via Digital Digest.

Clint takes a look at Wil Meyers and his move to the outfield with some added video material over at 14 for 77.

Austin over at Kings Of Kauffman wonders if this might be the worst team ever for the KC Royals.

Normally I link straight to an article, but give a read to the last few articles from talented photographer Minda Haas over at her site.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.

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