CINCINNATI, OH – APRIL 1: Yadier Molina # 4 of the St. Louis Cardinals ties up with a ball resulting in a field fault allowing two runs to score in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds on opening day at Great American Ball Park April 1, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau / Getty Images)
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Some things never change. As long as Yadier Molina is a catcher of the St. Louis Cardinals, he will be booed in Cincinnati.
It may have happened 11 years ago, but Cincinnati fans still won’t forget the 2010 St. Louis Cardinals-Reds brawl.
The brawl began on the home plate between Yadier Molina and Reds’ second baseman Brandon Phillips. After Molina and Phillips joined, the rest of the players on the two teams quickly joined.
We all know how it ended with the tragic concussion that ended the career of cardinal catcher Jason LaRue. 11 years is a long time, but almost every time Molina has been served in Cincinnati since then, the boos have rained down on him. The best event was probably in the 2015 All-Star Game, but it’s certainly something he expected.
Yadier Molina’s first blow with the Boos Choir in Cincinnati – welcome back fans! – comes with loaded bases. # opening day #stlcards #Reds
– Derrick S. Goold (@dgoold) April 1, 2021
I’m not sure how I usually feel when Cardinals players are booed, but there is something sweet, something familiar about Molina getting booed on Thursday opening day. 2020 was a short season with cardboard clippings and noise in the crowd dominating the baseball game experience.
Watching the games with the stadiums empty and the spectators motionless was better than watching nothing, but it was different and definitely made the games feel hollow.
Now, in front of around 12,000 fans on a 39-degree afternoon in Cincinnati, fans were back and attending. Spring training was a taste of what it would feel like to get the fans back in the stands, but it was nothing compared to the joy that was almost palpable during Thursday’s game.
It was the little things like Yadier Molina that got booed that, in my opinion, were missed more in 2020 than most thought. Fans may not have realized the importance of these little things, but now it’s easy to tell they did.