Yadier Molina’s ejection is a Bad Look

It doesn’t look good when your star catcher gets ejected from a basketball game when he is supposed to be rehabbing his knee. Here’s why Yadier Molina’s ejection is a bad look.

Yaider Molina’s ejection made the wrong kind of headlines, when this happened the other day.

What led to Yadier Molina’s ejection?

While Yadier Molina is recovering from injury, he decided to go back to his native Puerto Rico to do his rehab work there. He also happens to own a professional basketball team there, and was attending one of their games. It seems like he saw something he didn’t agree with and lost his cool, and an ejection quickly followed. As a result of Yadier Molina’s ejection, he has since apologized for his behavior.

The Cardinals Are Hurting Without Their Catcher

Molina has been out with knee inflammation since the middle of June. Since then, the Cardinals have struggled to replace him. Andrew Knizner, Ivan Herrera, and Austin Romine have not been up to snuff. Offensively, they have been below average to dismal. That is a drop-off from Molina’s steady, but unspectacular batting. That drop is compounded by the fact that none of them are anywhere near the defensive x-factor that the veteran Molina is. This is coming at a time where the Cardinals have been treading water just to stay within striking distance of a sputtering Brewers club for the NL Central crown.

Not a Good Look Right Now

The optics of Yadier Molina’s ejection could not look much worse right now. Just the fact that Molina is not in one of the fifty states is likely to infuriate fans. However, legends like him are rare exceptions and can get a pass here. That pass gets a lot harder to accept when videos like the one above come out.

Also, this feels like a last hurrah for the Redbirds, with Molina, Adam Wainwright, and Albert Pujols likely hanging it up after this year. Seeing a crucial player that fans are hoping to get back doing anything other than rehabbing is going to be frustrating. The only news that fans want to hear right now is when he is coming back. They don’t want to hear about him being the Mark Cuban of the Puerto Rican NBA.

Albert Pujols Last Home Run Derby Didn’t Disappoint

Last night’s MLB Home Run Derby was a celebration of one the greatest hitters of the 21st century and Albert Pujols, aka ‘The Machine’ gave fans a show.

Albert Pujols at the 2022 MLB Home Run Derby
Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A Valiant Effort

Nobody thought Albert Pujols was going to make it past the first round of the Home Run Derby. Heck, even Pujols himself thought he was done when he gave away his batting gloves after putting up 13 on his turn. Also, he was going up against the NL’s home run leader in Kyle Schwarber. Things looked bleak. Then suddenly, the two wound up in a ‘swing off,’ and the rest is history.

Almost Too Perfect

After Pujols dispatched Schwarber, that looked like the end of it, since he appeared to be heading into a buzz saw in Juan Soto. Then, Soto struggled in the first 45 seconds. At this point, I think this is when folks like myself started thinking, “could he actually win this thing?” Then Soto heated up, got the bonus time, and shattered any hopes of a storybook moment. But that is okay. We didn’t need that.

It Was Still Perfect

Albert Pujols was never going to win the Home Run Derby. The Derby is a young man’s competition. Power is rewarded with a 30 second bonus, which basically means you’re screwed if you don’t get it. Despite being at a colossal disadvantage, Pujols was able to stay competitive with one of the best swings the game has ever seen.

If he were to have actually won the whole thing, it would’ve been too good to be true. It would’ve felt fake. Last night, when Soto was slow out of the gate, a friend of mine actually texted me that he thought it was rigged. Albert Pujols didn’t win, but he was respectable, and he demonstrated what made him great. That’s all most fans wanted anyhow.

Giving up Tyrese Maxey is Not Worth Sixers Getting Kevin Durant

With trade rumors swirling around Kevin Durant, the Sixers could be in position to add another star, but at what cost?

KD to Philly is a Possibility

Here is what we know so far about the Kevin Durant situation. First, we know that Durant has officially requested a trade. While he could be interested in Philly, it is not his top choice. The Sixers, of course, have interest in Durant as well. We all know GM Daryl Morey loves stars, and who wouldn’t want to add KD?

What Would it Take?

One thing that helps is that Durant  does not have a no trade clause. However,  any team that makes the trade will still have to makes sure that he is on board first. Therefore, the trade would mostly come down to who can offer Brooklyn the most enticing package. While this levels the playing field for the Sixers versus Durant’s slightly more preferred teams, it also means that they will have to cough up a king’s ransom.

Any trade for Durant will likely cost at least three quality players and several draft picks. Just to offset salary, any trade will have to involve Tobias Harris, but it will take much more than that. The Sixers do have some other solid, but expendable assets that they could throw in such as Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton. These three, plus a handful of picks could add up to sufficient value on paper. The trade machine likes it, saying that it would actually favor the Nets. However, there are several hurdles here. First this would require sign-and-trades for both Thybulle and Milton. Secondly and most importantly, that type of return for one of the all-time would be a tough pill for Brooklyn to swallow. As this trade would more or less signal a rebuild, the Nets would likely insist on getting a young star that they can build around. The Sixers have one player that fits the bill: Tyrese Maxey.

Trading Maxey Would be a Mistake

I get that the idea of adding KD is enticing. Of course it is. This is Kevin freaking Durant we’re talking about here. Nevertheless, we have to remember that he is 34 now. While he is still playing at an elite level, his best years are pretty much behind him.

At just 21 years old, Maxey is 13 YEARS(?!) younger than him. He will not reach the age that Durant is now until 2035. He has his entire career ahead of him. After what we saw this season, that future looks extremely bright.

Maxey looks poised to become at least a top 20 player in the NBA as soon as this year, and his ceiling has never looked higher. While Durant is probably still a top five player right now, he’s isn’t going to get any better. In three to five years from now, Maxey could very well be the better player. Again, in five years Maxey will only be 26 while Durant will be 39.

Bottom Line

The main argument for giving up everything, including Maxey, to get KD is that Philly’s championship window is right now. Joel Embiid’s body is not likely to hold up for a very long time. Still, Maxey could give the organization something to build around for the next 10 to 15 years. And the Sixers are pretty good with him right now. Say they do give up everything to get Durant. Now they have a chance to win a title or two in the next three years, if, and this a big if, both Embiid and Durant can stay healthy. That is a hefty gamble to bet your entire future on.

Was Tommy Edman Snubbed From the 2022 MLB All-Star Game?

MLB just released its finalists for the 2022 All-Star game. Somewhat surprisingly, Cardinals infielder, Tommy Edman, was nowhere to be found.

Edman’s All-Star Case

The case for Tommy Edman attending the midsummer classic is undeniable. A quick trip to Baseball Reference affirms that. Edman leads NL position players in overall WAR, defensive WAR, and runs scored. He’s also top-ten in almost every other major statistical category. Not only is his All-Star case ironclad, but you could argue that Edman is a dark-horse candidate for MVP.

How Did he Get Missed?

First of all, having fan voting be such a big part of determining All-Star rosters is just asinine. If a player isn’t a household name, like Edman, they’re essentially out of luck from the get-go. Fan voting is also a big reason why you typically see four or five players from the same team make it.

Another thing hurting Edman is the fact that he is overshadowed by two other Cardinals stars. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are much more recognizable names and are both having MVP-caliber seasons in their own right. They have dominated most of the headlines despite Edman quietly playing just about as well.

Perhaps the biggest thing hurting Edman is that voters may not know what position to put him at. While traditionally a second baseman (won a gold glove there in 2021), Edman has spent almost half of this season at shortstop. This is due to both the struggles of Paul DeJong, and the emergence of rookie Nolan Gorman. Essentially, Edman is being punished for being able to play two positions at a very high level.

Still a Chance

Edman could still make the All-Star game as a reserve via the “player ballot.” You would think he would have the respect of his peers at this point, despite not getting it from the fans. Still, the fact that he has to hope he can backdoor his way into getting selected is criminal and a sign that this process is in dire need of change.

Trade Grade: De’Anthony Melton to Sixers

The Trade

The terms of the trade are: Philadelphia 76ers receive De’Anthony Melton

Memphis Grizzlies receive: 23rd overall pick, Danny Green

Analysis

Philadelphia essentially gave up their first round pick to trade in Green for a younger, healthier shooting guard. That is not a bad price to pay given that late first round picks typically do not have a ton of value. Also, Green just turned 35 and is coming off an ACL injury. He likely wouldn’t return until late in the season and even then it’s impossible to tell what he will look like at that point. Swapping him out for Melton is the responsible thing to do for a team with championship aspirations. Also, the offensive production shouldn’t change at all. Both Green and Melton had almost identical field goal and three point percentages this past season. Defensively, there isn’t much of a difference either. On top of that, Melton will be almost two million dollars cheaper this year.

Grade

Sixers: A

Grizzlies: B-

This was a home run for Philly without question. Even if Melton leaves after this season, it’s not like the Sixers gave up much in this trade. If he has a breakout season, then they get the first crack at signing him. For the Grizzlies, this trade largely hinges on what their draft pick (Colorado State forward David Roddy) brings to the table. Green should get a bunch of open looks playing with Ja Morant, so that’s a solid fit. For now, they get an above average grade.