August 03, 2011
After he disagreed with a strike three call in the 10th inning Tuesday night, Molina turned toward Drake and the two appeared to make contact three times. Molina said Drake made first contact, though the video doesn't prove that.
Molina also appeared to spit in Drake's direction as he raged against his umpiring performance.
Related: Announcers react to Molina incident
The spitting appeared to be unintentional — the "say it, don't spray it" kind, rather than the Roberto Alomar kind, and it will matter once Molina gets punished.
Molina told reporters he would never intentionally spit on an umpire and thought perhaps he projected sweat onto Drake, who twice genuflected and wiped his face. Drake declined to speak with a pool reporter, so we don't have his side.
Regardless, disciplinarians at Major League Baseball almost always hand down suspensions when contact with umpires happens, be it bodily or fluidly. Best guess: Molina gets a week. If MLB is lenient, five games. If they're tough, 10.
Hopefully, they're tough and he gets 10. Even if Molina was right to be set off by a poor call by Drake and even if Drake made first contact and even if Molina's spit was unintentional, he looked like a crazy fool out there and was way over the line when it comes to arguing balls and strikes. In extra innings, with a tie score, the catcher is the last person who should be setting off fireworks.
It was an ugly way to end — or nearly end — an 8-7 victory for the Cardinals in 11 innings against the Brewers in a supercharged atmosphere at Miller Park.
The Cardinals won the game, but losing Molina to a suspension would be a bigger blow in their race to claim the NL Central title.
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