Before 2009: Jose Molina played 16 professional seasons before 2009. You don’t care what he did in them, right? Either that, or you know already. Came up with the Cubs, spent six and a half seasons with the Angels and won a World Series, came to the Yankees in 2007, etc.
2009: Molina entered the season as the clear backup to Jorge Posada…he exited it having had one of his worst years in the big leagues, but he also ended up with his second World Series ring. Somewhere inbetween, he injured his quad and was scheduled for a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton in early July. He played in two games with Scranton before their field turned into a quagmire (giggidy!) and he was re-routed to Trenton for the final three games of his five-game minor league stint.
Said rehab assignment entailed a riveting 0-for-7 line over the course of three games, complete with two walks and four strikeouts. He didn’t look ready for a big league return, and he certainly wasn’t running like a guy ready to play in the big leagues…but he left and never looked back.
After 2009: Molina talked when he said he was going to talk, and that was about the extent of it…he wasn’t willing to do pre-game interviews, which was a bit surprising. Not surprising was that nobody from the New York media came down to cover the three-game stay at Waterfront Park, as Molina is hardly a big name. He wasn’t bad to deal with, just wasn’t the most accomodating, either.
The emergence of Francisco Cervelli, combined with another off year at the plate for Molina, led to Molina’s contract not being renewed for the 2010 season. Instead, he had to scramble to find a job this February, catching on with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com