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Yadier Molina Doesn't Hate St. Louis Cardinals After All, Confirms Manager

For a while things in the St. Louis Cardinals' newly Pujols-less world seemed pretty calm, but Yadier Molina's comments ahead of Spring Training—it's a business, he's sad Albert Pujols is gone, the Cardinals will do what the Cardinals will do, et cetera—riled things up enough that new manager Mike Matheny had to perform his first bit of damage control over the weekend. Speaking to Joe Strauss, who wrote the original Molina story, Matheny reminded Cardinals fans that, for one thing, Molina was already at Roger Dean Stadium.

He also suggests there's no connection between Molina's decision to skip the Winter Warm-Up and his angst over Pujols's exit, which I'm willing to buy—that always seemed more like a weird fan inference than a real possibility.

So: The Cardinals aren't likely to get a hometown discount from Molina, but it was probably foolish to expect one in the first place; in the meantime, it makes sense anyway to wait and see what he'll do in his contract year, considering how over his head he appeared to play on offense in 2011.