St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, right, is held back by Arizona Diamondbacks' Daniel Descalso while yelling at Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 8, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Rob
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, right, throws off his mask as he argues with Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo during an altercation in the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 8, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, left, argues with umpire Mike Winters after he was ejected during the second inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, April 8, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
ST. LOUIS (AP) - In the aftermath of the fracas of Sunday's series finale with Arizona, the Cardinals do not expect any MLB repercussions for catcher Yadier Molina.
During the second inning of Sunday's contest, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo took issue, apparently, with calls by home plate umpire Tim Timmons. His outburst notably came after Molina successfully framed a borderline pitch to get a called third strike on A.J. Pollock.
Lovullo began yelling and, at one point, called Molina a profane word. This set off a bench-clearing confrontation in which the eight-time Gold Glove winner went after the Arizona skipper, with Timmons being jostled around as he stepped in between the two.
"I think any time someone says something like that about you, a normal person reacts," Cardinals general manager Mike Girsch said Monday. "There may have been an intermediate reaction that could have kept things calmer, but I don’t blame Yadi for getting involved."
Lovullo was ejected but Molina was not, and after the game the catcher didn't express any regrets about how the situation unfolded.
"He called me a [expletive] twice," he said to Fox Sports Midwest after the game, adding, in essence that those were fighting words. "You can't talk to a player like that. Or an umpire. You've got to be professional."
Lovullo, for his part, told reporters after the game that he had the utmost respect for Molina, and regretted his choice of words. Additionally, longtime Cardinals coach Dave McKay, now with the Diamondbacks, came over after the game to smooth things out with Molina, with whom he has a long relationship.
"I think that relationship makes it a little different than if there was a team we had no connection to," Girsch said. "In some way, Yadi had his opportunity to better understand what happened."
But questions lingered as to whether the Cardinal backstop could face punishment from Major League Baseball, because he made clear contact with Timmons during the altercation. Usually, making physical contact with an umpire is harshly punished, but Timmons made clear in his statement to a pool reporter Sunday he viewed the contact as incidental, and not something that required further action by the league. The Cardinals agree, and have not heard anything from league officials as of 24 hours later.
"Not for us to decide, but the fact the umpire didn’t kick Yadi out of the game, meant the umpire did not feel he had crossed any line. I assume MLB will interpret it the same way," Girsch said. "I don’t expect a suspension or anything."