Bengie Molina Fights Back

May 17, 2010

I know, I know, I’m slow afoot. I’ve always been slow. I look like a greyhound but run like a turtle. Got it. I’m not the only one though. Just about every catcher ever to play the game is in the same boat. The simple fact is, if we could run, we probably wouldn’t be strapping the gear on in the first place.

Just ask Craig Biggio. He was a catcher, but he could fly. What did they do? They got him the hell out from behind the dish is what they did. Speed is a valuable commodity and never goes in a slump. Anyone who’s been around the game for two seconds knows that if a guy can boogie, he won’t for long if he’s in that crouch all the time. There’s something about that squat that just saps the speed right out of you.

On the other hand, if a guy can’t run, his options are severely limited. Especially if he doesn’t hit bombs or have a canon for an arm. For that guy (me) there’s exactly one option…catch. And so I view it as kind of a blessing. If I could’ve ran, I probably would never have put the gear on. And for me, the gear made (and continues to make) a lot of house payments.

Geez Mayne, get the piano off your back!

That being said, it’s never a whole lot of fun when someone calls you out on your lack of speed. It’s kind of like having big ears or something and people keep making fun of you. You know you’ve got big ears, but do they have to keep pointing it out?

That’s why I really felt for Bengie Molina when ESPN did that stupid Chariots of Fire thing of him rounding third and getting hosed at home. I actually didn’t even watch it, someone told me about it. I refuse to watch. Yeah ESPN, we know Bengie’s slow. He’s a catcher for chrissakes!

I’ll admit this is a sore spot for me so maybe I don’t have the best perspective. But it seems like ESPN has gone a little over the line on this one. Not a lot, but definitely over the line. I’m sure the clip was funny, but going out of their way to make a special segment which makes fun of a player? Why? Isn’t that the arena of Saturday Night Live? It just seems like a cheap shot and not cool for me. Especially not cool for an ex- catcher when they’re making fun of my peoples.

Apparently Bengie didn’t dig it too much either. He eloquently shot back through his MLB blog. Here’s a slice…“Look, you can say I’m the slowest guy in baseball or in all of sports or in the entire world. I don’t take issue with that because I AM the slowest guy. I have always been the slowest guy. I can’t challenge that criticism. But ESPN’s intention was not to criticize but to humiliate.” For his whole article click here.

I loved it. I always liked him before, but I really like him now. Thanks Bengie for articulating (without whining or defending) what it’s like to be chronically one step behind. Till next time, take it slow.

4 Responses to “Bengie Molina Fights Back”

  1. Joe Caronia says:

    Mayner,

    Here is my question to you, when did sports reporters decide that they were stand up comics? I watch in amazement as reporters who are so unathletic make fun of professional athletes. ESPN is bad but they are not the worst. If you watch NBC Sunday night football pre-game show, that is the worst. They are all trying to top each other and it is like watching a bad open mic night. I have also noticed that the reporters who leave the studio the least make the most fun of athletes.

    There are plenty of funny things that happen on the field, show the highlight and I will write my own punchline.

    Looking forward to your next post,

    Joe “Meatball” Caronia

  2. Gerry says:

    Brent,

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not in any way condoning the intentional humilation of anybody by the media. But….Bengie’s listed @ 5′11″ and 230 lbs – maybe if he shed a few pounds, he’d get around the bases a bit faster. Might also help shorten his release time on throws to 2nd too. But that said, ESPN was pretty tacky in their treatment of Bengie’s footspeed – at least he gave it full effort. (Wonder how they’ll treat Mr. Ramirez)

  3. Brent Mayne says:

    Hey Gerry…good point. He is a bit chubby isn’t he? Maybe if he dropped a few he’d move better. Then again, maybe not. I’m the exact opposite of Bengie body wise….super skinny. And if I locked horns with him in a foot race, I honestly don’t know who would win. Maybe if I gained a few I’d create some more momentum?

  4. Bill says:

    I remember that Dunruss card, and also remember winding you up a bit about it. I hope I didn’t piss you off at the time! I’ve always felt that you don’t have to be a GREAT athelete to be a great baseball player. Sure, it doesn’t hurt, but most of the game is played between the ears, and that’s why you’ll always be one of my favorite players aside from the personal relationship. You knew what had to be done before you even stepped on the field. All the best, B

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