Molina's ejection surprises La Russa
Backstop has built good working relationships with umpires
ST. LOUIS -- Less than 24 hours after Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and manager Tony La Russa were thrown out of Monday night's 8-3 loss to the Brewers, the skipper was still surprised with home-plate umpire Paul Schrieber's decision to toss Molina after one warning.
"He [Molina] has established a reputation as a player that umpires like to work with, and he's not confrontational," La Russa said. "He got warned once, second time he got thrown out. That's unusual for a guy with that kind of reputation."
Apparently arguing balls and strikes, Molina took off his catcher's equipment piece-by-piece in front of Schrieber after getting tossed.
Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, who joked and said Molina put on a good show, was surprised with the decision as well. Molina declined to comment.
"I thought that the umpire overall did a decent job," Duncan said. "But the timing of some of the calls was a little bit of an issue.
"Catchers normally do not get kicked out of a game. I was very surprised, because catchers know how they're supposed to deal with the umpire and there should be a certain level of tolerance because it's a key position."
La Russa said he has not heard from the Commissioner's Office, but he expects to hear from it shortly.
Regardless of Monday night's incident, Molina was in the starting lineup behind the plate Tuesday against the Pirates. During the team's road trip, Molina hit .381 and increased his season average to .296.
Lee Hurwtiz is an associate reporter at MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.