Willson Contreras Will Wear Yadi Molina Tribute Cleats This Year, Continuing to Help Clarify Any Fandom Feelings
With all the recently-departed core Chicago Cubs, I didn’t have much in the way of cognitive dissonance when that first game came with the new team. There was no impact on the Cubs, realistically, in any of the Bryant, Rizzo, Báez, or Schwarber cases, so it was pretty easy to just say, yeah, I want to see them do well.
From the jump, it was much harder to take that tack with Willson Contreras, who’d signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. His success this year very much could directly impact the Cubs. I … don’t want that!
Yet I like Contreras so much as a player that I still found it pretty hard to wrap my head around wanting him to do poorly. I kinda tried to have it both ways and do the whole “I hope he has a great year, but somehow the Cardinals suck.” Fine. Maybe not all that realistic, given his importance as the catcher taking Yadi Molina’s spot, but whatever.
Then the round of media shenanigans came. The reveal that Contreras was dreaming of joining the Cardinals even as he was still in the Cubs dugout. The comments about how much better the Cardinals do everything. It was getting a lot easier to just lump Contreras in with the rest of the Cardinals – the bitter rival that I just want to see fail at every turn.
Anyway. Not that I needed anything else to let me embrace Contreras as a villain – a role he, himself, is embracing vis a vis the Cubs and all other opponents – but this one generates a healthy eye roll:
My extreme dislike for Yadi Molina, it turns out, is transitive.
Rivalries are fun. So, like I said, I’m in. If Contreras struggles and it hurts the Cardinals in the win column, heck yes. If Cardinals pitchers suddenly start underperforming in massive ways thanks to the change from Molina to Contreras, well, yessir, I’ll be celebrating that, too.