- Extra-time goal gives Germany World Cup title over Argentina
- Strong quake hits Japan, triggering tsunami
- Sniper heaven: Pentagon’s self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Violent gang taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- Medicaid enrollment continues to soar under Obamacare, administration says
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: ‘We cannot afford to wait on Congress’ for immigration
- White House urges GOP to act ‘urgently’ on $3.7 billion request for illegal immigrants
- Politicians, criminals using ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ law EU courts forced upon Google
- Combat fatigue: elite special forces troops are ‘fraying,’ Gen. Joseph Votel warns
- German foreign minister to meet Kerry to discuss spying claims
Molina faces old team in Rangers’ 1st World Series
Question of the Day
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Bengie Molina gets a ring regardless of who wins this World Series.
“I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s going to be a very happy, weird feeling,” said Molina, the catcher who was traded from San Francisco to Texas this season. “Just weird because I played there for 3 1/2 years, and to wear another color in that stadium.”
Molina has been with the Rangers for only 3 1/2 months, shipped off by the Giants on July 1 to make room for top prospect Buster Posey behind the plate.
Instead of catching two-time NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Brian Wilson and the other Giants pitchers he knows so well, Molina faces a more difficult task _ trying to hit against them and beat them in Texas’ first World Series.
It makes for a strange scenario: Both of Molina’s teams are in the spotlight.
“It’s going to be a very happy World Series for Bengie Molina. I’m going to try to enjoy it as much as I can,” he said.
Game 1 is Wednesday in San Francisco with a possible matchup of the 2008 Cy Young Award winners, Lincecum vs. Rangers ace Cliff Lee.
This isn’t the first time Molina has faced the Giants in a World Series. But his 2002 championship with the Angels came before he played in San Francisco.
San Francisco traded Molina soon after promoting Posey, who became the club’s cleanup hitter and a leading contender for NL Rookie of the Year.
Texas began the season with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden behind the plate. Both young catchers were optioned to the minors less than a month into the season and Saltalamacchia has since been traded.
Texas was already leading the AL West when Molina got there. San Francisco was in fourth place in the NL West, 5 1/2 games behind San Diego, when he left.
Now the two teams meet in a situation Molina never really imagined.
“I think I knew (the Rangers) had a great chance to make it to the playoffs,” he said. “For both teams to be in the World Series? Not a chance.”
The 36-year-old Molina is the oldest of the three Molina brothers who are catchers with championship rings. Jose Molina was Bengie’s backup with the 2002 Angels and was with the New York Yankees last season, while Yadier won a title with St. Louis in 2006.
Bengie Molina, who can become a free agent after the season, hit .333 (10 for 30) in 10 playoff games for Texas with two home runs and seven RBIs, including the go-ahead, three-run homer in Game 4 of the AL championship series at Yankee Stadium. He had only five homers during the regular season.
Two weeks after joining the Rangers, the slow-footed Molina became the 15th catcher in major league history to hit for the cycle. His homer in that game at Boston was a grand slam, and the triple _ only the sixth in his 1,362 major league games _ came in his last at-bat.
Texas manager Ron Washington figures Molina’s familiarity with the Giants should benefit the Rangers in some ways. But of course, each Texas hitter will be on his own in the batter’s box.
“Each hitter will have their own problems of dealing with them,” Washington said. “But anything you can learn, anything you can find out in the way of patterns of what they like to do in certain situations, we’ll go over all that.”
“It’s going to be very hard,” Molina said. “It’s kind of weird to go back and try to face them. It’s not easy at all. It’s actually harder because you over-think yourself a lot of times.”
Plus, this time, he’ll have to think like a hitter _ not a catcher.
By Robert N. Tracci
Congress must use its appropriations power to secure the border
- DOJ investigates Nebraska parade float critical of Obama
- Agency scrubs Malia Obama photos at White House's request: report
- A 'new Cold War': China's top paper warns of 'slippery slope' towards conflict with U.S.
- Violent gang MS-13 taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- Emeryville, Calif., police chief: Guns aren't for defense
- Pentagon's self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- New York City creates ID card so 500K illegal immigrants can get services
- Armed militia sets up Texas command center to 'fight for national sovereignty'
- CURL: The hypocrisy of Obama's 15-day Vineyard vacation
- Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi formerly a U.S. captive
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs