KANSAS CITY -- Yadier Molina's contentious history with umpire Rob Drake, who was assigned to work the plate on Saturday, played a role in manager Mike Matheny's decision to sit his veteran catcher for the second game of the I-70 Series.
Molina and Drake have twice been involved in notable incidents, most recently on May 24. Unhappy with Drake's strike zone in the first inning against the Phillies, Molina argued with Drake several times early that night.
That exchange was seen as an offshoot of an altercation the two had last August, when Molina was suspended five games after making contact with Drake. That argument began after Drake called Molina out on strikes.
"I don't think it's any bash on any umpire in particular -- I know there were umpires that I didn't do well with," said Matheny, a former catcher. "I know that that dictated whether I was going to play or not. Yadi did a nice job last time. It got a little hairy, but they got it figured out and everybody handled their job professionally. All things considered, it made sense [to give him the day off]."
Matheny said the quick turnaround after a night game also played a role in the decision to start backup catcher Tony Cruz.