It’s being reported and confirmed (in a spin-doctory sort of way) that Cardinals catchers Yadier Molina and Gerald Laird got into an altercation Wednesday night; Cardinals GM John Mozeliak called it a “disagreement”; Laird is said to have called Molina a “cheater”.
In the linked piece above, Dave Brown speculates that it might’ve been about card playing. Unless he has inside knowledge about what happened—and it doesn’t appear that he does—I don’t see how it’s possible to suggest it in the way Brown does:
It’s probably at cards — ballplayers love to play cards to pass the time.
He may be right, but it probably wasn’t the smartest thing in the world to use that all-encompassing context without knowing that’s what caused it.
What’s to stop me from suggesting Laird is a religious fanatic and clubhouse busybody and was calling Molina a cheater because he was betraying his wedding vows? (Is Molina even married? I don’t know, but you see my point.)
To follow up on that concept however, there are different categories of teammates fighting amongst themselves. If it’s in the heat of competition and about something that was going on on the field, then it’s okay and can be smoothed over quickly. I take it as a positive if players are intense and passionate enough to be that feisty to fight over on-field matters.
If it’s over a girl/groupie; a card game or money borrowed in any fashion, it’s not good at all and can leave lingering hard feelings and factions within the clubhouse.
Teammates get into shoving matches all the time and they’re usually forgotten as par for the course. These are grown men living and working together for up to 9 months a year—of course they’re going to fight—but you can’t have players fighting over money.
You just can’t have it. It’s not dysfunctional—which a team can survive; it’s disastrous—which a team can’t.