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Molina’s thoughts on joining the Rays

Posted Nov 28, 2011 by Roger Mooney

Updated Nov 28, 2011 at 06:12 PM

Jose Molina gets ready to block the plate as Evan Longoria heads home during a game last season in Toronto


Jose Molina, the Rays newest catcher, held a conference call with the Tampa Bay media this afternoon after signing a one-year, $1.5 million contract that includes a $1.5 million club option for 2013.

Here are some highlights:

On the Rays:
“I know they have a great team. They have a young group of guys there that can do the job and can make the playoffs. We saw that last year. I’m happy to join a team that can do that.”

On being reunited with Rays manager Joe Maddon, who was a bench coach for the Angels during Molina’s first five seasons in the big leagues:
“Joe always helped me in different ways. Just having a chance to play for him it would be awesome. I already talked to him. We had a long conversation. I know it’s going to go well. I have more experience than the first time I met him, and know he knows I have that experience, so it’s going to be a great year for both.”

On how many games he can start this season after having started 81 games once during his career:
“I’ll be ready to catch 162 games. I’ll be ready to go every day. When you become a backup a catcher you have to be ready to go every day even though you don’t play every day. If Joe needs me for 162 I’ll be ready for 162. If he needs me for 80 I’ll be ready for 80. Whatever the team needs me to do I’ll be ready for it. I won’t tell you I can catch 120 because I never caught that many games, but the one thing I can tell you is I’ll be prepared to catch.”

On how much pride he takes in his defense:
“A lot. That’s what got me to the big leagues, and that’s why I’m still in the big leagues, because I can catch and throw. I’m never going to let that get away from my game. That’s my game. … Defense is most important. That’s how you win games. And you see it and I see it with the way the Rays played in the past years.”

On working with the Rays young catchers, like Jose Lobaton and Robinson Chirinos:
“I’m really happy about it. I was with J.P. Arencibia (in Toronto) last year, and I worked with him all the time, trying to reach him the right way to play the game. I will do the same for those kids. I won’t hold anything of myself. I always give everything thing I have to every body. Whatever they need from me, and if I see something different from them, I will let them know.”


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