Bengie Molina is trapped in his personal “Groundhog Day.” On screen, Bill Murray doesn’t get the girl. On the free-agency trail, Bengie doesn’t get … it.
Yes, that’s it, he just doesn’t seem to get it. Bengie navigates free agency as if it was a cobblestone street strewn with banana peels.
Coming off his finest offensive season for the Angels back in 2005, the two-time American League Gold Glove catcher hit the market selling hard, looking for a three-year deal commensurate with his established reputation. Molina has that quiet confidence easy to mistake for humility. The big demands hidden behind that veneer turned off a lot of suitors.
Molina remained on that market until February, when he signed a one-year deal with Toronto — for $4.5 million.
Yes, the exact figure he just accepted, four years later, from the Giants. He also took a similar path back to the Bay, having hit the market looking for a three-year contract, then gradually easing up on his expectations. He had been primarily locked in with the Mets who — doubtless recalling the 2006 experience — waited for Molina to come around to taking one year with an option.
Bengie’s new at-bat music in AT&T Park has to be “Oops, I Did It Again.” That would replace Springsteen’s “Born To Run.”