ARLINGTON, Texas – 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.
Instead of catching 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’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 matchup of Cy Young Award winners, Lincecum (2008 and 2009) vs. Rangers ace Cliff Lee (2008).
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.
The Rangers acquired Molina to help settle their catching situation, and he shares time with Matt Treanor. Molina played 57 regular-season games for Texas, 61 for the Giants.
San Francisco traded Molina soon after promoting Posey, who became the club’s cleanup hitter and a leading contender for N.L. Rookie of the Year.
Texas was leading the A.L. West when Molina got there. San Francisco was fourth in the N.L. West, 5 1/2 games behind San Diego, when he left.
Now the teams meet in a situation Molina never really imagined.
“I think I knew (Texas) had a great chance to make it to the playoffs,” he said. “For both teams to be in the World Series? Not a chance.”
Manager Ron Washington figures Molina’s familiarity with the Giants should help the Rangers.
“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.”