I can’t tell if this is a hardo move or not. Part of me thinks that it is, mostly because Yadier Molina is no stranger to confronting opposing players who break the “unwritten rules” of the game. Pretty funny story, actually, that Terry Francona later detailed in his 2013 book, titled Francona: The Red Sox Years. Molina got in Manny Ramirez’s face in Game 4 of the 2004 World Series, because he thought that Manny was stealing signs. Francona came out of the dugout to defuse the situation, and after he learned what the problem was, Francona said, “He doesn’t even know our signs.” And just like that, no more problem.
But in this particular case, I vote that this was only a hardo move if Molina didn’t come through with a hit here. If a pitch knocks you down, you bang out a couple of pushups and then rip a base hit back up the middle, that’s pretty badass, and Molina is just that. If Pablo Sandoval got knocked to the ground on a pitch, I’d be surprised if he could even get back up again, never mind do a pushup, and then he’d strike out on three pitches. Advantage: Molina.