Willson Contreras clarified a comment he made about fellow catchers Yadier Molina and Buster Posey, saying that his "I'm going to be better than them" quote is being misinterpreted.
The Cubs catcher led off a series of tweets late Wednesday acknowledging, "Many people have misinterpreted what was said during a recent interview, I see no wrong in taking the best players as personal goals and exceedance. What player doesn't want to be the best at their position? I know I am lacking many years of experience and only time will tell."
Contreras told the Sun-Times at Cubs Convention last week that he no longer studies tape of Molina, Posey and other elite catchers.
"I used to watch a lot of those guys, but now I'm watching myself because I know that I'm going to be better than them. That's my plan. That's my (mindset)."
Then in an ask-me-anything session on Twitter on Tuesday, Contreras was asked whom he looked up to more, Molina or Benito Santiago. Contreras answered Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez.
Molina didn't take kindly to the remarks, and posted a response on Instagram along with a picture of himself with Posey and Royals catcher Salvador Perez at the All-Star Game.
"Respect the ranks, rookies" (or "respect the ranks, newbies"), Molina wrote in Spanish.
In Contreras' other tweets Wednesday, he continued: "In my mind I aim to be the best and like I mentioned during the interview, I have enormous respect for these players, I honor and learn so much (every) time I play against Molina and Posey. I simply used them as examples of achievement in my professional career."
"To use the best players as a model or standard and want to exceed them, I don't believe is any disrespect simply motivation and Inspiration. Have a great night. God bless you all."
Contreras once had a good relationship with Molina and sought advice from him as a rookie in 2016.
"I've been watching Molina since I was a kid," Contreras told the Tribune that June. He also called him a nice guy who "gave me advice during the game."
Contreras also made a splash at the convention when his anecdote about advising Jon Lester on a pickoff play included some colorful language. "I went out there and said, 'Hey, (expletive) throw the (expletive) ball to first."
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