I love listing players we love to hate. By definition they could never abide The Cardinal Way™, and the fact is not many can fit snugly into the relaxed but businesslike vibe in St. Louis. Starting pitcher Shelby Miller chafed at it, so John Mozeliak swapped the righty for a better fit. And boy, did outfielder Jason Heyward work out. That’s why Steve McNeil wrote this with big crocodile tears in his eyes. (Don’t worry, Steve. My magic 8-ball says Hayward is staying. So we’re good.)
This year, July import Brandon Moss ended up being one of the Cardinal’s disappointments. Listen, Moss is an absolutely great dude. Humblebrag alert: I’ve interviewed him several times, and he’s always been hilarious. But that was when he was with the Oakland Athletics, and Moss has never been the same since he left that loosey-goosey club. Skip to the nine-minute mark of this interview. Think that kind of behavior plays under the Arch? I think not.
But maybe acquiring Moss this year was a good reminder to Mozeliak that personality is right up there with playing ability when considering an outsider for the Cards. Note to Mo: here are four guys you should absolutely not consider trading for or signing via free agency.
(Editor’s Note: I’m just going to leave Brandon Phillips off the list because he’s not even worth it anymore. K? K.)