St. Louis Cardinals: Howard Megdal talks The Cardinals Way


Howard Megdal, author of “The Cardinals Way”(Thomas Dunne Books), took some time this week to speak to me regarding his new book on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Danielle Solzman: Howard, thanks for joining Redbird Rants today to discuss the St. Louis Cardinals and your new book, The Cardinals Way. How are things treating you?

Howard Megdal: Thanks for having me! I’m in St. Louis, I just ate at Pappy’s Smokehouse, and I’m going to spend the weekend with Cardinals fans and at the St. Louis Symphony. So I’m feeling pretty good!

Danielle Solzman: The Cardinals have a tradition that dates back to the days of Branch Rickey, if not earlier than that. However, the team has been able to merge the new ways of analytics with the old school tradition of scouting. How do you see analytics playing a role in the years to come?

Howard Megdal: I think we have seen the end of any baseball team trying to win without them. And I certainly don’t believe a Bill DeWitt Jr. team will ever diverge from the path of incorporating all the best available information.

Image Credit: Thomas Dunne Books
Image Credit: Thomas Dunne Books /

Danielle Solzman: What do you think George Kissel or Branch Rickey would think of the organization today?

Howard Megdal: I think they’d both recognize it—the intellectual throughline is really significant from both of their tenures to the present day, whether through Rickey’s right-hand man, Bill DeWitt Sr., who taught his son (and the present team owner) the game, or in Kissell, who trained virtually every coach and manager in the organization himself.

The advances are to be expected, and both would applaud them. But there’s much of the baseline set by each man still here in St. Louis.

Danielle Solzman: What prospect should Cardinals fans be looking forward to seeing in Busch Stadium?

Howard Megdal: Some of my favorites in the book include Daniel Poncedeleon, whose signing was an adventure I loved writing about in the book, and Corey Baker, a delightful self-made pitcher with guile and the mind to go with it.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Sam Tuivailala ends up a dominant back end reliever, either, and Nick Thompson is just a wonderful interview and skilled, improving hitter. 

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Danielle Solzman: Thanks again for joining us and keep up the great work.

Howard Megdal: Thanks for having me!

Next: Redbird Rants talks to Harrison Bader

This is a great book, that all St. Louis Cardinals’ fans should go and pick up. You can find the book on Amazon, as well as in your local bookstore.