St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals Way is failing its players
The St. Louis Cardinals may one day have yet another decision to make for its over-stuffed outfield but making statements about players to the press without having first talked with the player(s) just confounds.
During blogger day on Sunday, St. Louis Cardinals GM John Mozeliak made comments in response to a question about Randal Grichuk and his work in the minors. In these, Mo mentioned the potential of inserting Grichuk soon back into the Cardinals lineup.
Some might think this good news. Some might think this a horrible idea. Either way, it raises questions about Tommy Pham who has held his own very well since being promoted due to injuries. Since coming up, the “man made of glass” as I have called him, has been able to put together a slash of .302/.406/.491.
If you missed what was said on Sunday and the fallout, here’s a quick look:
Let’s dig into things. First, let me share with you that Grichuk was hitting just .222 when he was optioned “for repair.” To be fair, I have often honked for Grichuk as was exemplified in my recent post. That said, other writers for us have a somewhat different view.
As it relates to Pham, I have often NOT been a fan. In fashion that keeps with his historic performance, I have often waffled in my opinion of him from “made of glass” thanks to all of his injuries, to time to cut him loose, to time to call him up.
Since his arrival this season, however, Pham has shown that he deserves to stay. So long as his play continues at this level. To me, this is less about a player preference and more about riding the hot hand, bat, and fielder.
To the other issue that dramatically disturbed me from the tweet embedded above: the “Cardinals Way.” Typically, we fans of the St. Louis Cardinals tout the Cardinals Way as a badge of pride that we are the Best Fans in Baseball and will clap for our competition and refuse to throw any home run back onto the field.
In this instance, however, the Cardinals Way seems to indicate that GM Mozeliak, in all of his political speak, often- or as is mentioned above, twice this season already- shares player news with the media before the player has been told.
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Enter then this case: Pham read of the possible return of Grichuk from the paper rather than from Mo or Mike Matheny. I do not begrudge Pham for his comments but I do believe the better choice would have been to toe the company line rather than sharing his angst. He did share his angst, so there’s that.
Is it fair that the GM shares information with the press before the players? Sure but it might not be the ethical thing to do. Or is it? Isn’t it within the purview of the “boss” to hold or share news that he (or she) believes to be need-to-know to whomever he/she believes needs to know it?
Let’s toss those questions out and say simply that any player would prefer to have heard the news first-hand first (is that too many ‘firsts’ in one sentence?). Simply put, if this is the “Cardinals Way,” then I believe this is failing our players.
I am a fan of Mozeliak but I don’t like this aspect. I doubt it will change and I doubt that Mo even cares what I think. Perhaps, on the other hand, if he altered this methodology of information release, just perhaps some of the players who chose other homes might have chosen the St. Louis Cardinals. Something to think about…
What do you think? Would you like your boss to tell the press that a potential replacement for you is likely coming before telling you first? Regardless of method, if it makes the St. Louis Cardinals win then I’ll turn a blind eye for sure.