St. Louis Cardinals: Addressing John Mozeliak’s comments

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Nov 8, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak during the MLB general managers meeting at the Omni Scottsdale Resort. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 8, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak during the MLB general managers meeting at the Omni Scottsdale Resort. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Last Friday St. Louis Cardinals GM, John Mozeliak, finally made a move in the organization to shake things up. He also commented on evaluating the team in the future.

St. Louis Cardinals GM, John Mozeliak, definitely sent some shock waves through the organization last Friday with his management shake up and player news. While many Cardinals fans debate whether Mozeliak made enough moves, I, however, took away something much more important from the 19-minute press conference.

What truly peaked my interest during the press conference was Mozeliak’s comments about the team’s future this season. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t too impressed with what he had to say.

The St. Louis Cardinals GM stated that he will take the next four to six weeks to evaluate the team. After those four to six weeks he will take into consideration where the team is and make decision to pursue this year or hold off till next year.

I will try to empathize with Mr. Mozeliak and those who believe he is doing the right thing. Part of me understands why there is a need to wait four to six weeks. The first reason why you would wait is to see if you can win with what you have now. The reasoning behind this thinking is simple too.

At the start of today the Cardinals find themselves only 3.5 games back of the Brewers. No one has run away with the division at this point in the season.

Imagine if the Cardinals were able to take the division lead and create enough separation in the next four to six weeks with the team they have now…AND without giving up prospects. Sounds like a win/win right? Of course it is, but that’s the optimist in all of us.

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The second benefit to seeing how the next few weeks play out is you can see how other teams are trying to change their clubs. Whether it is through addition or subtraction of a player via trade, the St. Louis Cardinals will have a benchmark for when they become buyers or sellers.

We can debate the benefits of being a buyer or seller all we want, but Mozeliak seems to be ok with the letting the field play itself.

So if you’re in the camp that believes the Cardinals are not a playoff team, you’ll more than likely agree to wait it out. However, if you’re like me, and still believe in the Cardinals, Mozeliak’s comments didn’t sit too well with you. And, if I’m being honest, they shouldn’t.

Here’s why I have a problem with what Mr. Mozeliak said. The first is that his comments seem very bland. Saying you are going to re-evaluate the team’s position in four to six week at the beginning of June is a given. I can’t recall many teams making a trade in the month of June, much less the end of June. Leadership should have evaluated the team in the midst of their seven game losing streak.

What makes it even more frustrating for me is that John Mozeliak himself acknowledged the offense was under performing. To me, acknowledging the offense has not ben what you expected is a clear signal of an evaluation, and that s something needs to be done.

Spare me the “what if the offense starts hitting?” story because your hypothetical isn’t any better than me saying “well what if it doesn’t?” My point is that if you already know what can be fixed, why say you’ll re-evaluate? Something just seems odd about that.

The second thing that bothers me about his comments is it shows no urgency to win now. I know we live in an era of winning as much you can now, but where IS the urgency? A couple of podcast episodes ago, we discussed the St. Louis Cardinals being buyers or sellers. In that segment I pointed directly to the standings to make my case about why the Cardinals should be buyers.

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The St. Louis Cardinals sit 3.5 games back of the Brewers for first place with ninety-four games to go. If you ask me, the NL Central is a very winnable division. So why would the Cardinals not be buyers? Why isn’t leadership showing the nerve to win now?

Be honest with yourself and ask if you thought the Cubs would run away with this division. I’m sure many of you did, but they haven’t. The reigning world champions are only 1.5 games above the Cardinals now. That’s within striking distance and well-timed series win away from overtaking that lead.

Now I’m not saying the Cardinals need to make the move today, but surely something can be done sooner than that. The only issue of being risky and going out and getting a three or four hitter is the price tag. It will cost you prospects to get a high-caliber player. Frankly, you should be okay with that (depending on who they would get). You can debate on whether we gave up too much, but the fact remains the Cardinals need an upgrade offensively.

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I don’t expect the St. Louis Cardinals to do anything any time soon, but are we at the point of no return? I think the Cardinals would benefit for find a solution sooner than four to six weeks. With the playoffs still within sight, Mozeliak needs to decide whether this team is a contender or a pretender.

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