St. Louis Cardinals: 2017 clubhouse problems likely to return
The St. Louis Cardinals reportedly had clubhouse problems during the 2017 campaign and these will likely return unless a fundamental change is made.
Reports are surfacing that the St. Louis Cardinals experienced motivational issues and lack of dedication within their clubhouse. These elements do not lend themselves to a postseason team and that is precisely the outcome that these things garnered.
Now that the St. Louis Cardinals are resting at home, playing golf, taking family vacations, and watching the postseason teams play in prime time, the organization is forced to admit to flaws from 2017. Many of these flaws are flaws indeed but- I’m afraid to say- many are simply being used as scapegoats.
One of these major flaws- clubhouse chemistry- is both a flaw and a scapegoat. A flaw indeed as this sort of thing keeps a team from gelling and winning. A scapegoat in the sense that admitting after a season has failed rather than during the season to make corrections.
I admit that I have been very harsh with my critique of the team of late but even this flaw/scapegoat seems convenient to me. At the same time, I have serious doubts that anything will be done to make a correction to this.
Here’s the admission:
If you want to read the entire article- a good read- jump here.
So, here’s the deal to me then, if we agree that clubhouse chemistry was the problem and if we point to the players (something that makes sense), how does one fix this? If the problem is Dexter Fowler, and noting his expensive contract, how does one correct his pitiful attitude (one that doesn’t appear on Twitter)?
Answer? A good coach corrects issues like this. Ah, so there’s the rub: chemistry is often ascribed to players and yet this prescription often misses another flawed variable– the manager.
Let me make one slight sidebar here: I would be remiss if I did not admit that I often write pieces in opposition to Mike Matheny. This piece is yet another. If you love Matheny, sorry, then this piece is not for you.
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When I read Ortiz’s article, I did find fault in the players for the pitiful chemistry and for the fact that they (or a few of them) would be the first to leave the stadium. That said, we fans all grew immensely tired of the “grind” refrain that Matheny would vomit after each loss. If I were in the clubhouse, I might also rush out just to avoid hearing the same tired waste of time from the manager.
Perhaps this flaw is multi-fold with many people at fault– the players and the manager. I’m more than happy to go with this conclusion. Going with this conclusion, we must insist that the St. Louis Cardinals make changes to both of these realms.
Moving forward, I would urge the front office examine the players and the coaches in their efforts to change the clubhouse and its chemistry. Simply moving Fowler to left field does little to improve the chemistry. Simply adding another player does little to improve chemistry unless the coaching chemistry changes as well.
It is time for the St. Louis Cardinals to be honest about what they have and what they do not have. There is no better time than now.
What do you think? If you could make a change or changes to improve chemistry, what would you recommend? Let me know on Twitter and stay tuned for updates as the winter moves along.