St. Louis Cardinals: Takeaways from Blogger Day at Busch Stadium
The St. Louis Cardinals had their annual Blogger Day at Busch Stadium on Saturday and the Redbird Rants team was in attendance. What did we learn?
To my knowledge, every year, the St. Louis Cardinals invite many from the blogging world to the stadium for a beautiful night at the ballpark. I have not been in this game long enough to really know what it was like before this year, but it was a really special time.
They had all the bloggers in one of the new party suites and one of the highlights of the night was a question and answer session with John Mozeliak and Bill DeWitt III that lasted about 30 minutes.
Aside from the oddness of having the owner of the team just calmly walk stroll into the room and grab a seat 10 feet away from you. It was the first time I had been so close to either of them and it was really cool to see them both so casual and open with us bloggers.
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For as many of you that are not Mozeliak fans, I will tell you that he 100% knows people are calling for his head. I assure you he doesn’t truly care, but he was amazingly self-aware and self-deprecating while answering questions.
As I expected, everyone was slightly too scared to ask any truly biting questions of either of the two heads of the team that paid for our night at the ballpark, but there were some very cool things that we learned. Let’s get into it.
Ponce de Leon to stay in the rotation
This was the first thing that we heard there was something that Shildt said after the game on Saturday, that Daniel Ponce de Leon was going to stay in the rotation “for at least one more turn.” That was Mo’s quote and I do hope it’s longer than that but that was the first interesting nugget.
Ozuna extension likely out of the question
This one was very interesting, as Mo basically said that the team has handicapped themselves with some of the contracts they have given out and that they really wanted to see Dylan Carlson or Randy Arozarena fill the shoes of the slugger. Mo acknowledged that it’d be tough to see the team’s best hitter walk away, but he stressed the need for flexibility with that spot.
Jeff Albert has brought some tough curriculum
Mo basically said that he has “loved” what Albert has brought to the offensive side of things and that he understands how it’s frustrating that the offense hasn’t performed. Mo said, “Albert has brought a pretty steep curriculum to this group” and they should’ve “walked before we started to run.” This makes sense as new coaches can take some time to set in. I just think that maybe at this point in the season, they may wanna simplify things.
Knizner is going to get half the starts behind the plate
Mo stressed heavily the importance of playing time for young guys that come up. On Knizner, he said that obviously sitting on the bench “is not very good for their own career” and that he wants the playing time to be “50/50” behind the plate. I love this and it was exactly what I wanted to hear.
The Trade Deadline plan is going to depend on the next two weeks
Mo said that there haven’t been many calls about anything but the “peripheral” of a trade market but he said, “the next two weeks are really going to be telltale and how we play is going to go into how we view the 31st.” This is about what we all thought, right? The team is so in between right now and the next two weeks could decide if Mo is going to do a pseudo-sell or buy for some talent.
Carlos Martinez to finish the year as closer then go back to the starting rotation next year
This answer was prompted by our very own Christian May-Suzuki, but Mo said that the Hicks injury really changed the situation for Carlos as Mo was “bullish” on getting Martinez back to the rotation (as he should’ve been). He went back to say that as closer this year, he can get enough innings where moving back into the rotation next year won’t be a problem.
Bader is not going anywhere
Mo admitted that Bader was clearly not having a great year at the plate this year, but that there was no loss of confidence in Bader. He knows Bader has the talent and he’s not going to trade him away. Nobody asked about a minor league stint for Bader that might let him get a reset, but to hear Mo’s confidence in Bader was good, at least in my eyes.
The Ball is NOT being altered
This was one thing that Bill DeWitt brought up without prompting, but he is on the board for Rawlings and is apparently closely involved with the situation where if anything had changed with how the ball is made up, he would’ve known about it. He did credit Rawlings for improving their skill process-wise in making the ball and that there might be less friction on it now with the better build quality on the balls. This was non-committal but it did sound like he was being honest about the lack of any change with the ball.
There were a couple of other things discussed, but these were the highlights of what I saw and heard from the question and answer session. It was really cool to see both those powerful men in such a casual situation. It was a different side of Mo that I had never seen or heard before. The humor and self-awareness he showed was admirable and just proved that he feels some heat under his seat at the helm of the Cardinals
Overall, it was a great time at the ballpark getting to be around so many stars of the blogging world. We saw a different side of Mozeliak and got to get some great insights in a situation that not many get to be in. Thank you again to the Cardinals for the experience, it was great to see a Cardinals win too.