Kolten Wong spent a decade with the Cardinals, but he is already enjoying his time with the Brewers.
After spending a decade with the St. Louis Cardinals, making multiple deep postseason runs, being in contention almost every season, Kolten Wong is onto something new. The Gold Glove second baseman signed a two-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers and in his first interview during spring training, indicated that he is enjoying his fresh start with his new team in Phoenix, Ariz.
Wong told reporters, including Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, that he is enjoying a different way. The biggest difference, he said, is that the Brewers are more aggressive shifters, deeper into analytics than the Cardinals are.
“The newer way,” Wong said.
Having covered the Brewers for two seasons for The Athletic, I have seen how the Brewers shift up close. It is something that manager Craig Counsell and the team’s analytics staff loves to do to maximize matchups and put themselves in the most favorable position. Wong’s statement will likely get the fanbase riled up, but he is not taking a shot at the Cardinals. What he is stating is a fact.
Besides, Nolan Arenado is enjoying being with the Cardinals recently praised the teams culture, saying: “I don’t know what style of play I would really say it is — they’re solid on pitching, they’re solid on defense, and quality at-bats — but you can’t say that about other teams, right?” Arenado asked. “It’s the culture. You can tell there are certain things that they do every day or guys do every day that’s different. I didn’t know. I know people work hard where I’ve been before. But the way they go about it here is a little different. There are a lot of coaches around. There are a lot of trainers around. It’s a different vibe than what I’ve ever seen.”
The Cardinal Way, which Arenado is referencing, has been a successful model in the past. Wong knows that. He experienced it for the first 10 years of his career. But the fact that he is enjoying being in a new environment, with different thoughts and ideas, does not reflect how he feels about his tenure in St. Louis.