5 horrible moves that doomed the Cardinals from playoffs in 2023

The 2023 season was doomed from early on and nothing seemed to help

Oliver Marmol
Oliver Marmol / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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Cardinals Horrible Moves: Allowing Oli Marmol to continue publicly criticizing players

It came off as petty, entitled, and just childish behavior. It's not the behavior of someone who is a leader of men. It's not the behavior of anyone you'd want to work with in your day-to-day life. You would probably look for another workplace and be ready to move on.

Cardinals fans saw a side of Marmol that wasn't pleasant this season. Every time he sat before the media, answering questions, you never knew what would happen.

It started with his public criticism of Tyler O'Neill for a perceived lack of hustle. The matter should have been kept between the player and the manager. Instead, Marmol went to the media and criticized the player, who fans were told made a special effort that offseason to maintain health to stay on the field more. He changed his whole routine. And then, he's criticized for not hustling?

And weeks later, Willson Contreras is publicly criticized for not being Yadier Molina. The team had plenty of time to tap into Molina's head and get him to discuss how he prepares so the method could be passed along. It was as if they thought he would never leave. Contreras lasted a week into the demotion to designated hitter and was quickly returned to being the Cardinals starter. He worked with the pitching staff on what they needed. It was simple and didn't need the pearl-clutching that ensued.

It's frustrating that Mozeliak and company are going into this offseason, with Contreras being the everyday catcher still in question. They signed him to a five-year contract worth $87.5 million. Mozeliak and Marmol were highly involved in recruiting him to the Cardinals.

There were other incidents with more players as the season carried on. Fans hoped the end of the criticisms tapered off. But then Marmol's final press conference of the season happened. He was asked about next season. As if he could not help himself, Marmol responded that he wanted to "weed out" the players who were not all about the team. Surprisingly, he did not name names. It's pretty easy to assume who could be on Marmol's weeding-out list, but time will tell as the offseason rolls on.


It would be nice if this new way of communication were just an experiment. Marmol did seem to patch things up with the players, but the talk makes you wonder what's happening behind closed doors. That is not something fans should be concerned about. I can not foresee it continuing and players being okay with it.

While Adam Wainwright came forward with Jack Flaherty to take the pressure off Contreras, it was surprising not to see someone like Paul Goldschmidt or Nolan Arenado take up for Tyler O'Neill or others.

There were real communication issues this season; hopefully, this gets addressed as well. These are unacceptable actions for grown men.