The 2023 season is finally at its conclusion for the St. Louis Cardinals, and truth be told, it's one that we all will want to forget.
While the Cardinals surely feel the same way, they cannot afford to forget the mistakes that led to this disastrous season. I've argued recently that this may have been the exact kind of season the organization needed, from top to bottom, to produce the kind of change that many of us saw they needed from a mile away. Consistently being good enough to contend can make it easy to avoid the more difficult changes they have needed in recent years.
Now that the season is over earlier than they are typically used to, the Cardinals have extra time to sit down and evaluate how they will move forward as an organization. I really do believe they have the tools at their disposal to retool this team for contention in 2024, but if they do not learn from the lessons the 2023 season brought them, then they could very easily end up in the same boat next year.
Some of these lessons are years in the making, systemic issues that have piled up over time that will take more than an offseason to completely fix. Some of those issues they've actually been working to improve on already, but they are feeling the ramifications of those issues from mistakes in the past.
Other lessons are from issues that developed during this season specifically and have caused this team to look like the shell of itself from years and decades past.