I'm sure I'll get some angry replies on Twitter when some people see the title of this piece. And let me be clear; nothing exonerates Cardinals' Bill DeWitt and John Mozeliak from their mistakes over the past several years.
Their lack of activity at trade deadlines and in free agency is what led the Cardinals to their worst season since 1990 and snapped the team's 15-year streak of winning seasons. It's been clear for quite some time that things need to change.
The same is true, however, with the Oakland A's. They need a new owner, someone who actually cares about winning and investing in his or her product. John Fisher has been the center of controversy for several years, and rightfully so.
But Fisher has been such a problem for the A's that he actually makes Mozeliak and DeWitt look good.
How Fisher compares with Mo and DeWitt
For context, the A's will be moving to Las Vegas after years of failed talks with the City of Oakland on a new stadium. Fisher has constantly dragged Oakland and A's fans through the mud, not unlike Stan Kroenke.
Both blamed their respective cities for their failure to invest in their product and their inability to draw fans to the stadium. Granted, the A's and the Rams were both bad. The A's are still bad, but that falls on Fisher.
Fisher holds all the cards with the organization. He has the ultimate power but has made the excuse of the A's being a "small market" team. He's got plenty of money to invest in the A's, but chooses not to do so.
The same can be said about DeWitt. But an important thing to remember is while Mozeliak is definitely part of the problem and his arrogance played a role in the Cardinals' downfall, he doesn't have the final say on organizational decisions.
That power rests with DeWitt. He gives Mozeliak the budget to work with in the offseason, and he must spend accordingly with the budget he has.
So, that is how DeWitt and Fisher are similar. They have all the money in the world and fail to invest in their products. But the whole situation in Oakland is a complete disaster, and this is ultimately why Fisher makes DeWitt and Mo look good.
The dilapidated Oakland Coliseum has had an infestation problem for years that was never addressed by Fisher or previous owners. Two fans were even caught engaging in sexual activity last year and were easy to spot thanks to the lack of fans in attendance.
The fans' actions aren't Fisher's fault, but the fact that nobody wants to come to the Oakland Coliseum is. The ballpark has been falling apart for years. On top of that, the A's have constantly relied on the "Moneyball" approach.
This is what the Rays do. They develop young stars from within the system and trade them away towards the end of their contracts for more developing stars, and the cycle repeats itself. The Rays have it down to a science.
But it was the A's who pioneered that strategy back in 2002. It worked for them for several years. Until it didn't. Once they weren't the only team doing it, they fell behind the curve. The video below explains exactly how the Moneyball strategy has failed the A's.
So, how does this pertain to the Cardinals? Well, as bad as they were this year thanks to Mozeliak and DeWitt's mistakes, the Cardinals have never used the Moneyball strategy.
Their strategy of drafting and developing players worked for a while, and like the A's, that strategy has come back to bite them. They also have been a little over-reliant on analytics, but not to the extent of the Moneyball strategy.
For the vast majority of baseball history, the Cardinals have been one of the best teams, constantly in contention for the postseason, with this year being an exception. They've won 11 World Series titles and 19 National League pennants.
While they have struggled at developing certain players such as Shelby Miller, Tyler O'Neill, Juan Yepez, Dylan Carlson, and others, Randy Flores has been very successful on the draft front, with Tommy Edman, Nolan Gorman, Masyn Winn, Jordan Walker, and Brendan Donovan being some notable examples.
These young stars have helped the Cardinals form a solid offense and it stands to reason why the Cardinals at least have a little something to build off of. If the Cardinals add pitching this winter, they could be a contender again in 2024.
Busch Stadium is also a beautiful venue with Ballpark Village and the Gateway Arch in the background. Fans typically fill the stadium on any given day, again with this year being an exception.
Before everybody jumps to conclusions, I must reiterate that I am not in any way defending DeWitt and Mozeliak. They are the reason the Cardinals are in this position now. And like all other Cardinals fans, I am sick of the notion that we are "spoiled" by the amount of success the team has had. The team has been successful but hasn't reached the World Series since 2013 or won a title since 2011. The standards have certainly been lowered.
But the situation could be a heck of a lot worse. That's not to say fans should be grateful at the moment, but Cardinals fans are lucky that Fisher isn't the owner of the team. DeWitt has much more success to fall back on than Fisher does and a much better track record.
When you really look at the A's situation and what Fisher has done (or hasn't), it really makes DeWitt and Mozeliak look good, and that's really saying something given the mistakes they have made in recent years because right now, the Cardinals are one of the laughingstocks of baseball.