Cardinals latest questionable decision proves it's time for big changes

The Cardinals have made a move that will certainly upset fans. We'll break down why this move proves that changes are required.

St. Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies
St. Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

Today, the Cardinals made a move that isn't going to sit well with the fanbase.

According to Katie Woo of The Athletic, the Cardinals have given manager Oli Marmol a two-year contract extension that will last him through the 2026 season.

Some fans may be willing to give Marmol a second chance after last season's disaster, which is perfectly fine, especially considering most of the problems were caused by the front office and ownership.

However, I personally am not thrilled by this. And I'll explain why.

I wrote a piece last week posing the question of whether or not the Cardinals knew what they were doing and if their failures truly warranted changes. This will be a follow-up to that piece.

Oli Marmol extension proves Cardinals need to make changes

I will admit that last week I was a little spirited in that piece. I'll try to be a little calmer here.

But this is one of many reasons why most fans are in agreement that changes must be made.

I get that Marmol had a good season in 2022 and led the Cardinals to 93 wins and a division title, and he deserves credit for that. But he also contributed to the Cardinals' downfall last season. His questionable decisions and use of getaway days certainly didn't help the team.

My thought going into this season was that the Cardinals were going to see how everything played out before making a decision on Marmol's contract for 2025 and beyond. The popular consensus was that things would change if the Cardinals had another losing season.

Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case. The front office was more than happy to keep Marmol after last season's disaster, but if it happens again, it really doesn't make sense to keep him.

To me, it goes to show that performance doesn't really matter to ownership or the front office. This in turn allows standards to be lowered and performance to ultimately decline. Essentially, an edge is lost, and that is what has happened with the Cardinals in recent years.

The sad reality is that ownership and the front office don't seem to have any clue that it's overtaken them. Instead of letting Marmol prove himself, they have essentially sent a message that no matter how poorly the team performs, if that is how things turn out, his job is safe, and I think that's not the message you want to send to the fanbase, especially after such a difficult 2023 season.

I was willing to let Marmol prove himself this year and reserve judgments until the end of the season. I'm fine to do that now, but I was under the impression that the Cardinals were going to wait and see how things played out.

To be fair, I do expect the Cardinals to be better this season. While I don't agree with every move they've made, I'm much more confident in this year's team. And in truth, if Marmol does well and learns from his mistakes, then my faith in him will be restored.

But if the Cardinals truly had enough money to spend in order to extend Marmol, wouldn't it have made more sense to spend that money on Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery? That would give Marmol a better chance to succeed in 2024 than with what he currently has.

Ultimately, this comes down to the performance of ownership and the front office, and to me, it's clear that it's time for changes in both departments. The Cardinals not only need to act like a big-market team and spend money, but also hold executives, managers, and coaches accountable and show that performance truly does matter.