Miles Mikolas' brazen comments warrant respect from Cardinals fans

The St. Louis Cardinals faithful should laud Miles Mikolas' fiery quotes about Cardinals fans and the Dodgers.
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas entered 2024 with a chip on his shoulder amid Cardinals fans' lowest expectations for the team in decades, and he has made some refreshingly frank comments that should have fans backing him.

Shortly before the season, Mikolas made a bit of a heel turn as he called out the team's skeptics. The comment likely caused some fans to bristle, but his pointed optimism in a season marred with uncertainty was necessary to awaken the lapsed Cardinals supporter.

This wasn't the first time that Mikolas displayed his outspoken nature. At the team's spring camp, he took a few swipes at the Cardinals' first opponent, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mikolas said the high-spending team was playing "checkbook baseball" and relished the opportunity to defeat them.

Mikolas failed to back up his words in the first game of the season, allowing five earned runs in 4.1 innings, and after the game, he took a thinly veiled shot at Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani's gambling controversy.

“I’ll play the Vegas odds, I’ll roll the dice, I’ll bet on that all day, that weak contact is going to turn into outs. So, you know, I’ll just keep rolling with that.”

Mikolas' statements might rub some fans the wrong way, especially if he struggles to back up his words with his performance on the mound, but this kind of fire is necessary to create motivation for the players and for the fans. Mikolas is attempting to be a leader for the Cardinals, which, as fans know, was lacking last season.

Although the Dodgers teed off on Mikolas and made him eat humble pie, Mikolas should continue to radiate this sort of confidence and attitude for a team that is an underdog for the first time in some fans' lifetimes.

There obviously needs to be a limit to this type of bravado, and if Mikolas pitches poorly throughout the season, it would be best for him to lay off the smack talk; after all, Adam Wainwright's continual optimism during a disastrous season eventually became off-putting. But for now, Mikolas' words are a breath of fresh air for a team normally seen as tight, traditional and buttoned-up.