Myth-busting 5 narratives surrounding the St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals deserve a lot of the criticism they are getting, but some of the narratives surrounding the club are just myths.

Detroit Tigers v St Louis Cardinals
Detroit Tigers v St Louis Cardinals / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Myth - The Cardinals are hypocritical for firing Mike Matheny during a bad season but not Oli Marmol.

Reality - Bill DeWitt Jr. did say that the Cardinals' fired Mike Matheny because he was not winning, but they blamed the manager for that. In 2023, they blamed the roster and front office, not Marmol.

During the mess that was the 2023 Cardinals' season, Bernie Miklasz called back to a quote that Bill DeWitt Jr. had about the firing of Mike Matheny back in 2018.

It's easy to look at that quote and think "Well, how on earth does Oli Marmol have a job still?", but context is key for situations like this, something that makes it clear why the Cardinals see a difference in Matheny's performance and Marmol's.

Yes, the Cardinals were 47-46 when Matheny was fired in 2018, but they had just missed the playoffs in both 2016 and 2017 and were on their way to missing the playoffs for a third straight year. Yes, things were great from 2012-2015, but I'm guessing most fans would agree they should have accomplished more than they did during that stretch as well.

Oli Marmol made the playoffs with the Cardinals in 2022, and John Mozeliak has been quick to take the blame for how the 2023 season unfolded. In the front office and ownership's eyes, this season was a roster construction issue more than it was a manager issue, which is why they feel confident with Marmol again in 2024. I don't think anyone would absolve Marmol of all the blame this year, but it really is hard to believe a different manager makes this situation much different.


Does this mean Marmol is a good manager and 2024 will be an excellent rebound for him? No, but I don't blame the Cardinals front office for rolling with him again, and it's not "contradictory" to their statements back in 2018. If you believe someone needs to lose their job here, you would need to direct the attention to the front office, but with the sustained success they have had over the last decade, I also don't blame them for getting a chance to prove themselves in 2024. If the DeWitt family is serious about spending this offseason, then both the front office and Marmol will have zero excuses if things do not go well next season.