St. Louis Cardinals fans had justifiably been losing faith in the team's front office even before a photo emerged of Tommy Edman in a wrist wrap, recovering from surgery that he underwent a few months ago. According to Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat, John Mozeliak and the rest of the front office had said repeatedly in recent interviews that there were no end-of-season health concerns for the team.
The lack of transparency between the front office and the fans was a point of contention among Cardinals supporters in 2023, and the latest attempt to keep fans in the dark should erase any remaining goodwill fans have toward the team's executives.
The 2023 season was a disaster, and much of the blame can be directed at Mozeliak and company, who seemed to run around cluelessly like chickens with their heads cut off during the train wreck that was the Willson Contreras saga, as they seemed to have no idea what to do when they realized that Contreras was not the second coming of Yadier Molina behind the plate. The team's efforts to smooth over the controversy backfired, and the executives and players ended up hurling Contreras under the bus.
During the season that put Murphy's Law into practice (anything that can go wrong will go wrong), the Cardinals played their cards increasingly close to their chests. It was the wrong move. When a team is crumbling, fans want frankness and transparency from their team. Instead, they received empty reassurances of "It's still early" and, when it was clear that the team was going nowhere, "We promise to never let this happen again."
But I can't trust these promises anymore. I would have been far more accepting of the team's performance in 2023 if the front office had been upfront with fans and the media and not found itself trapped in an increasingly sticky web. With the latest reveal that Edman had wrist surgery, it appears that the front office has learned nothing from last season.
The actions of Mozeliak and the Cardinals brass raise the question of what else they're hiding. Are Nolan Gorman's back woes more severe than they've let on? Is the Bally Sports cable deal putting the team under more financial stress? Granted, some facts are best left for the Cardinals to keep to themselves for purposes of not giving information to rival teams, but in cases like Edman's, where his malady is obvious, what were the Cardinals trying to gain from zipping their lips?
The Cardinals are a maddening franchise, and with evidence already brewing that the team will remain tight-lipped and even outright fib if it has to, all of my trust in the team's front office personnel has evaporated. Fans should take anything Mozeliak and the others say with a whole spoonful of sodium chloride at this point.
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