Zac Gallen's comments further tarnish St. Louis Cardinals' reputation
Zac Gallen revealed a potential reason the St. Louis Cardinals traded him to the Miami Marlins, and it's not a good look.
Zac Gallen's theory about why the St. Louis Cardinals traded him is another gut punch to a flailing organization. Whether it holds any water or not, opposing fans are relishing another opportunity to disparage the long-successful organization.
Gallen appeared on "Foul Territory" and discussed his speculation that the Cardinals traded him because the team was unhappy that he was unable to attend all of the team's winter workouts in 2017. Gallen said in the video that he didn't attend the camp in October because the minor league playoffs had just ended, and he wasn't at the November camp because a friend was getting married.
I am skeptical about this being the actual reason the Cardinals traded Gallen. While Gallen mentioned some "vibes" at the camp being odd when he arrived there in December, it's possible that the reason for those wasn't because of the team's supposedly insular culture, but rather because people higher up were aware that he was going to be traded.
Still, the video certainly turned heads not only from opposing fans but also from Cardinals fans who were already incensed over the Cardinals trading a Cy Young Award candidate. Gallen is currently third in the National League in ERA, and the Cardinals could certainly use an ace like him to anchor their faltering rotation.
The more interesting part of the video is when Gallen discusses how the Cardinals have a certain way they go about their work. While his quote is extremely opaque, it brings fans back to "The Cardinal Way" and all that comes with it. Long the Cardinals' motto, the Cardinal Way is now a punch line that opposing fans are using to belittle the team's old-school, buttoned-up approach.
Some fans likened Gallen's comments to a suspected reason the Cardinals traded Randy Arozarena to the Tampa Bay Rays after he accidentally live-streamed former manager Mike Shildt's postgame speech in the Cardinals' locker room. If these are the reasons the two were dealt to other teams, it reinforces the Cardinals' uptight and out-of-touch image among fans.
A bigger concern relating to the Cardinal Way is the Cardinals' ability to evaluate and develop players. Former Cardinals minor league pitcher Paul Schwindel, who participated in an interview with Site Expert Josh Jacobs, mentioned opposing viewpoints within the organization when handling young pitchers, and if the Cardinals had helped Gallen achieve his potential and had seen this potential in the first place, the organization likely would have made an exception regarding Gallen's failure to appear at the camps, if that in fact was the reason for the trade.
It's a tough time to be a Cardinals fan, and while that likely sounds ridiculous given the unparalleled length of success they've had, Gallen's comments are just a poison cherry on top of the difficult-to-swallow sundae that the front office has whipped up for the fans.