Go read something that you enjoy -- a favorite book, a comic strip that makes you laugh, a play that you enjoy, or a book that you've been meaning to look through.
I didn't predict that. It wasn't a prediction. It was a statement. I based my answer on many years of reporting and conversations I've had with the people -- really, the person -- who is going to make that decision. I completely understand that there are people in this chat and on Twitter and even in the stands that won't like the answer from ownership, but that's not going to change their answer. From ownership's perspective Mozeliak has overseen an era of tremendous success -- revenue, wins, and so on. There has not been a losing record in the majors under his watch. The one described in the initial question would be the first one. The growth of the minor-league system, the homogenization of the message and development, and the depth of talent in the minors has been under Mozeliak's watch and guidance. The purchase and sale of Class AAA Memphis was Mozeliak. The team's push to appear in international games -- Mexico this weekend, likely London next year -- has been something advocated and directed by Mozeliak. And so on. I'm listing the reasons here that ownership has given when I ask whether he's under pressure to perform. Look, the Cardinals owners did not like the run of "runnerup" finishes for key free agents. That frustrated them. And Mozeliak even hinted at that when he was talking at the beginning of this winter how they'd been "bridesmaids" too often. Goldschmidt helps tilt that view. And when ownership makes a call on what direction or who they want to lead they'll take all of that into account -- status of the majors, strength of the minors, growth of the tech, advancement of analytics ... all of it -- and from ownership's viewpoint that has been Mozeliak's guidance. They call him "the GPS."
I guess so. I think they should just lower the strike zone a bit.
They don't see Miller as a specialist. The minimum made him more valuable to them.
Entirely fair point of view.
I doubt they're this sloppy. That lineup will wake up. But it could be something that we see in hockey -- or we're told to look for in hockey. I think I've brought this up before. But I had a GM in hockey tell me that if you see a team struggling to make changes and getting dinged with too-many-men penalties then you're looking at a coach that has lost the bench and will soon lose his job. In baseball, you could say that the same thing as a too-many-men penalty is fraying fundamentals. The manager has lost the trust of the team and things start to drift, on the field, or in the dugout, or during spring training. I've seen that in some places. I don't how accurate a projection it is -- and I don't have a feel if that's the case with the Cubs.
I tend to agree with you. If doing away with the waiver deals of August, I think it would have been wiser to move the deadline back to mid-August then. And, yes, that's absolutely because there are more ways than ever into the playoffs and arguably less teams than ever interested in those ways. So, what's going to change for, say, the Diamondbacks in June that won't also be true on July 31? I think it could create less action because the teams will be so clearly defined already -- with a few intriguing teams that will ice the market as they decide which way to go. I'm cool with doing away with waivers. Those kind of deals -- where the Cardinals and others used to take on talent by taking on money -- have grown less so over the years, and it also will force the Cardinals to do more by the deadline then wait until the second, third wave of moves. In that way it could nationally not have the urgency, but locally with the Cardinals it might spur them to move quicker. We'll see.
Most teams have taken to seeing it as a disadvantage, but a necessary evil. The AL East teams see each other a lot in spring and then a lot during the season, and that only adds to the intensity of some of those games, even in March. What we're seeing more and more it seems is pitching assignments changing. Pitchers will go to the back fields to avoid facing teams they'll have to face during the regular season, especially late in spring. Several teams did that this year just so division teams couldn't get added looks at the pitcher as he readied for the season.
I've asked about this since last year, and both Fowler and the Cardinals have pushed back on this notion. One of the things pointed out to me last year was how level his splits were over larger sample sizes. The argument can be made that the trend lines show those starting to separate in recent years. Fowler's "natural" side is right. He learned to switch-hit by learning to hit from the left side. Today's lineup gives us the sense that if the Cardinals are going to find at-bats for Martinez and for O'Neill it's now going to be when Fowler would be batting from the right side. Shildt clearly said this afternoon that it's not going to be a straight platoon. (Remember we discussed this earlier in the chat?) And that Fowler will continue to get starts vs. lefties. The look thought is if he doesn't get much work on that side, doesn't see many starts on that side, then the conversation of abandoning that side becomes more real, more tangible. It cannot be dismissed as a question -- and hasn't been by either parties. It's just been pushed back against, to this point.
It was, yes. That was not the plan. Eager to see if that normalizes as they get more at-bats here. How much of that was facing the Hader & and other Brewers. We've already started to see the rate slow. This Dodgers series should be a good barometer. DeJong mentioned to me that it might have been Miller Park and the Cardinals just getting caught up in the gusto as well the pitchers there. This is the week and the coming road trip that will give greater clarity.
I don't know yet. A lot of this is just happening, and it's not a topic that I want to guess about. I want to read some of the facts going on and then get on the phone or get on the email to get a true sense of what this means. It's disappointing for sure. There was such strong headway coming out of that goodwill trip that several of us made there back in 2015, and the game the Rays played there in 2016. And now steps back.
Good point on Gant. His use has been creative and revealing. He's been strong. Cardinals have come a long way from the pitcher under glass.
It's possible. The Cardinals have not had that whopper, headliner move at the deadline in several years, and it's not a coincidence that the past three years haven't featured significant moves at the deadline. That's either a tell of where they thought the team was going or, this past year, a reason why it fell short. A move at the July deadline would change this team -- and, to me, the one way to significantly alter this team is by adding a starter. That would do it. Not any starter. But a innings eater, top of the rotation guy. The Cardinals and other teams would attach a WAR figure to that, but we're talking about a top one/two starter.
My email address runs with every story I write on the site. I do try to respond to every email I get. I do try. Even the angry ones.
Way different game. Way different situation. But I appreciate the reflection on history.
That's not where this is headed, no. Can't see the match. Not anymore.