Why not, indeed. He would argue he has. This is the Rubicon we've reached.
Good question. It sure seemed like there was a change in Mike Matheny's approach, or an unwillingness to adapt from the approach that had been successful early in his time with the club but just didn't line up as personal changed, as expectations changed, as pressure mounted. I'm not sure the front office could have seen all of that coming because we never know how someone is going to react to different pressures. I don't mean to minimize or compare here, but in my line of work there's a difference between writing/reporting and writing/reporting on deadline -- and you have a lot of promise as a young writer, but a newspaper doesn't really know about you until you're in the fire of deadline in October and you respond. That's not something you can really predict entirely. You can look for traits. You can look for abilities. You can prepare. But something has to be learned on the job -- and the ability to adapt is key in anything. We saw some fracturing of the communication back during the "spring of discontent" -- the headling on the story that ran -- and it was part of a big test for the manager to pull that team together. The Cardinals felt that was going to be his strength and he would improve with experience at everything else.
I do wonder if the team's evaluation of the players don't match the public perception. I would not rule that out at all as a possibility. I've talked a few people that question the longevity some of these free agents will have. And they're not talking the out years. They're talking about three, four years from now. That's an interesting perspective you don't hear often in the mainstream.
Two weeks of spring games? Fowler will have played maybe five of them at that point. That's hardly enough for the Cardinals to make a decision unless it's a spillover from the workouts, and judging by what Fowler has been able to do already this past month there's no indication he's going to be so limited physically that you'd have any sense to make a call this quickly.
I do not. Players will have the greatest impact. The greatest players will have the greater impact.
They are? Or are they making aggressive headlines? I don't see moves yet.
Yes. He does. If the younger players around him advance.
One of them has to end up with Philly -- or there is something really wrong there that deserves more investigation. Why would they not be appealing? Would not rule out Harper back to Washington. I still wonder if the Rangers are a sleeper for him. Keuchel back to Houston -- or Milwaukee. Could see that. Kimbrel to Atlanta makes a lot of sense.
Definitely that. The Cardinals are in the process still of planning what they want to be a three-day celebration of his time with the team, and that could also include gifts for the milestones that he's reached since leaving. Think 3,000 hits, and 600 home runs. They are going to roll out the tributes. That's their plan. Details to come.
I call it cute. I also find it fascinating that you would suggest the Padres -- the Padres -- are some kind of pacesetter for the Cardinals when they signed Hosmer, and yet the Cardinals trade for Ozuna, trade for Goldschmidt, sign Mikolas, and sign Miller in that same window and yet somehow the Padres are more aggressive. That's upside down. Sorry. And I can say that while suggesting, sure, the Cardinals could have done more. Wake me when the Padres do more than talk about Harper and Machado and dizzy-up the headlines and hype about their team. Sure, adding those players will make them a playoff contender. But just talking about them doesn't.
I think all front offices are looking at trades that way. That's why you hear GMs talk so much about spending time on the phone to see what another team is trying to do. Unload salaries? OK, let's talk. Free up a 40-man spot? Ah, can't help there. They may see the player's future the same, but they don't see the player's value the same -- I should have made that point -- and that's why teams spend so much time trying to understand the motivation of other teams so they can see if there's an edge they can exploit.
No earthly idea. Could be the messenger.
Trading Chris Duncan on July 21, 2009 was a surprise given the situation. Did not see that coming. Not for Julio Lugo, especially. The Cardinals are well-known in the business for saying little, if anything. They don't traffic in rumors. They don't play ball often with their interests. They're not chasing Twitter glory. That makes reporting on them different than some other teams. But only changes the approach, and that means that you have a good general idea of what they're trying to do and try to stay ahead of their options so that when they make a move it's already been explained and explored as a possibility.
Hate the market, not the writer. We do what we have to in order to satisfy readers.
There has been no indication that a) he wants that or b) will have to settle for that. What we do know is that we're going to see an opt-in clause like that for him (or opt-out, depending on your perspective).
I don't think it's a lack of LHP that should send them to those pitchers. My opinion is the Cardinals are lacking a certainty of innings. That's it. The Cardinals have opted to throw quantity at the innings they'll need from the rotation, and they would benefit from having quality of those innings coming from an added start. That would put them further ahead in the division, to me. Lefty or righty doesn't matter -- quality innings that arm can shoulder does.
This is a tricky question. Great question. I'm going Fowler. I wonder if I would say the same thing if I covered the Cubs on a daily basis -- or if I was not convinced that Heyward is going to remain the hitter he is and not unlock the swing he could have. But Fowler. That OBP plays, if he can find it again.
I just don't see that likely at all. Ozuna seems bound for free agency. He has the agent that prefers to direct his players that way. The Cardinals would welcome the comp pick and invest in Goldschmidt. Anything can change, of course. Conversations happen. But as of today the indications are that he's headed for free agency, happily.