I did not notice that any more than previous years, and it certainly didn't rate up there with like 2010 when it was omnipresent and an issue. This year's team did have some bubbles, for sure, and I think it was Tommy Pham who tried to puncture that when he talked about Ping Pong and Chess and all of those things, and I know that some of those comments were taken out of context. There was also the fact that some of the veteran players were struggling, and rare is the player who feels he can lead or unite a clubhouse when they're struggling. Lance Berkman talked a lot about that. Adam Wainwright has described that difficulty. It's far easier to lead when you're production is also at the front. So, yeah, a couple things were in play there: the team's overall play was frustrating and so players gravitate toward areas of comfort or keep to themselves, and some of the players who could pull groups together had their own production to focus on and their own place to find. There was a different vibe to the clubhouse for sure, but some of that was positive as a result, and it did seem to come together, especially when Dexter Fowler was at his healthiest and batting in the middle of the order and, oh, when they were winning.
I'll add one more thing: The Cardinals are getting younger, and you're going to see younger players mesh with younger players because they're learning it together and they're comfortable with each other from all the games played in the minors. We saw that with Jay, Descalso, Craig, Cruz, and that group, too.
They cannot participate in the draft if they have a full roster when the draft begins.
A Gold Glove as a DH. That doesn't get past the Hall voters.
Personality is always a concern. But no one seemed to care when the players who were on 100-win teams or playoff-bound teams or the strong teams of four, five, seven, 11, 13 years ago left the clubhouse early without being available to the media. I seem to recall a certain newspaper had to make a big deal about it in 2011 during the World Series, and yet I doubt fans really cared all that much -- or it was forgotten. Some players don't wait around to talk to the media after a game. Shocker. Film at 11. This is not some indictment on their ability to play or lead or anything; it may just be they don't have any interest in talking about these things.
That would be a big part of it, yes.
Positive. Palmeiro won the Gold Glove in 1999 when he played 28 games at first base and was a designated hitter for ... drum roll please ...128 games. You can look it up.
No. Managers make the moves.
Much as I appreciate Montreal and that could be a great series there, the games against the Mets count. Opening weekend. It's going to be the best team the Cardinals have at that time. And, if the Cardinals have their way, it will be the debuted of a new look to the lineup. Montreal, as cool as it is, is just an exhibition.
Those were the deals people wanted, but I doubt it was all at once.
This is ... wow, the great unknown, right? The Marlins would have the right to play it this way, but that's why I asked the question about good faith. I guess, they have to negotiate in good faith with their player, too. You really hit on a situation that further reveals the complexity of this whole thing. The Marlins have to play it right and play it honest by Stanton -- but they also have to play the game to get the best offer. In those terms, you could see that the Marlins would have to really go to Stanton with both options, if there is even a hint of accepting either, and then lay it out for him. Even thinking through the game theory of your scenario is tricky.
This is going to be a great board game someday.
Probably. That seems like a natural progression based on other players, trends. Not a bad thing at all.
This is the Holy Grail of Metrics for teams, and each one is working on it or has one that they buy into. They call them stress innings. They monitor pitches thrown. Mike Matheny keeps track of how many warmup pitches and times a reliever is warmed up and we saw games this past year when a reliever wasn't available not because of a game, but because he had warmed up for previous games and that counted against his workload. So, yes, and this is one of the charges of the Department of Performance that the Cardinals have and that the Mets are adding and that other teams have by other names, and the goal is this notion of "anti-fragile" athletes. Millions are being spent on this metric.
I don't know if Maddux brings some special skills to this approach, but the front office will give him the tools. That's the purpose of this research and application that is going on.
There was a sense coming out of the GM Meetings that there will be a run on the preferred relievers by the end of this month. That's because teams want who they want -- not who is left.
Yes. And it would make it far less necessary and thus unlikely.
Martinez misses Goldschmidt slightly more than he misses hitting in Arizona.
I don't see them playing it that way at all. They are fishing, ahem, for offers. They are not stalling. The Marlins don't want to buy anything, not even time.
Mozeliak, while not speaking about a player specifically, said the Cardinals can multitask and that sometimes there is a player so rare and so ideal for the fit that they can give it the time that it takes as long as they feel like they're not being strung along by the other team.
He would be a jackpot addition. Are you kidding?
Two executives with other teams and more than one agent told me at the GM Meetings that the view from outside the Cardinals' front office is that they are out to make a significant move. I heard them described as "aggressive" and "thinking big" and all of those things. There is a sense in baseball that because the Cardinals have missed the playoffs for two consecutive years and because they have the prospects on hand and because they have the payroll space and because they have the broadcast deal in place that they are in position and motivated to reclaim their prominence in the division. I heard something to that effect numerous times. The division rivals appear braced for it.
I think he will be taken. I think it's the best possible thing for him, and he deserves that chance.
Seems like a good place to end the chat. Thanks for your patience as I hopscotched from call to call and had to take a pause here or there to either reset the questions or try to run down some info. The 40-man roster is set. The Cardinals and Marlins continue to talking. This week won't lack for conversation, and it's possible that some action manifests with a reliever, as well. Happy Thanksgiving. I believe Rick Hummel is stepping into the chatting cage next week to field your queries. What Mozeliak said on KMOX this past weekend really rings true: It is like the offseason is operating at "two speeds" -- one for social media, media, and the fans, and then the one for the front offices. There is this urgency on one side to generate and reveal and devour news, and then there is a more plodding, deliberate pace to the people and talks actually making that news. It's already been a fascinating winter. And it's only starting.