As far as the rumor involving a player and another player's wife, I have heard that. I have nothing to substantiate it. I will tell you that the player who was married is still happily married to that same person 30 years later. As far as the rest, there were a few new players who had been acquired in the off-season such as catcher Mike Heath, who were unhappy with how they were used. Mostly, the issue was being buried so far in the standings that by late May, Herzog had conceded (correctly) the division title to the Mets. On a mediocre team, you're always going to have factions and people pointing fingers at other people. I will say that the wives of a couple of key players were said to be having some jealousy issues. Neither of the key players is married anymore to that particular person. .
Dexter Fowler often was the last player to arrive in the clubhouse although he wasn't officially late. He wasn't always the first one to leave, however. Sometimes, it's hard for us to tell that because many of the players have left by the time we are admitted to the clubhouse after a game, including, occasionally, a starting pitcher like Mike Leake, which generally is a "no-no" in baseball/media relations etiquette.
Mike Matheny is signed for three more seasons. He is the manager here and has the backing of owner Bill DeWitt Jr. This would be more of a discussion piece a year from now if the Cardinals miss the playoffs again. Girardi isn't in any real trouble in New York. No, he did not ask for a replay. No, he also did not throw the grand slam when his team was five runs ahead.
The issues are different, in-season and out. During the season you're talking about a player investment in return for a pitcher you might have only for two months. In free agency, there is no player investment other than a draft pick. It's only money. And most of the teams have money.
I'm a big Hosmer fan. I believe the Royals are, too. But any player the Cardinals get who can help on defense as well as offense is a good get. Hosmer isn't really the prototype power hitter although there's nothing wrong with hitting .300. I don't want to see defense take a back seat to offense when this team is restructured. The defense already is sketchy enough.
That remains to be seen. The customer is always right.
Yelich is the best two-way player and a lefthanded hitter, which the Cardinals have few of. Stanton sells the most tickets Ozuna had the best overall year. So they all fit in one form or another. Now. . . what does it cost, player-wise, to get them? And there are 300 million reasons why the Cardinals have to be careful in trying to acquire Stanton.
They also got promising righthander Rick Ownbey in the deal. They saw upside in both, especially Allen, but they did not have much leverage. The brewery wanted Hernandez gone.
Four easy ones, are free agent pitchers Lynn, Oh, Duke and Nicasio although the last named could be resigned. Catcher Rosario surely will be removed again. Infielder Valera maybe.
I see Carson Kelly playing twice a week next season and Molina, who actually is fairly nimble at first, playing a game or so there a week, a la Buster Posey in San Francisco. You don't want to lose Molina's bat two days a week. He was 18 and 82 this year.
The free-agent relief class will be led by Wade Davis of Chicago. I like young Colome of Tampa Bay but you would have to trade for him.
The two succeeding free agent classes will have no little or no bearing on what the Cardinals will do. They have to win now. Fans won't want to wait one or two more years.
Fowler never has undergone any surgery for his heel issue. You would hope an off-season of rest will help. As he pointed out during the season, he had a month's less rest last year when the Cubs went all the way.
Matt Carpenter improved markedly at first base from the beginning of the season to the end and that clearly is his best position defensively. You don't know if you have to deal him until you see who comes in and what position that player mans. He might have to go although I think he still has some good upside here, if healthy.
Gyorko, despite a decent year, isn't guaranteed of anything. No one except Molina is on a team that was disappointing on several levels. .
The Cardinals should have the money to rumble in any free-agent sweepstakes they choose to. However, a Stanton acquisition effectively would take a lot of money away from their ability to participate for Machado or Harper the next year. Yelich is a good fit financially. Stanton is the better box-office fit, especially now when you're trying to maintain that 3.4 million presence.
Longoria and Myers, of course, would be difference makers. Neither had his best year this season so the time could be right. But what does it take to get them?
Kind of a gray issue here but the team seems to be moving in a different direction in its pitching, perhaps involving more metrics.