I think this might be a question worth exploring in an exchange rather than a chat, because I'd like to know what moves that Mozeliak made were "pushed by La Russa." The deal to revamp the bullpen and remove Colby Rasmus from the outfield was clearly one the manager had signaled by the moves he was making with the lineup, and I could see how that would be one that TLR gets some credit for urging, and that led to a World Series title. But there was also the deal that TLR lobbied for that doesn't get as much attention -- Pedro Feliz. That was the trade that changed how Mozeliak looked at trades. TLR's relationship with Rolen forced that trade for Glaus, which was odd because how does the whole world know that Mozeliak has to move his All-World third baseman and he still get an All-Star third baseman in return?
Do you give TLR credit for Holliday, even though his request was for a cleanup hitter, and he had other lefthanded hitters in mind as he said that, and it was Mozeliak that was the one who identified and pursued Holliday for about nine-10 months? I don't have a bulletproof answer for that, other than it shows how many deals are done in concert.
Maybe the best deals are done in concert.
I'm always intrigued by the disconnect between the fan base and the front office, and this is an example of it. I wonder if it exists elsewhere that the perception of the front office from other fan bases is that they aren't "baseball minds" when really there's more baseball experience there than they get credit. Theo Epstein is widely regarded by peers as a "baseball mind," but does the Cubs fan base dismiss him as an Ivy Leaguer? I find that interesting.
Regardless, the Cardinals adopt a conserve approach to well about everything. They acknowledge they are data-driven, and one criticism I've offered about that approach -- to them in person, to you in the chat, to readers in print -- is that they talk themselves out of trades and deals by calculating risk ahead of imagining benefit. That's their model. Can the manager put a thumb on the scale so that the imagining benefit gets a little added weight -- sure. Want to know how that's done? We saw it recently. Who do you think Shildt was talking to the other day on the Zoom when describing the current setup in the bullpen?