There isn’t any way of getting around it. The Cardinals and all those associated with it failed in the 2018 season. If you don’t make the playoffs, you are just another mediocre baseball organization.
The Cardinals got in a hole early with their blind trust of Mike Matheny. He held on to the veterans for too long and the younger players had to sit. In fact, those are the reasons many of the young players like Pham, Grichuk, and Piscotty have been jettisoned out of town. Dexter Fowler had no business playing as much as he did.
I have no doubt that all members of the organization were trying. I will not accept the opinion that it was all about money. The stories that the place s mostly full all year and the DeWitt family just wanted our money is mostly false. It si a business so they did, in fact, want our money.
Then a decision was reached to fire the manager and hand it to another baseball person with no managerial experience. They named Mike Shildt as the interim manager for the rest of the season. But really they didn’t and more on that later. The players responded after Shildt made some subtle and not so subtle changes in the lineup on a daily basis.
The bullpen got a facelift from Michael Girsch (you never hear his name in the press as it is always John Mozeliak that they want a comment from, so why name Girsch as GM when he doesn’t get to fill that role?) and youngsters permeated the bullpen and some vets were sent to other places.
The offense seemed to pick up as all the stories in the media was about how the young guys wanted to do well and reward Mike Shildt for his years as their manager in the minor leagues with a new major league contract. Carpenter finally started hitting as his dismal start and that of Dexter Fowler are the main reasons this team failed to make the playoffs. They can’t play a consistently solid game on the offensive side. It is all streaky. Then the local media started a campaign to get the fans to believe that Matt Carpenter was a MVP candidate. That is laughable and was never really a choice. It sounded good.
Now the most curious decision made was to give Mike Shildt a new contract and remove the interim tag. NOW, the youngsters had no incentive t play out of their heads for the boss becaue he got his dream job. You know what happened? Check out the dates and you will find that almost from that day forward the Cardinals began their end of the season fall.
Why give Shildt the contract? It wasn’t like some other team was going to swoop in and hire him in the offseason. It was a lazy attempt at public relation point. Successfully, management took away the new reason that players were competing over their head. This time in the offseason could have been used to find a solid full time replacement. But that would require effort and work.
What is happening now? Oquendo has left the organization again and states he wants to remain home for the season. A shuffle has been made in the coaching ranks and a first base coach is needed. Hopefully, Stubby Clapp will stay with the Cardinals this year. With the hiring of Shildt, the Cardinals may have shot themselves in the foot in keeping Clapp for any length of the future.
Then they re-signed Adam Wainwright. It is hard to judge this signing since they haven’t announced financial terms. This was their statement:
Financial terms of Wainwright’s next deal were not disclosed by the club, but a source confirmed that the contract features a low base salary with “significant incentives.” Those include incentives that are tied to both starting and relieving.
Where do we go from here?
The Cardinals have stated they are looking for an impact bat.
That plan will require “risk”.
Rick Ankiel is looking for a return. Is that in the Cards?
Elehuris Montero was name “Prospect of the Year” . I saw him play several times and he is very good.
Will Bud Norris and Tyson Ross return for another year in the bullpen?
Say good-bye again to Matt Adams.
Be sure to check out our other endeavor- History of Cardinals.