Let me start with declarative statements:
1) I am a staunch supporter of Bill Dewitt III as the President of the St. Louis Cardinals. 2) I am a staunch supporter of John Mozeliak formerly as the GM and currently as the President of Baseball Operations of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Those two have done an incredible job keeping a mid-market team with a ravenous fan base not only afloat, but dominant for the decade those two have had these positions.
They have not been above reproach from me before. I have questioned trades and signings and non-signings, like every other fan. I try to use sabermetric data to say why I question moves and/or non-moves. I have questioned keeping Matheny on as the manager - and still do. I have suggested who I would hire and why. (#hiregabekapler might not have been the brightest idea of mine...although time will tell on that one.)
Today, it’s time we have a little talk - this time aimed at upper management (above Matheny’s head). This team is completely disjointed and has been growing much more so for the past few seasons. While I believe that the GM and ownership has given Matheny the tools to be a much better manager than he has been, and while I believe that they have given Matheny the types of tools that he is wanting to have on his team, they have had a rough time coming together to build a team.
While a team can be defined as “a number of persons associated together in work or activity“ - which is what I believe the current group is - the definition of building a team that I am focusing on here is more along the lines of “a cohesive group of individuals that all have set purposes to get the most out of each other and perform to their highest level of abilities as that aforementioned cohesive group.”
Now, with these being professional athletes with supposed egos the size of small cities and making kajilliions of dollars (only a slight hyperbole with a made up word), that is much easier said than done in the clubhouse. I give Matheny a fair amount of crap for not getting that done in the clubhouse, but I believe part of that comes from the fact that Matheny was touted as being a “Leader of Men.” That was supposed to be his BEST quality coming into the league as a manager for the first time back in 2012...and I just don’t see that as even being a strength - from the outside - even today, 7 years later.
Coming up in this multiple part series I detail what I mean about this not being a cohesive team and why I need to have a “chat” not with Matheny, but with upper management. I don’t believe this team has been built to function together. It is disjointed, in every sense of the word.