Mozeliak Downplays Report of Cardinals Clubhouse Issues; Says Club Needs to Make ‘Additions’

The 2017 Cardinals’ postmortem is ongoing, as fans and media alike continue to pick at what went wrong this past season to keep the Birds home for consecutive Octobers.

A recent St. Louis Post-Dispatch report has clubhouse dissension between longtime Cardinals and those newer to the “Cardinal Way” as the latest reason the team ultimately underwhelmed everyone, but club president of baseball operations, John Mozeliak says it likely had more to do with the team’s play on the field.

“Simply put, when you’re struggling you’re trying to find a narrative or a storyline that explains why you’re struggling,” Mozeliak recently told 101ESPN. “Nobody ever wants to say it’s because you pitch poorly or because you don’t hit or you throw the ball around. It’s some other underlying factor. But the reality is it’s probably one of the first three (reasons).”

As far as veteran Cardinals potentially being irked by Dexter Fowler’s work hours or Jedd Gyorko’s ping-pong prowess, Mo says The Times They Are a-Changin’ in regards to how some modern players go about their individual training, conditioning, etc..

Mozeliak defended whatever Fowler’s regimen is and used the outfielder’s work ethic during game time as reasoning.

“There’s that fine balance between having respect for your peers and teammates, but also being able to do your job,” Mozeliak said. “I think Dex is more that modern player, but he comes in and he does his job. And what I mean by ‘his job’ is when the bell goes off he’s ready to play and from first pitch to last pitch that’s what he does.

The prez went on to say if we’re judging players mainly on their work hours, then we’re probably headed down the wrong direction.

“To take that and start determining what’s right, what’s wrong by when you show up; I think that’s when you’re going to start getting yourself into trouble because the modern athlete today and how they think about training, how they think about preparation, is evolving quickly. Changing quickly.”

‘Have to make some additions’

After every season’s postmortem comes the inevitable hot stove talk, which many Cardinal fans have already begun albeit in not such a bright way. There seems to be lots of worry in Cardinal Nation that the club’s brass won’t pull the trigger on a big-time player or write the accompanying check.

Mozeliak seems upbeat about where the team currently is at the MLB and farm levels, but acknowledged the need for change more than once while speaking with Bernie Miklasz.

“I understand that we need to do a few things differently. When people ask me how I envision the offseason, I do envision it being one where we have to be active in the sense of understanding the trade market, understanding the free agent market and deciding what makes most sense for us,” Mo said.

“There’s nowhere in where my mindset is or (Bill DeWitt Jr.’s) mindset that we plan on just throwing out the same 40-man roster that we had when we finished the season as what we expect to look like at spring training,” he added.

“If that gives you some encouragement, I hope it does, or optimism because we’re certainly going to try to change the look of this club at some level…I do feel our future’s bright, but I also agree we have to make some additions to ultimately get to where we need to go.”

President Mozeliak also touched on his relations with Tommy Pham in his 101ESPN interview, as well as what direction the front office may take in regards to offseason needs. You can listen to the entire interview below:

Stay tuned to 101ESPN and for plenty of Cardinals offseason coverage and analysis.

More – Problem: The Cardinals Have Too Many Cardinals and Need Outside Help To Win Again

  • James Berry

    I don’t dislike Mo, but i can’t listen to him talk without thinking about how it reminds me of an Ivy League school voice. That “old money” tone.

    I hope the FO is serious about making changes and while i agree that “it’s because you pitch poorly or because you don’t hit or you throw the ball around” being the main reasons a team plays so poorly, part of the reason stated by the FO for bringing Fowler in was his demeanor and light heartedness with an ever present smile. So you can’t tell us one thing one time and deny it matters later when it didn’t have the affect you hoped for. Pick a narrative and stick to it.

    • JDinSTL

      He’s an excuse-making wine-sipping A-Lister. Without Luhnow to think for him and without LaRussa to insist he act, he settles into his typical arrogant complacent self.

      • Christopher Toth

        Didn’t use to think so. I do now.

      • Mark Jonesin

        Totally agree.

    • Christopher Toth

      Reminds me of a guy who is so enraptured by his own voice, he fails to see how everytime he wags his tongue, people around him doze off out of sheer boredom of listening to him in effect say zip.

      Roll eyes.

      Drop microphone.

      No need to send out for coffee because this offseason is going to be a snoozer full of ‘well we tried’, ‘we went out of our comfort zone’, and ‘we just couldn’t get it done’.

      The only question I have at this point is who falls alseep first in a meeting where only MM and Mo are present because whenever I listen to either, it is more effective than a year’s worth of Ambien.

  • George Belt

    Everyone wishes they knew where the Cards were going and how they were going to get there. There is one thing I know for certain… when running a business, be it baseball or whatever, the last thing one should do is go public with their plans before executing them. One can’t expect him to layout whom, or what, they are interested in doing, or how they are going to get there.

    In sports, the proof of success is in performance… in wins and losses. There is no question, the performance needs to improve and I would think this will be MM’s final season if they again fail to reach the playoffs. In fact, if the early results are poor, I would expect a change would be made during the season.

    In addition, the tone of one’s voice, or their accent, has little to do with performance in business.

    • Mark Jonesin

      Stop the bleeding. Mike Matheny and John mozeliak need to go. No more excuses. Take away that 100 win season and this team has gotten worse.

  • Scott Warren

    Could this guy come off any more arrogant or pompous? Uh, no. If he has anything to say about it, Pham will be loooooong gone before next season rolls around. Tommy actually has the gall to speak his mind and tell the truth, which the Cardinals want no part of.

  • Will MacPheat

    How many blown saves did the Cards have versus the Cubs? I think that alone would have put the Cards in first.

  • Mark Lee Arbogast

    MO is doing a whole lot of talking and he is better at that than anything else the last few years. it seems I remember something about the 2016 Cards being too serious and Dex was going to change things and make it more fun. I only see the guy smile when he is standing on first base talking to Arizona. And it don’t take Branch Ricky to see that the team is full of average middling players. some are “pretty good” but nobody is “really good”. the same thing can be said for their fielding and base running. the team has no players that other team are worried about facing. like it or not the Cardinals main opponent is the Cubs. it’s bad enough when they finish way ahead of you in the standings but when they beat the tar outta you in head to head match ups your in trouble.

  • Fly Guy

    It is the off season and the Johnny Mo road show goes into full interview mode. He will meet with every sports outlet and tell everyone he is looking at changes, the cardinals will be players in the free agent market, we have the money to spend….yaddah, yaddah, yadda…Then we sign another Fowler, or a Cecil and continue to prop up Matheny and Grichuk.

    The press in St Louis will never say they are complicit in Mozeliaks BS pressers but where is the real medial insisting that Mo own his own fiasco and make significant changes vs making more empty promises

  • Robert Richman

    I visualize Mo-tie as a talking head without body, rotating on its pedestal as it spins and spews forth tired rhetoric. Just pull its string to activate the speaker, just like an old “Chatty Cathy” doll. Oh, right; well to the point, the first and best addition he could make is by subtraction. Lose Matheny!