November 10, 2019 at 4:05 am #114059Bob ReedParticipantFree
Someone in another thread said that they’d “love” to see the quote of Dexter Fowler whining about getting benched. The following is a Goold article from late September, 2018. I’m nearly certain there was an additional article in October as well, with much the same tone and content. But this was all I found in a 30-minute search. It’ll suffice I think. Link:https://www.sj-r.com/sports/20180925/dexter-fowler-still-eager-to-be-part-of-cardinals-future
Now, one person’s whining is another one’s frankness and honesty, I suppose. And I guess that if one chooses to see it as Fowler merely articulating his discontent about the way in which he was benched, rather than the fact of the benching itself, I wouldn’t argue the point.
But either way, to my thinking, it’s a guy griping about the actions of others — or just one other — when he himself is the sole root of the conflict, because he badly wanted playing time that was not warranted any longer. Anyway, below are a few excerpts.
“I just think, look, everything was not told to me in the right way,” Fowler said. “I don’t think it was communicated in the way it was meant. Just everything. Everything.”
“Everything,” Fowler said.
“I don’t think I was treated right. That’s changed. Yeah, I was obviously affected by it. There are always circumstances that I had to overcome. That we had to overcome. You don’t just fall off the face of the Earth as a player. That doesn’t happen. You know what I mean? I know the type of player I am.”
When his average spiraled, the veteran switch-hitter sought consistency where he thought he could – in playing time – and didn’t did get it. Asked if that led to doubt, Fowler said he never had any.
“I think just one person did,” he said. Fowler was unsure of his standing with then-manager Mike Matheny and awaited actions to match statements.
You don’t see quotes like that from benched ballplayers very often. To me, that’s a ballplayer unwilling to acknowledge that he himself was the CAUSE of the awfulness that was his season. Instead, he “knew the kind of player he was,” despite all evidence to the contrary. And he blames one person. The one person who “doubted him.”
In other words, the person who finally benched his whining butt after 2 1/2 months of terrible baseball for a team trying to make the playoffs, a team that had multiple better alternatives available to play outfield. Well boo hoo hoo if he didn’t like being benched, or simply wasn’t informed about his benching in exactly the manner he preferred. I don’t care. He was awful. He got benched. That’s how sports works. Especially professional sports. They aren’t patronage jobs, Dexter.
Then, in an action defying all reason, some idiot re-installed him in the starting lineup. And more than that, the same idiot guaranteed the team’s worst player that regardless of results he would keep on putting him in the starting lineup. Yes, really. Continuing with Goold’s story:
When named interim manager, Shildt quickly let Fowler know he was going to be in the lineup, no question. He complimented the switch-hitter’s ability to “own and face” his struggles. Shildt explained a manager has to be “the rabbi, the tough guy, the confidence guy,” and that what he gave Fowler was “genuine.” And then he offered the strongest currency of faith he had: At bats.
Fowler started 15 of Shildt’s first 17 games as manager, and his production started to perk up, slightly. He hit .202 with a .313 on-base percentage and socked two home runs.
So, .202 with a .313 OBP. And below average defense, of course. In other words, Fowler still stunk. He just smelled like four dead skunks instead of five.
You know what? I was baffled just a little bit by having to look this article up, in order to dispel some stubborn nonsense about Fowler. Somebody please tell me, what deep psychological need is filled for people when they perform the function of Fowler apologists or revisionists? I don’t get it. Is it some flavor of white guilt?
Fowler of course obviously neither “owned” nor “faced” anything, contrary to what Shildt said. Heck, based on the above quoted article written more than two months after his season-ending injury, Fowler amazingly still remained petulant, arrogant, and deluded.
And then of course a few months later, to make a play for our sympathies Derrick Goold ran with the story about Fowler getting “depressed” during all of this. Oh, no! Matheny made Fowler depressed! What a meanie!! And you know what’s hilarious about Goold? Right before Fowler was benched by Matheny, Goold advocated that very action. Here’s Goold, in a chat, in early June, 2018:
What you see is targeted starts for the veteran, where matchups are favorable, and then you see the veteran given more as he performs, and the allocation of playing time shift around that. Fowler gets a good matchup and goes 3-for-4, then he gets the start against a righthanded pitcher if it’s the next day. And then see where that goes. We’re in the midst of that right now. If that doesn’t help, then bench role.
Matheny did exactly as Goold suggested. Nothing helped Fowler, so Fowler got a bench role.
And Goold the hypocrite has ripped Matheny for it ever since last fall.November 10, 2019 at 7:13 am #114060
I was the one who asked the prior poster to elaborate. I thought there might be something newsworthy instead of a rehashing of events from long ago that Fowler and Matheny did not get along.November 10, 2019 at 8:46 am #11406514NyquisTParticipant
What is newsworthy is that the situation persists to be a problem in the present.November 10, 2019 at 9:13 am #114066
To be specific, what persists is that Fowler remains on the team, but there are no indications that he has had any problems with Shildt or anyone else in the last year and a half.
We all get that many folks don’t like Fowler, but his contract and role have been discussed to death. There is nothing new here whatsoever. Those who have been upset will continue to be.November 10, 2019 at 10:33 am #114068MPWR2ParticipantFree
On the other hand, I’d love to see the quote of Fowler “whining about getting benched.”
The quote above makes it seem as though you had no knowledge of Fowler EVER complaining about getting benched. Now, you are saying you wanted something more recent.
This year, Dexter Fowler played in 150 out of 162 regular season games, so when was he benched (besides the very last game of the playoffs after going 2-32)? Your argument that you were looking for more recent complaints lacks credbility both in how it was stated and based on Fowler’s playing time this year.
In a year the Cardinals have stated they are not going to add to payroll, the least they can do is improve the team by removing somebody who believes he should be starting when he has a .576 OPS half-way through the season. Trading Fowler is addition by subtraction.
There are a lot of comments on this board about how Harrison Bader deserved to be benched with a .680 OPS this year. At least Bader offers lights-out defense. The same cannot be said of Fowler.November 10, 2019 at 10:42 am #114069GameCardParticipantFree
I agree with this. I think the most important moves are:
1. Adding an LH quality starting pitcher either by trade or free agency.
2. Getting rid of Dexter Fowler anyway you can.
3. Trade Jose Martinez.November 10, 2019 at 10:57 am #114070
MPWR2, on the other thread, you brought Fowler into a discussion about Carpenter’s long struggles in 2019. I complimented Carpenter for agreeing to go to the minors. We all knew about Fowler’s history back in the Matheny days. Had I understood that was your reference point, I would have simply let it pass. Dredging that up accomplishes nothing other than to remind us that Fowler remains a highly-charged subject for some posters.
(Fowler’s OPS at mid-season 2019 was a decent .786, including a .357 OBP. Citing .576 I guess goes back to 2018, which does not seem very relevant today.)
Fowler’s improved 2019 (over 2018) might make him slightly more attractive in trade, but as we all know, there are major inhibitors, including age, no-trade protection and money owed. There is no indication that the Cardinals are considering moving him, but perhaps they could surprise.
In the meantime, be upset at Shildt for playing him and/or upset at the front office for not getting rid of him, but Fowler himself has kept quiet and played wherever asked since the change in managers (similar to Carpenter not saying anything negative about his struggles). That is my point. No one is whining.
P.S. I just happened to notice that Fowler had career highs in both home runs (19) and RBI (67) this season. That surprised me.November 10, 2019 at 1:15 pm #114075
In my opinion, if a player goes 8 for his last 70 something he should be benched, even in the playoffs. And I hope Fowler isn’t guaranteed a starting job because hev is a veteran.November 10, 2019 at 1:59 pm #114078
Using OPS+, here are the Cards hitters who had more than 150 plate appearances with a worse 2019 than Fowler: Molina, DeJong, Carpenter, Bader, Jose Martinez, Wieters, Munoz and O’Neill.
Those who had a better 2019: Goldschmidt, Ozuna, Wong and Edman. That is it.November 10, 2019 at 2:22 pm #114080
I think Thomas in the regular season, and Arozarena in the playoffs, should have been given starts over Fowler.November 10, 2019 at 3:33 pm #114081
We may forget that Fowler’s best month of the season was August (.849 OPS). He then slumped from September into October, but it took time to see that. By then, Thomas was injured and out for the year. My guess is that had Thomas been available, he would have gotten a better shot. Then again, as we’ve seen for all players, Shildt tends to stick with his guys through thick and thin.
Many managers find it difficult to bench veterans in the post season in favor of rookies with very few at-bats (Randy had just 20). With the benefit of hindsight, it is hard to imagine anyone hitting worse than Fowler did in October, but he had been on that stage many times before.
When all is said and done, any heat for playing time decisions rest on the manager, not the players.November 10, 2019 at 7:49 pm #114085WoosterParticipantFree
Brian your OPS+ comment about those above and those below Dexters seem to align with my thoughts on who is producing and who isn’t.November 10, 2019 at 9:35 pm #114091
I just hope Schildt keeps an open mind on who starts, and our youngsters get a longer look in Spring Training.November 12, 2019 at 12:25 am #114134mspaidParticipantFree
It’s not about an open mind as to performance in ST. It is very simple, actually. Contracts start and play. Carpenter and Fowler will start no matter how bad they are in ST or how good the youngsters are. !8.5 and 16.5 million are not going to be bench players. Those two and DeJong will do more to paralyze the Cardinals next year over alleged cheapness. As has been said before by fans and the FO itself, though veiled, bad contracts keep the Cardinals from going big in the off-season.November 12, 2019 at 5:59 pm #1142031982 willieParticipantPaid - Annual
well sometimes you should eat bad contracts. the fact fowler had better offensive statistics than those other guys mean nothing since other than wong and edman, those other guys weren’t offensively all that great. being among the best of the worst doesn’t really cut it when you are being highly paid. and yea he did whine about his lack of playing time though it was deserved at the time. sure he hasn’t whined since shildt took over because he gets to play everyday whether he stinks or not. not even fowler is that stupid.November 12, 2019 at 9:33 pm #114227mspaidParticipantFree
Yes, some bad contracts should be eaten but don’t expect Junior do that anytime soon. They have some bad contracts and until they are expired there will be no meaningful moves by this FO. The next two years will be a wash until they have room to make moves and the hall-of-fame prospects arrive from Memphis. If you want to watch your team in the World Series you need to find another team.
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