What’s it gonna take to fix the Cardinals

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  • #242594
    ZTR
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    Free

    Correct bc,

    If this team has a second SP that was as or almost as good as Gray then pretty much all the other pieces seem to be in place for a potential playoff run.

    ASSUMING THERE IS NOT A RASH OF INJURIES, the lineup should be good enough, the defense should be ‘ok’, the bullpen should hold up better. The only thing glaringly absent is a second stud starter.

    Winning 95+ games is fun but we all know and have seen what happens in the playoffs.

    If things break the Cardinals way, a second starter can be added at the deadline and off they go. The margin for error is of course a lot thinner for the Cardinals than deeper organizations that are in a better position to absorb injuries.

    #242595
    blingboy
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    I do not think that is what Mo would do, jj.

    #242596
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    I like his recent history, if we are buyers.

    #242597
    gscottar
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    1982willie wrote:

    No one is a fan of a team for being financially prudent or making money.

    Very true willie. How many fans pump their fist at the end of the year exclaiming “wow look at our bottom line.”? None. I could care less how profitable the Cardinals are.

    brian wrote:

    When all is said and done, the only way to send a message to ownership is to not support their product.

    I have always been conflicted with this sentiment. Perhaps it is true for the casual fair weather fan but hardcore fans who love the game of baseball aren’t going to deprive themselves of what they love just because they don’t like ownership.

    #242598
    blingboy
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    I can easily see Mo plowing straight on through the season and into post with the 5 guys we have lined up right now. Assuming nobody is hurt or getting blown out regularly. That’s not to say I think all 5 will last all season, but hypothetically, if they do. I don’t see him sitting out a guy making $10+ Million in favor of somebody better.

    #242599
    bccran
    Participant

    I’ll join the fan type that just enjoys watching baseball. I’ve been fortunate enough to watch the Cardinals in 10 World Series and win 5 World Championships. At game 7 of the 1982 World Series I was able to walk onto the field after the last out with my 10 year old and scoop a little loose dirt from the pitcher’s mound onto a scorecard. Not sure it gets any better than that.

    Now, my main interest is watching the development of the young players, both at the major league and minor league levels. Really looking forward
    to seeing how Walker, Gorman, Winn, and Herrera play. And how McReevy, Graceffo, Roby, and Kloffenstein pitch at Memphis.

    If the Cards go deep into October, that will be great. It it will be the cherry on top of the sundae that has already been enjoyed throughout the season.

    #242600
    Brian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    gscottar replied:

    Perhaps it is true for the casual fair weather fan but hardcore fans who love the game of baseball aren’t going to deprive themselves of what they love just because they don’t like ownership.

    I understand, but fan complaining, whether from casual or hardcore, isn’t going to change anything. Do you have an idea how to send a message to ownership of your dissatisfaction another way?

    Support wouldn’t have to be all or nothing. For example, not buy season tickets and go to fewer games. Or listen on radio rather than pay for a TV subscription.

    willie wrote:

    No one is a fan of a team for being financially prudent or making money.

    I get that fans don’t care about team profitability, but ignoring how the team is run will just lead to more frustration. And if they miss their financial targets, the payroll is bound to suffer. Then folks will care but may or may not understand why…

    #242602
    gscottar
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    brian wrote:

    Do you have an idea how to send a message to ownership of your dissatisfaction another way?

    I honestly have never thought about it because my assumption is that they don’t care what I think. I live 6 hours from STL so I rarely go to games in person. I suppose I could stop watching games on TV but I view that as punishing myself more than ownership, although watching the games last season did feel like punishment.

    #242603
    blingboy
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    I don’t think ownership would care if all the fans in attendance wore bags over their heads so long as they had bought tickets to get in. (And bought some $14 beers). And to be honest, I don’t think players would care either, as long as their paychecks don’t bounce. Despite what they all would say on camera.

    #242607
    1toughdominican
    Participant

    Free

    A few paper bags are no skin of their noses, but if they detect a significant drop off in the amount of paper banknotes you can be assured they’ll take notice. When fans lose interest and refuse to part ways with their money, Billy Jr. will either offer the team up for sale or see to it that his product is once again in demand.

    #242613
    bccran
    Participant

    BDW, Jr. has one top priority every season – to have a winning team. He’s been a fan ever since he was a student at Country Day.

    #242620
    Brian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    82-80 is a winning team… The bar is not high enough… (But again, the financial bar is almost certainly more important.)

    #242623
    Nathan Leopold Jr.
    Participant

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    Yes, I suppose he was a fan when he was at Country Day. It is easy to be a fan but now he is the owner and his priorities have shifted. His top priority now, every season is to make a huge profit, which he does by keeping costs low and revenues high. He only cares about winning to sell tickets. That’s why every off-season is a halfway measure, including this year. They sign two guys right out of the chute so fans think they are serious. (They are not and never are). Gray was their marquee acquisition for this off-season. NOT ENOUGH. If they were actually serious about building a WS team then they sign Gray, trade for Cease, sign Montgomery, sign Hader, trade for Soto and more. It’s not that Junior doesn’t want to win…everyone wants to win. The problem is he doesn’t care of they lose. As long as profits are high then the fans can stick it as far as he’s concerned. I long ago resigned myself that my team will always be mediocre until we have new owners.

    #242624
    1toughdominican
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    Haha!…Yeah, Country Day. A lot of people don’t know this, but before Billy Jr. sold what are claimed to be roast beef sandwiches, he was an up and coming cupcake at Country Day.

    #242625
    Brian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    Nostalgia is great. I love history. I really do. But I also understand that the franchise has been on a slow and steady decline since 2011. The industry is passing the Cardinals by.

    Here is some history. We saw a similar decline in the 1950s as most of Musial’s career was wasted. We saw it during entire decade of the 1970s. We saw it again as the brewery stopped paying attention and after Whitey bailed out in frustration in 1990.

    Why should fans have confidence this current decline will be reversed? Sure, they probably won’t lose as many games as 2023, but can anyone honestly call them a World Series contender? Anyone see another Pujols coming?

    #242637
    14NyquisT
    Participant

    Pecota is far more optimistic about the 2024 Cardinals than zips as far as a division championship. P=49.4…. z= 33.2. But they both agree on a WS win….. about 2.8% and 2.9%. Both 84+/- wins.

    #242639
    gscottar
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    brian wrote:

    Why should fans have confidence this current decline will be reversed? Sure, they probably won’t lose as many games as 2023, but can anyone honestly call them a World Series contender? Anyone see another Pujols coming?

    Our front office would say that not many people viewed Arizona as a world series contender last year yet there they were. While that view has some merit I still believe that relying on lighting in a bottle instead of building in more certainty is a foolish way to make a deep playoff run. In fact I consider it a slap in the face to the 3 million that go through the turnstiles each year and countless others paying to watch on Bally’s Midwest. I would probably view it differently if we were talking about a franchise very limited on resources but we aren’t. We might not be able to match the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, and Phillies on spending but we also aren’t the Marlins, Pirates, or A’s. It would be nice just once for our team to really extend themselves instead of just doing the bare minimum to keep everyone interested. I realize that a $176M payroll isn’t nothing but I just get the impression that they could do more if they really wanted to.

    #242641
    Jnevel
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    I’m not sure comparing our payroll to the Pirates, A’s, and Marlins is quite the right metaphor.

    Pirates – $72 mil
    A’s – $57 mil
    Marlins – $97 mil

    Cards – $183 mil

    What is the right amount? Maybe $205 million? Some here might suggest $400 million by the list of players they say we should have signed. Otherwise they just don’t care about winning.

    Look, I don’t really want to defend the rich owners. But I do think we shouldn’t speak in absolutes. Organizations have budgets. People all expect to make money on their investments. All of us – which includes you and I. But that doesn’t mean they don’t care about winning too. Maybe they think trying to buy wins can be fruitless? After all, look at what the Mets did. I don’t know. I also would like to have seen a better signing than Lynn. And Carpenter. But maybe they know a lot more about what they’re doing than I do – which is more than likely true. So I’m willing to just watch it play out.

    #242644
    KeepComingBack
    Participant

    Free

    I’m not going to get bent out of shape about it. I learned a lot when the Rams left St Louis. I learned it’s unwise to get too emotionally invested in these pro teams and that life goes on, and actually quite smoothly. That includes the Cardinals, who are a lot more important in the big picture when it comes to entertainment. JMO the Cardinals don’t care about the hard-core fan. They care about the average fans who make up the majority of their attendance along with the corporate buyers who purchase blocks of season tickets and private boxes to entertain clients. And they’re good at keeping that fan happy. When that fan gets alienated and loses interest and when the corporate pepole can’t give their tickets away, that’s when they will have killed the golden goose. Me? I have Direct tv for only one reason- to watch the Cardinals. If they stink it up I’m canceling and heading to the basement to tie flies and listen on the radio. It’s cooler there anyway and radio is actually a pretty good way to take in the game.

    #242645
    gscottar
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    For the last few years I have heard several people say that a fair comparison for the Cardinals would be the Braves. Per Cot’s the current 40 man payroll for the Braves is $226.4M and the Cardinals are at $176.6M. That is a difference of $50M.

    https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/

    I have never been an advocate of trying to win by spending the most money. You have to do a lot of things well. Draft, develop, make shrewd trades, know which players to keep and which players to let go, know which players to extend and which players to not extend, make good managerial hires, etc….It isn’t all about spending money but it can give you a larger margin of error if you don’t excel at the other items listed.

    The Cardinal FO may know more than I do but that doesn’t mean they get a free pass. The expectations here are different than they are at other places, and for good reason. But the results have not matched expectations. The last 10 seasons:

    2014- Lost NLCS
    2015- Lost NLDS
    2016- No playoffs
    2017- No playoffs
    2018- No playoffs
    2019- Lost NLCS
    2020- Lost NL Wild Card
    2021- Lost NL Wild Card
    2022- Lost NL Wild Card
    2023- No playoffs

    We haven’t won a playoff series since 2019. Sorry that doesn’t cut it for me. The randomness of the playoffs seems to be happening elsewhere these days.

    #242646
    bicyclemike
    Moderator

    Paid - Annual

    It’s always easy for people outside an organization to tell them how they should spend their revenues. Our club is risk averse when it comes to free agents, but they do make a splash now and then in player acquisitions. The most recent examples are acquiring Arenado and Goldschmidt.

    They do what is within their operating framework and budget to win, without running the financial health into the ground.

    On a bigger picture level, the problem MLB has as opposed to the NFL, is that local media revenues vary widely in MLB. In the NFL, media revenues are more National and split evenly across all teams. Thus you don’t have so much of this “small market” handicap. Teams in Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Minneapolis can compete as well as teams in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles – and vice versa.

    That disparity is why attendance is so important to the Cardinals. They need that to overcome some of the media deficit they have to say the Dodgers.

    The recent downturn is not so much due to lack of spending, but poor talent evaluation. We could be better and have a lower payroll today had management not tried to do what some folks wish they would do more of, take a splash and compete today as opposed to hold tight and build towards a better tomorrow.

    #242647
    Brian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    bikemike said:

    They do what is within their operating framework and budget to win, without running the financial health into the ground.

    We honestly don’t know what their financial framework is and how much they are making or losing – and more importantly, IMO, if they have a profit target they push to make every single year. I will suggest that the next MLB team to go broke will be the first.

    On spending and trading, it seems like you feel strongly both ways. You correctly laud them for acquiring Goldy and Arenado (which is a big reason the team didn’t collapse sooner, IMO), but at the same time criticize them for taking a splash to compete.

    Like gscottar, I am not advocating wild spending, but the Cardinals’ relative spending position compared the rest of the game has been dropping for several years. That would be more palatable if they were still as competitive on the field but they aren’t and it isn’t. They are losing ground.

    #242648
    Jnevel
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    Paid - Annual

    I think the Braves is indeed a fairer comparison on where we should be spending. Maybe just shy of that. I can agree there. And I can agree that it feels like we are under spending some both this year and last year. And I actually think both Mozeliak and Dewitt agree with that too. They planned to spend a bit more. They just didn’t find the deals they were searching for and decided after failing to get what they wanted that they just wouldn’t spend it at all. Maybe they should have had a better plan B or C?

    I’m also discouraged at the playoff drought but I am somewhat a believer in the playoffs being a bit random so getting there in 6 of the last 10 years is solid. I think with the way they have 6 teams going now from each league, the expectation should be closer to 7 or 8 trips to the playoffs every 10 years for a team like the Cards. But 6 isn’t necessarily bad. There are several real good Cardinal teams in there that just crapped out at one stage or another in the playoffs. It happens. AZ can equal LA in a short series because baseball is definitely the most random of the major sports. In the NBA, the best team normally wins. Not so much in baseball. For example, if a player takes a terrible shot in basketball, it never goes in. But in baseball, a terrible swing where a guy is completely fooled at the plate can be a dribbler down the line for a base hit or fall in between 2 outfielders for a double. It happens in nearly every game. Or in basketball, a small breeze never matters (because it’s indoors obviously) but in baseball a small breeze blowing in or out can make the difference in an out or a grand slam. And the list goes on and on with the randomness of baseball. So it could just be randomness that we didn’t win in those 6 tries and that we did win twice in 2006 and 2011. I don’t know. It’s easier to blame someone for it. But it might not be anyone’s fault.

    I do hold ownership responsible for a couple things that I felt were very poor decisions at the time:
    1) The impulsive decision to find a big bat in the middle of the order that both led to the Ozuna trade and the complete lack of focus on pitching for about 5 years.
    2) The inability to keep up with the times on pitching labs and specialty coaches.
    3) The really weird carousel of Managers. I kind of understood the Matheney hiring and I certainly understood his firing. But after that it’s just been perplexing.

    After that list, I mostly have accepted the moves they’ve made as well intentioned and in the best interest of long-term success. Just my opinion. Let the new season begin. I’m more than ready.

    #242650
    bicyclemike
    Moderator

    Paid - Annual

    Another good discussion and well thought out and honest commentary. Good point on the manager choices. I can understand to a degree the thought that you want a manager in sync with the organizational philosophy. But you would think management would have looked at Shildt and said, “While he is a bit rouge in some areas, his track record has been better than our trend was with Matheny at the time we made the switch, and we play with enthusiasm. Lets see what we do this year with him.” I mean how bad could he have been?

    It will be interesting this year to see how San Diego does after trading Soto and losing Snell, with Shildt at the helm. At least things worked out for him. I am sure he and his still relatively new bride are enjoying living in the San Diego area much more than if they were still in St. Louis.

    #242651
    bicyclemike
    Moderator

    Paid - Annual

    On spending and trading, it seems like you feel strongly both ways. You correctly laud them for acquiring Goldy and Arenado (which is a big reason the team didn’t collapse sooner, IMO), but at the same time criticize them for taking a splash to compete.

    I think the answer to this is if you are going to make these kind of deals where you give up younger, mostly unproven talent for a veteran who has produced at the big league level, you really need to vet who you are getting. Look at more than his production – look at his character, his background, what other organizations say about him. Maybe there was something they could have seen with Ozuna where they would have backed off of the deal. Realistically, probably not as Atlanta committed to him for the long term. But still, you really want to be sure you are not putting too much emotion and ego into a deal.

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