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Chatting Up The World

Posted on January 22, 2009 at 7:57 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals
GM John Mozeliak sat down to the keyboard yesterday and answered some questions.  While the impoliteness and crudeness of some fans seems to have taken center stage, let's take a look at some of the other things he said.

First off, he seemed content enough with the rotation, noting that you don't judge a rotation on the fifth starter and they had a number of options for that slot.  Kyle McClellan was specifically noted, as was P.J. Walters and Jess Todd, which may indicate that the team feels they are close to ML ready.

He also didn't rule out going after another reliever in the spring.  It didn't sound like it was a top priority, but if something worked out, they'd do it.  I wonder if that'd be the result of a outfielder trade.  The bullpen has improved (even if Royce Ring's numbers don't inspire people with confidence) but could always get better, especially if Ring stumbles during the spring.

He had a chance to put the urban legend Skip Schumaker to second to rest, but instead acknowledged that it was at least something they might look at during the spring.  I still don't expect that to go anywhere, but they've got to do something about the outfielders.

It was nice to see this from him:

Not to get to detailed on this topic but I feel it is a nice place to address how we make decisions. First we look at the player performance, then scouting reports, then enter the risk factors, and then finally place a dollar value and length we feel comfortable with. I know it is not always popular, but there is a logic to our process.
Some people just seem to think they pull numbers out of thin air or cheapen out when it comes to free agents.  But if you think a guy's worth $15 over three, for example, why would you pay him $20 over three?  It's not good business.  And, if nothing else, this front office has a pretty good grasp on the fact that baseball is a business.

He did get away from setting a firm payroll number or talking about how much flexibility they have, since conditions seem to change on a regular basis.  In other words, the discussion of yesterday may not be as relevant as I thought, as payroll could be revised downward depending on other factors.  Still, they've shown they'll get the players they need, so hopefully they'll realize how much someone like Ben Sheets (again with the drumbeat!) will help the club.

And he's got a sense of humor.  Not only dealing with those fans we talked about before, but talking about himself:

allang: Can you please use the phrase "low hanging fruit" at some point in this session so the whiners can have something to cry about this afternoon?

John Mozeliak: That is funny, perhaps instead of low hanging fruit...for the rest of the off-season I will try to boil the ocean.
Which may have sent some posters off to complain that Mo thinks improving this team is impossible, because boiling the ocean can't happen.....

From his comment, it looks like any upgrade at second base will have to come via trade right before the season starts.  I'm not as concerned about second as a lot of people are--I think Adam Kennedy had a better season last year than some think--but it makes me wonder if Mo's got something simmering with another team that they can go to if they both need to.

It's nice that Mo sits down and does these chats.  It's not surprising that he doesn't give out much information or tell everyone exactly what they want to know, but it does give us a little insight into what's going on in the front office.

You can check out last night's UCB Radio Hour, when we talked about this chat and other topics, either on iTunes or on the player at the top of the page.  We had a miscommunication with Derrick Goold (who put together a must-read blog entry before he left on vacation), but we'll have him back on some time during the spring or early season.

Razzball, a fantasy baseball site, is doing a series where they ask a blogger five questions about their team and the season coming up.  I was lucky enough to be asked about the Cardinals and you can find my answers (and go disagree with them, if you wish) over here.  It's a fun idea, one that's inspired me to try something later on the spring.  You'll know it when you see it!

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4 Comments | Leave a comment


Nice. Bernie's article today about Mo's answer to one ignorant fan question was also interesting.

It was. Bernie gave him a lot of credit and it was well-deserved. Part of me wishes Mo would ignore that portion of the fanbase (the crazed, boorish type) but I can appreciate him not ducking the punches.

I still think that it's ridiculous that STLToday doesn't filter some of that garbage out in the first place.

Hard-hitting, pointed questions about the organization and the team are fine. Insults and generally childish behavior? Leave it at the door.

Well, if it's good enough for their forums, it's good enough for Mo, right?

I agree, allowing that kind of stuff is not exactly sticking to high standards.

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