So we've all heard it right? Different sayings about being frugal or conservative with money or life choices.
Well, I grew up in a very rural town, I mean VERY rural. The closest town was 8-10 minutes away and it only had 270 people or so. People didn't have a lot of money, heck to be honest people were down right poor! Being a kid I never realized how close we were to that category, but were close. We made ends meet the best we could and sometimes peanut butter sandwiches were all we had.
The whole point of that story was to say that some people think the Cardinals are in the poorhouse or something. That they're having to eat peanut butter sandwiches to make ends meet. They think that Bill Dewitt doesn't even have two pennies to rub together. Trust me, this guy has made serious money off the willingness of Cardinal fans to open their wallets and pay serious money to attend games. When he bought the team in 1995 he paid $150 million dollars and is approximately $1.9 billion in value in 2018. That's one hell of an investment if you ask me.
The 2018 attendance numbers prove that by the Cardinals ranking number 3 in MLB. Cardinals President John Mozeliak doesn't help the matter stating that he is responsible to the owner to be fiscally responsible and not over spend on talent.
Let us look into that why don't we?
"Mo" spent a lot of money to bring in talent that never panned out, Call it the Moneyball approach (by the way the Athletics are my second favorite team) just in the opposite direction. He bought players that were past their prime, overpaid for their services and completely dropped off before their contracts were ever completed.
Bret Cecil, Dexter Fowler, Luke Gregerson, Greg Holland just to name a few recently in hopes that they had something left in the tank. Outside of the Fowler signing Cardinals Nation was left to collectively scratch their heads wondering if we we're missing something, maybe Mo knew something we didn't. Well, turns out he didn't.
Let's make something very clear, it's not like he picked these guys out of the bargain bin or from obscurity. Mo paid these guys pretty decent money to perform at a high level, which they have not.
Now, to no one's surprise the Cardinals are in dire need of a superstar player to fill the role left by the departure of Albert Pujols in 2012 and let's face it, Pujols was on his decline before 2011. With complementary players such as Holliday, Molina, Freese and so on, Albert had a nice setup.
The 3 years going without a playoff berth to most of baseball fandom is totally normal, but there is nothing normal with the Redbirds missing the playoffs in 3 consecutive years. Now all that being said they have been close in all 3 seasons that they missed, but just think if they were to have a Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado or Mike Trout.
The Cards need an anchoring force in the line up that they haven't had for several years. Yadier Molina can only do so much and the young pitching staff is still coming into its own and they need developed talent as well as veteran leadership to help groom the younger players that are here to stay.
Let's be very clear, the Cardinals are in need for much more than just a bat or two. If last season was any indication, the bullpen needs some spring cleaning as well with under performers such as Gregerson, Leone and Cecil who are commanding high salaries for relievers had very high expectations coming into the club to be solid forces in the bullpen. Now the Cards are stuck with these 3 arms that can't get through an inning combined at this point either to injury or performance. Gregerson had a knee injury in spring that really derailed his season and he never rebounded. Dominic Leone's bicep injury in May made him ineffective. Brett Cecil has been ineffective throughout his career in St. Louis.
Fact is there are many more issues that the Cardinals are going to need to solve outside of landing that superstar player to bolster the lineup. a .300 AVG/.475 SLG/.390 OBP are great and all but if you don't have a good bullpen what does it really matter?
All in all, it's time to spend the smart money. Mr. Dewitt needs to back up the Brinks truck and shell out some serious cash to pick up a legitimate superstar player. This "We have to be fiscally responsible" garbage isn't going to fly with fans anymore.
You've made your money Mr. Dewitt, it's time to loosen the purse strings.
Thanks for reading
Derek King Sports