Reporting Kevin Wheeler
Well, there won’t be much happening here in Jupiter today. Rain has forced everyone into the covered cages for bunting practice (for the pitchers) and bullpen sessions. The rain has been alternating between light and monsoon-like all morning so it looks like that’ll be it as far as workouts go.
We can’t see into the covered cages so observations about bullpen sessions will be difficult.
There was some significant news today, however, and given the weather the timing could not have been better.
Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. announced that GM John Mozeliak has agreed to a 3-year contract extension and that Mike Matheny’s option for 2014 has been picked up. Neither move is a surprise by any stretch of the imagination.
The Cardinals have averaged 88 wins over five seasons with Mo as the GM and the team has made the playoffs three times during that stretch, including in 2011 when the Cardinals won their 11th World Series. It’s pretty hard to argue with the franchise’s overall success since Mo took the job. They’ve remained a consistent contender, won a World Series and did that while also building a farm system that not long ago seemed bare. MLB.com ranks their minor league system #1 in baseball.
This organization is on sound footing, both now and for the future, and Mozeliak has definitely earned the extension.
As for Matheny, it only made sense to pick up the option. The team played well for him last year, the players like and respect him and he’s also on the same page as the front office about the way the franchise is being run.
I’m not suggesting everyone reading should agree with every move made by either man. I’m simply saying that when all of their skills, traits and accomplishments are looked at through a wide-angle lens, giving them extensions is a no-brainer.
You keep good people and both Mozeliak and Matheny are extremely good at what they do.
I talked to Bill DeWitt, Jr. after the press conference and he stressed the importance of continuity when running a team. In a world – sports – that is filled with uncertainty, having people you can count on for consistent performance is an invaluable commodity. The more you can increase the number of “knowns” and decrease the number of “unknowns” the more likely it is that you have a clear picture of where you are and how to get where you want to go.
The Cardinals are yearly contenders. They’ve been in the playoffs 9 times since 2000 and have won two World Series during that time. It’s pretty hard to argue with that level of success.
Tune into Sports Open Line tonight between 6:00-7:00 to hear my one-on-one interviews with John Mozeliak and Bill DeWitt, Jr. and then stick around for the Hot Stove League Show from 7:00-9:00 (Mike Shannon, John Rooney, Adam Wainwright, Derek Lilliquist and Trevor Rosenthal are among the featured voices tonight).