August 01, 2014

Wanted, and acquired: #Cardinals with "bad" attitudes

So, John Lackey, of yesterday's trade bonanza, and A.J. Pierzynski of Boston payroll slashing, are both surly, in Lackey's alleged case, or outright assholes, in Pierzynski's case. Even Justin Masterson has an edge to him at times.

Bernie Miklasz speculates that's exactly part of why John Mozeliak got both.
(T)his was ... a move that attacked the team's perceived complacency.
Allen Craig and Joe Kelly? Nice guys, to be sure, as is manager Mike Matheny. Miklasz suggests that itself is part of the problem, and relating to the whole "Matheny's guys" situation.

Bernie goes into more detail:
* I understand that Craig and Kelly were well liked by teammates. And they certainly seemed to be popular with fans. Pardon my dissent, but that's a non-factor to me. As fans we all get attached to players, but the truth is they come and go. It's a business. As for the clubhouse being in a state of sadness following the departures of Craig and Kelly ... well, too bad. 

* On that point, I respect what Jim Edmonds said Thursday on the Fox Sports Midwest pregame show: "I think everybody in that clubhouse is popular, and that's the problem they think they're having right now. Rah-rah can only get you so far. Having fun can only get you so far. And when you're the ownership and the general manager you need some guys to go in there and smack some people around and get a little bit more aggressive. The locker room can get too close at times, and I that's I think the situation that they thought they were falling into."
In other words, the team needed a kick in the nads. Or a punch in the gut, as the trade was reportedly received in the clubhouse. Joe Strauss follows on this, as does Derrick Gould in a second column, besides the first, linked in the previous sentence.

And maybe Oscar Taveras, no longer worried about Matheny, will be a bit surly himself.

And, while not wanting Matheny to lose his core identity, Miklasz hopes that he plays tough guy himself on occasion. All three Post-Dispatch writers agree that this was a message for and about Matheny, too, even though Mozeliak said "no" when directly asked that question.

As for Cards fans hung up on Kelly, especially, with his nerd glasses, his Cardinal Way version of "grit" and more? As soon as Michael Wacha came back, Kelly wasn't going to be starting, anyway,  unless it was down in Memphis.

That said, judging by the relatively low value the Rays got for David Price, why didn't Mo go after him instead?

Maybe for the reasons Bernie notes.

Weed-joke rumors and talk about Price aside -- or maybe we should not put them aside -- Price has a reputation as being a bit casual at times himself. Maybe, short sample size caveats and all, that's why Price doesn't have a great playoff record.

I certainly don't see him as being a Lackey type.

Anyway, let's see if this has the intended shake-up effect.

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