Mozeliak grows impatient with Cardinals' inconsistent performance

News-DemocratMay 13, 2014 

— General Manager John Mozeliak indicated Tuesday that his patience is wearing thin with the underachieving St. Louis Cardinals.

"I still think this is a talented club and I still believe in it. But having a belief in something is far different than actually getting it done," Mozeliak said. "I think right now it's still early in the season where you can't hit the panic button. But you've got to see the trend line change a little bit."

Mozeliak said the Cardinals' 17-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Monday was unacceptable, even though lopsided losses over the course of a 162-game season are bound to happen.

"(Monday) night was a very disappointing loss," Mozeliak said. "It was frankly embarrassing on how it unfolded. We have to do a better job than that. Everybody's accountable for that. Certainly, you've got to see things changing."

The loss Monday dropped the Cardinals, the defending National League champions, to 19-20.

"I think the record reflects how we've played, certainly," Mozeliak said. "We've lost a handful of one-run games or close games. These blowouts have been outliers. But the fact we're not winning baseball games is concerning."

Manager Mike Matheny said the Cardinals' record reflects better than the club has performed.

"I think we're fortunate to be where we are record-wise with how we've played, and the guys would agree with that," Matheny said. "I still don't think we've seen as good as we can be. What matters to us is the consistency of good, and that we certainly haven't seen. Everybody is going home and racking their brain and spending more time than we ought to trying to figure out what's missing."

Mozeliak said he will be proactive if the team doesn't turn around, whether it be calling on prospects like Kolten Wong and Oscar Taveras or bringing in players from other organizations.

"I think there's got to be certain benchmarks you think through and timetables that are realistic," Mozeliak said. "I can't imagine us just doing nothing all season and just say our strategy is you're going to rise up to your mean.

"For us, there are some things we want to be sensitive to. The month of July is an opportunity to maybe change the look of your club if you have to. The clock's ticking, but it's not in a panic mode or a reactionary place where you have to just do something to do something. (But) I think people have to be aware that this is not acceptable baseball at this point."

Mozeliak said all concerned must do a better job.

"Players have to look at themselves, staff needs to look at themselves," Mozeliak said. "We all have to see where we are on this. To try to do something right now that's kind of outside our internal means is really hard to do."

Mozeliak didn't criticize the effort level.

"These guys work hard. No one is questioning that," he said. "But when you think about sort of putting all these different variables together to be one cohesive unit, it just hasn't worked on a consistent basis.

"We've been fortunate because we've had some very good starting pitching to keep us in baseball games, but we haven't been able to sustain leads, we haven't been able to add to leads, we haven't been able to put teams away. When you do that, you play .500 baseball or sub-.500 baseball."

Matheny has said in recent weeks that he sensed things were beginning to turn around. He's no longer making those predictions.

"I think I've just talked too much about that nonsense," Matheny said Tuesday. "I keep saying, 'This is the one.' I'm done. I'm done with that. It's just a bunch of hot air. If I was a listener, I'd be tired of hearing it. I'm tired of saying it. We just have to do it. That's all there is to it."

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidMWilhelm.

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