The Cardinals got fans all geeked up this morning with news that the team would hold an early morning press conference at spring training camp in Jupiter, Fla.
But the hopes that Adam Wainwright suddenly struck a deal with the team just as it seemed talks were going nowhere were quickly doused as the team revealed it was general manager John Mozeliak who was getting a contract extension.
It was a little bit cruel to announce the press conference as the team did. It was very reminiscent of the way the club suddenly revealed that catcher Yadier Molina was extended a year ago shortly after the player and the club said publicly that talks had hit a snag.
I know when I heard the news that there would be a press conference the first thought it my head was about Wainwright.
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That's not to say that I'm not glad about Mozeliak being extended. I just think that was more of an expected development and less of a pleasant surprise. Mozeliak has enjoyed a positive and supportive relationship with the ownership group. And it would have been a total shock if he left a job with such security -- especially after he was able to win a couple of World Series rings here.
The Cardinals also announced that manager Mike Matheny's contract option year for 2014 would be picked up. That's also a no-brainer. The Birds basically put themselves in a position where, if Matheny just wasn't a fit that they could bail on him after two years. But most teams prefer not to have a lame duck manager because it undermines his authority with players who aren't convinced they need to do things his way because the skipper might not be around past the end of the season.
It was a little bit different when Tony La Russa was manager because he was basically in a situation where it was his choice to come back or not. He didn't need the security of a piece of paper.
That can cause an ugly situation if malcontent players don't like the manager. They think if they dog it they can get the boss fired and hopefully get someone they like in the big chair. Hopefully that's not an issue for the Cardinals. But it's still good for everyone involved to have a clear vision of the direction of the franchise.