Jocketty semi-open thread

Discussions of Walt’s situation are welcome below.

You guys know the rules. No name calling. No insults. Respect for each other AND for the people involved in the decisions. I’ll delete, without explanation or hesitation, posts that stray from those guidelines.

Thanks much. Have at it.

-M.

61 Comments

What happened? Did he decide to leave or the team not want him back?

Matt, I have heard many people’s feelings are that if Jocketty went out, that LaRussa would not come back as well. Is there any truth to this? What’s your take on it?

I hate to see Walt go. I have always liked him. He made a lot of good moves during his tenure with StL. I’d read all the rumors of his unhappiness with other organizational changes–sometimes it helps to get new blood. Tony said a while back that his decision was not contingent on Walt returning. I would like to see Tony back. There is no one out there who could do a better job.

This makes me a very sad Evilfrog. Walt put together a team that had seven winning seasons in a row. Im said to see him leave.

Im pretty sure this will effect Tony’s decession. Could also lead to Duncan not being here next year also.

You can’t blame Walt for not making a power move these past two seasons. Ownership acknowledged Walt’s playing style, he dealt the young guys for the star veterans and it worked. They accepted it then, so it shouldn’t rest solely on his shoulders. Give Walt more money and he’d continue to make big deals happen, but nothing that would make us that much better.

Don’t hate the player, hate the game, man. The game!

Best of luck to Walt. He’ll always be the GM of my heart.

There goes the cardinals down hill from here.Not going to find a better gm than walt.At least we still have pujols :O)

I hate to see Walt go. I think
Tony has got too much credit

in the past that should have

gone to Walt. Tony would not have won near as many games if

Walt had not built him such good teams.

True, but Tony still has been the one making the lineup moves on the field and been the actual leader of this team

I think this will benefit the Cardinals because DeWitt will be more likely to spend more money in regards to the payroll to make the firing of Jocketty look like a good move. Also, some of the moves the Cards have made in the last 2 years haven’t really been successful and you can’t employ a GM that has lost his edge. It was obvious that Walt was unhappy and he and DeWitt both knew this was the only way to go. After hearing DeWitt on the radio is also seems like he is leaning toward building the team through the farm system, which might end LaRussa’s run here as well because he’d rather manage veterans than develop/have faith in the kids

Total shock and surprise on my side…

On one hand, I can’t believe it…how does Dewitt allow this to happen? How do we let Jocketty get away from us like that? Right now, I’m extremely upset with ownership and the apparent lack of foresight…for example, how can we expect Tony to want to come back, now? Walt did a great job…hate to see him go…

On the other hand, things DID seem to be to a point in the organization that we were almost incapable of pulling the trigger on some deals or making progress…things seemed to have slowed down in the front office and became stagnant…But I think it is wise to remember that the tension in the office is the reason things slowed down…not necessarily Walt…

Bottom line, a STRONG reminder to the Cardinals owndership…it takes two to increase tension…they BETTER hope this works out for the best and the St. Louis Cardinals fans like the end result…if not, we will hold the owners personally responsible and view ANY and ALL issues with the Cardinals going forward as primarily ownership’s fault. They will become public enemy # 1 in St. Louis…and if this backfires, they deserve to be…

Most Cardinals fans will instinctively side with Walt.

This is a dark day for st louis.. if anyone thinks that the owners of cardinals are going to spend any money to fix this team then i have tickets to the moon for sale..
this proves that they will do nothing to improve this team.they will tell us that they are going to fix this team.

But if we fans keep filling the ball park,this is what we can expect.. The owners are laughing all the way to the bank, while we leave the bank just to go to the game..

I feel the money was spent wrong last year. but was the GM at fault???

The team needs alot of help. they don’t have enough money to fix this team and they are not willing to spend the money to fix it.

It’s going to be a long winter,and next summer is going to be a long cold summer, well at least at the ballpark.

The prices won’t go down next year, that will go up, well at least us fans can count on that..

We need to face the facts,in

a few years, will look back and think 3rd place, was a great year.i hope i’m wrong…

Very well said, Kevin. The more I think about this, the more idiotic it seems. You can’t blame Walt when he had nothing to work with. Free agency has been tough these past few years, nobody can deny that. It’s hard to blame a GM because of that.

Look at the Cubs. Sure, they barely made it to the playoffs after overspending on a boatload of mediocre players, but what about the longterm? What about when Soriano is 36 and batting .235 for 5 homers in August and making A-Rod money? They’ll suffer.

Truthfully, I don’t see this as all that big a deal. Everybody I’ve talked to thinks that Jocketty is leaving a pretty healthy organization behind — there is front-office talent waiting in the wings, scouting and minors (weak spots for some years) are in better shape now than in a long time, the organization is committed to maintaining its community ties, and so on. Yes, he’s been a terrific GM, but nobody is indispensable. Well, maybe Pujols… but nobody in the front office.

I hope that the team rapidly names Mozeliak (who has made a very, very good impression) as not just interim but permanent GM so that he can get on with the winter’s business. The one thing that I do find worrisome is the possibility that they’ll remain paralyzed for so much of the winter that they miss out on trade and free-agent opportunities. This team can contend again in the NL Central if they do nothing more than get everybody healthy and add one decent starting pitcher. However, they’ll have to add that pitcher, somehow, and a front office that’s dead in the water will have a hard time doing it.

I hate to see Walt go. But knew that it was a matter of time before it happened. Ownership got their rings last year. So what’s the point of spending more money to get another. Not to say that they should have blown a few million on pitching(kip wells)or something like. But allowing little more freedom to make some better moves might have helped.

As a Cardinal fan for 60 years I am appalled that ownership has committed this act of TREASON in firing a man who has done so much. LaRussa’s hedging as to his return next year is now presented in much clearer context.

As a young boy worshiping Stan the Man in the first set of championship draught years in the early 50s; and then savoring the winning years in the 60s; and then again savoring the recent championship seasons; I’m not sure that I can stomach yet again another draught set of years the new ownership has brought about.

Bring me back the Cardinals I have learned to cherish and love in my younger days. I’m too old to endure another long and demoralizing draught as the new owners are about to impose on us once again!

If someone committed treason, then the law dictates they should be executed. I am of the opinion that relieving a general manager of his duties is not a capital crime.

-M.

michael bringing up kip wells gives me a thought. after the terrible season that he had, what chances does he have to:

1) pitch with the cards again

2) pitch in the bigs again

1) Zero.

2) 100 percent. Every pitching coach thinks he can harness a guy with an arm like that.

-M.

Hey Matt, what are the odds that we keep Duncan and Tony for A) one more season and B) 3 more seasons?

This is bad, bad news for the Cards. Supposedly ownership was going to expand the payroll a little bit for next year, and Walt is the best guy to spend that money.
If you ask me, he’s the second biggest reason (behind Pujols) for the Cards’ success since 2000. I can easily see him latching on to another team and working some slow, steady magic.

Let’s just hope that the new GM is in the same mold and avoids the free-spending of baseball’s recent offseasons.

This seems like the start of a new era for the Cards, make no mistake. Let’s hope the ride is fun.

I just realized that a pitchers ERA is spelled the same was as era as in a baseball era. I can see why, a baseballs era can be and probably will be determine on how well the pitchers perform. Ha ha. Anyways, as far as Jocketty going. I’m not that upset, I was never a big fan of his. He did do some good things, but he also did some bad things. As does everyone. Anyways, lets think of this as a time to start a new era in the Cardinals history, one that doesn’t just work its team around defense, but also around youth. I would like to see more guys int their early 20’s playing for this team. And also, two people I want will have never been picked up with Jocketty as manager, at least I think, maybe I’m wrong, but the people I want are Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera.

Walt was a brilliant man and brought a lot to St Louis; 2004-2006 will be VERY fond memories for me for the rest of my life. That said after the collective bargaining agreement changed free agency, I for one think that it is time to return to the philosophy that made the Cardinals a dynasty in the 30’s and 40’s….it’s time to put financial resources and efforts into the farm system and latin recruiting. Unfortunatley it seems that Jocketty’s successful track record is keeping him from seeing a different way to do things. He’ll land on his feet, and sooner or later will have to change along with the free-agency and trade markets. We Cardinal fans have had it pretty darn good…DeWitt’s going to be blasted for this, but I think he is getting it right.

Or we could just build this team around speed and pitching. You know a guy who can steal 50+ bases and a pitcher who consistantly has an era under 2.50. Lol, that’d be cool. I want more speed on the Cardinals base paths.

Only problem with us signing/acquiring Cabrera is where to put him. We have Duncan and Ankiel at the corners of the outfield and Pujols and Rolen at the infield corners. And as far as Dontrelle, I’m not sold on him being a good enough pitcher to carry a staff. He seems to only be good when the offense behind him is good. However, a young arm right now would help out.

i think larussa’a gone after this move. ideas for our next manager?
last year’s manager of the year, perhaps? (still can’t believe girardi was unemployed this year…)

Matt,

Considering the idea that La Russa is unlikely to return after this move, who do you see as possibilities? A few off the top of my head:

1) Joe Girardi – his ability to handle young talent (albeit after just 1 season) could bode well for us during our partial rebuilding years.

2) Jose Oquendo – I know he was interviewing for a job last year with another team…seems he would be pretty put-off if he wasn’t seriously considered for the job after Tony leaves.

3) Um…?

Also, how likely is it that the team will go after someone like Brian Cashman? Or do you see them promoting from within as the most likely option – like our now interim GM?

Ok…possibly my biggest question for last…

***How will the “parting of ways” with Jocketty and La Russa’s expected departure affect the organization’s relationship with players like Ankiel (they were pretty instrumental in his career and comeback) and Pujols (considering he’s never played for another manager)???? Also keeping in mind Boras is Ank’s agent – ugh…***

Thanks, Matt!!!

This would be the perfect time to bring back Whitey ball.

Don’t forget, the organization did try to get Dontrelle Willis at one point, but he stayed with Florida instead. Jocketty and La Russa both seemed VERY interested and wanted him. Also, remember…if La Russa goes, Duncan goes…which means the organization will quickly make Chris Duncan a trade possibility for pitching…WHICH…means we have a possible open corner outfield spot for guys like Cabrera…although, considering Rasmus in the wings and our pitching needs, I have a hard time accepting the possibility that this team would spend enough money on position players to be able to get someone of Cabrera’s caliber..

On a side note, if we’re willing to trade a guy like A. Reyes and Chris Duncan, and considering the recent parting of ways with Andruw Jones, this makes a possible trade to Atlanta for Renteria a bit more likely…maybe????

Too bad it wasn’t working out with Mr Jocketty. I thought he and Larussa made a good team. Hey, Matt, check out the In-n-Out secret menu: http://www.in-n-out.com/secretmenu.asp

What’s with the Renteria suggestions I keep hearing? I love the guy, but I don’t want him back. He was continually an anchor to the team every October, like it or not, and I’d rather have a much younger Brendan Ryan at Short than an aging guy with zero pop in his bat.

I really hope this doesnt effect signing Ankiel. I would rather see Ryan playing SS than Renteria. I love Renteria, but for a veterian guy I prefer Eck. And if David doesnt get signed I want to see how our draft pick does. Spend them money on pitching.

To the Miguel Cabrera move, he could play 2B for the Cardinals as a friend of mine heymatto suggested to me when I brought it up with him or depending on what Edmonds does, we could move Ankiel to CF and Miguel to RF.

As to Renteria, if he wanted to come back to Saint Louis, I would welcome him with open arms. And you realize Ryan can play 3 positions not just Short Stop: 2B, 3B, and SS. If Renteria wanted back and the Cardinals got him as a sign of respect we could have Ryan move to 2B.

And Dontrelle Willis was an Ace in 2004 and with a little help from Duncan he could be an Ace again.

And LaRusssa has stated that what happened to Jocketty wouldn’t affect his choice on whether to stay with the Cardinals.

hehe…yeah…and Jocketty said he was happy with his position in St. Louis and didn’t see a reason to move he and his family…and ownership and the GM’s office always said they had a great relationship.

I think Tony is just being respectful and professional (as he should be). How can a GM NOT affect a Manager’s decision to manage for that team or not???? Now, that being said, if they move fast enough, the Cardinals might be able to get a GM in there that La Russa likes, respects, and works well with…

Either way…as much as I like Walt…now that i’ve calmed down a bit…I’m a little excited at the fresh possibilities, now. Also, Walt had a great run, and he did a great job for us, but we all knew this was coming soon…I don’t think he would have come back after his contract was up anyway. I guess, as much as it hurts, better now than in a year.

Think about it…you don’t want a GM who has almost no investment in the future of your franchise making decisions and deals that determine the future of your franchise in his last year.

This winter will be interesting.

See…this is the kind of stuff that worries me…

“A few weeks before the season ended, I was talking to Albert Pujols about a home — palace might be a better description — he was having built in the St. Louis area. He said he’d put a hold on the plans, partly because there was a lot more work involved than he and his wife have time for — but also because he wants to see what direction the team takes in the next couple years.

After the firing of Jocketty and the possible departure of La Russa, Pujols isn’t likely to be pleased with what he’s going to see.”

From an article by Stan McNeal with the Sporting News.

Ummmmm…what the heck????

Matt,

Do you think stories like Bernie Miklasz’s “The DeWitt Column: What you must know” contributed to DeWitt’s building frustration finally culminating in a dismissed Jocketty?

Come on…what kind of sports fan would I be if I didn’t periodically blame the media in some capacity?

:)

I blame DeWitt being an idiot, not Bernie. :)

Well…I don’t think DeWitt is that…I think he is doing what he thinks is best for the team…and, honestly, I don’t know that he’s wrong. But, I don’t know the whole situation.

I am really not ‘blaming’ Bernie at all…I just wonder if there was a gradual build-up of frustration that finally “burst” when he opens his paper and reads stories like that…he did cite “reporting” of Walt’s discontent…and that discontent and the coverage it was getting seemed to factor into his frustration and decision…

So, I’m just wondering if there was an “Okay, that’s it!!” moment when DeWitt read something like that story by Bernie and decided enough was enough.

Jocketty is a great GM, but I think his time with the Cardinals may have just ran out. Something had to give, ownership or management, and in that situation management is always going to lose out.
If Jocketty AND LaRussa are gone it’s not all negative for the Cards. Some new blood could be a shot in the arm, but they still have to revamp the rotation and some of the lineup to be successful. I hope that Jocketty goes somewhere and is very successful, hopefully not Cincy. He, like everyone else, was far from perfect. Yeah the Edmonds deal was a steal, but he also traded away Calero, Haren and Barton, and I like Mulder, still, but that’s not a good deal at even if Mulder stays healthy and is a great pitcher all this time.

I’m grateful for all the good things he did in St. Louis. He gave us a winning ball club for the majority of his tenure here, but now it’s time to move on. Whether it was a good move or a bad move doesn’t really matter right now. What matters is getting a full-time replacement, getting a decision from LaRussa and bring in some talented, hopefully young, players to get the Cardinals back to the postseason.

God bless & good luck to a guy who made us victorious!but,he made the comment that m.l.b. owners spent too much on mediocre pitching during last winter at about our halfway mark this summer…he bad mouthed them saying they opened a pandoras’ box,more-or-less..my heart sank knowing it was obvious we were going to have to ride it out w/o any blockbuster trades this year…also, he pulled a lot of wool over a lot of eyes this past 5 years, maybe ownership sensed no one would deal with him anymore!?…my vote… jose oquendo at the helm, whitey as g.m. , ludwig left,#15 center,rickey rt., ryan 3b,eck s.s., cabrera 2b, albert 1b, pitch carp, wainright,looper,mulder?,trade dunc,spez(+some)& taguchi with dontrele in the 5 spot of the rotation throwing to yadi…we’re back in business! GO CARDS!

I’ll miss Walt. The Cards couldn’t have had a better GM for so many years. Sure hope I don’t have to say I’ll miss Tony and Dave. C’mon Cardinals!

As far as Ludwick being an everyday player, I wouldn’t be too thrilled. He had a career year for us and he was at his best off the bench. I also don’t think we can depend on Carp in 2008. Give him full chance to heal, get 2 good pitchers to fill out the rotation.

My best wishes and prayers for success go with Walt. I’m saddened by this announcement and somewhat shocked. However, in a “what have you done for me lately?” world, it wouldn’t matter how many championships preceeded a tough year, it’s too easy to look at the negative and forget the positive. It may be baseball but from an organizational standpoint it is still big business and the days of “employer/employee loyalty” are sadly gone. People are often quick to point fingers and place blame, but one individual does not make or break an organization or a team.

I would be remiss if I did not point out in this message of support for Walt, that death and injury are variables in a season that can not be controlled or predicted. This was a year we didn’t get to the playoffs, but the seats were still full and the fans still love their Cardinals. Walt always impressed me as a gentleman and a leader in the Cardinals organization who had a great eye for players who would represent the team well as both talented athletes and men of good character.

Being a true Cardinal whether in management or as a player requires that (in addition to doing their job well) the person represents the team well and earns the respect of the fans. Walt did both and we will miss him.

I would be shocked(shocked!) if DeWitt reacted to something Bernie wrote by getting rid of Walt.

I just get the feeling that ownership doesn’t take that much of what the media says into consideration when making business decisions.

–Mrs. Dude

After reading that article about the interim GM, I was wondering if there is a timetable for picking up Izzy’s option and/or what needs to be completed first? (ie, physical, etc) Also, will TLR be top priority in the offseason or a replacement thereof (if he doesn’t resign)?

Okay…just read something that says, basically, that DeWitt is a fan of the MONEYBALL approach…

I feel sick…

Just a thought…

During the Walt Jocketty years in St. Louis (since 1995):

6 Division titles

1 Wild Card

2 National League Titles

1 World Series Title

During the Billy Beane (Moneyball) years in Oakland (since 1997):

4 playoff appearances – lost in the first round every year.

(sorry i post so much in a row…lunch break)

So…Tracy is out in Pittsburgh…Let’s review…

1. Tony’s contract runs out…

2. Walt let go…

3. Jim Tracy let go in Pittsburgh within days of Walt…

4. Tony’s good friend (Jim Leyland) still lives in Pittsburgh

5. Pirates in the same division as the Cardinals…

Is it too much of a stretch to see Tony going to Pittsburgh now? Could we even believe the Pittsburgh firing of Tracy is in hopes of landing La Russa after Walt’s departure?????

Tony’s a west coaster. The Pirates and Cards are fairly similar passed Pujols, Carp, and Wainwright. I don’t see the advantage at all when he could go manage a team like the Mariners on the west, with actual talent (and sadly, he’d take So with him… So and Ichiro, together again).

I figure since everyone is wondering or dreaming about next year I would too, how bout A-Rod SS,Pujols 1B, Ryan 2B, Healthy Rolen 3B, Ankiel, Cabrera, Duncan OF, Yadi catching Willis, Carp, Mulder,Wainwright,Buehrle, Pitching Izzy closing Jose Oquendo managing if TL is gone. Hey I like to dream big :)

Hey, if we only had the money…I’ve been a dreamer of the “A-Rod at SS for the Cardinals” for quite a while now…if only…

A-Rod costs too much, Cabrera could only be acquired through a trade, the same goes for Buehrle and Willis. And if we wanted to get them, who would we trade to get them? We can’t trade away our farm system, because then we’ll have no talent for the future only for the present. And Carpenter had TOMMY JOHN SURGERY, if you don’t know, that takes quite some time to recover from and he probably won’t be back until either half way during next season or until 2009. It was a nice dream, but unrealistic. We could trade some people for Willis. And when Miguel Cabrera’s contract is up, the Cardinals will probably try and get him, seeing as he said awhile back that he wanted to play alongside Albert Pujols. Those 2 are the most possible.

I have mixed feelings on seeing Walt go. I loved how he got free agents around 03 and 04. We had great teams back then. In his later years, he seemed (to me) to be too conservative. I don’t know if TLR will be back or not based on this decision, but I can tell you that unless we get some decent free agents this year, it will be deja vu (and maybe worse) then last year.

Thats why I said it was a dream, I know Carp wont be back until Aug if at all next year, I think Reyes could be traded and it would probably benefit the Cards and him both. Besides who says a dream has to be realistic?

It came as a shock Wednesday night when I was informed that Walt Jocketty was no longer the General Manager for the Cardinals as a long time fan of the Cards I feel that the OWNERSHIP had wasted opertunity after opertunity to better the team for the long term, although this last year I was glad that they didn’t get the big names that were on the market due to the fact that none and I mean none had a outstanding year just look at the money spent on ACE starters that were Free Agents and what their records were for the year not that special and not good enough for the teams they signed with to make the play-offs. I hope the Cards can work some magic this off season to make the team a contender in the ’08 season. THe team is in direr need of Starting pitching that this years F.A. class is lacking and I doubt that the OWNERSHIP will allow any new GM to spend any money or trade to make this a better team with all the rumors I have heard so far the biggest is that our MVP Pujols is on the block to get a legit starter, I hope that this is just a rumor and not the truth. TO the OWNERSHIP “you have to spend money to make money” if the Cards don’t upgrade the team in the off season I guess the only option I have is to start watching and cheering for our RIVALS THE LOVEABLE LOSSERS FROM THE NORTHSIDE who at least spent some money to aquire players who helped the club this season {this is not a decision that I would care to make}

I don’t see any way Pujols leaves St. Louis unless he is just unhappy with something the ownership does in the future. DeWitt et al would be roasted by St. Louis if Pujols was traded/lost/etc.

I’d either root for the team he went to or just stop watching baseball if Albert Pujols left. And noone said that dreams have to be realistic, but that’s fantasy land not dream land.

Not entirely your personal fault, Walt, but I’m glad you’re going. You never went after Soriano, you let Suppan get away, and those were unforgivable. Bye bye

If the Pujols quote is accurate, the Cardinals have a far bigger issue to deal with than Jocketty’s departure and replacement. A problem with the studs-and-scrubs approach that Jocketty used (highly successfully, I might add) is that if you start losing studs, the team goes downhill faster than Marion Jones’ reputation. This is all the more a problem when there is an ultra-super-stud in the mix.

DeWitt’s challenge is simple: find out what Pujols wants done, and do it. “Simple,” however, is not the same thing as “easy.” It may strike him a terrible blow to the pocketbook. But it’s gotta be done.

Rumor is Tony asked his coaches who would leave with him to another venue. DeWit is retooling with young talent, so Jocketty’s rebuilding philosophy seemed like old hat. LaRussa and Duncan won’t stick around to retool with youngsters either. The new Cards can “compete” with rookies in this weak division, but the Jocketty-LaRussa-Duncan team earned a very special place in Cardinal lore.

The coming off-season should be quite interesting. I have enjoyed the Jockety/LaRussa era. And true, I don’t know all the inner-pinnings that brought about the decision but Jockety’s replacement (and LaRussa’s if he chooses not to return)will be important towards the direction. Jockety’s needs to understand the importance of developing and maintaining a strong farm system, (Cardinals’ is not at the moment). With LaRussa’s style having left a strong mark on the current players, a Girardi would be a perfect “fresh” or different direction to take. Often when an organization is seemingly stagnate as the Cards’ is, a complete change is good. Then obviously the next move would be to acquire a strong starting pitcher (#1 or #2). We do have a wealth of ‘good’ outfielders. I know the budget probably won’t allow St.Louis to do it, but a ToriiHunter would be a great acquisistion as well to solidify the outfield, at pop at the #2 w/o all the K’s, and allow us to use the rest in a trade for another starting pitcher.

I’m not that sold on Suppan being the big pitcher to go after. He did help us win a WS last year, however, he was not worth the money he got this year from the Brewers. In fact, he was fairly bad.

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