Too Much Fuss over the 25th Man on the Roster ….Dexter Fowler
By Steve Dunford
I don’t know about you but I am beyond sick about hearing about all the drama surrounding an grossly overpaid outfielder that is hitting .173 a week before the all-star break.
Dexter Fowler has been the center of attention in the St. Louis and some of the national media outlets for comments that Cardinals President of Baseball Operations, John Mozelak made on KMOX and Cardinal Broadcaster Dan McLaughlin’s podcast, https://www.scoopswithdannymac.com/. Check out his website, There is some good stuff on there.
Dexter Fowler was called out on June 7th by Mark Saxon, the Cardinal beat writer of the upstart online magazine, The Athletic. Dex’s lack of hustle on a fly ball was called out by Saxon using the world “swag.” This resulted in his wife Allya going on a Twitter rampage. That afternoon I made a social media post that was short and sweet, “Dexter Fowler is Lazy.”
Here is where the blame goes to Mo. His timing of calling Fowler out, even well deserved, was horrible horrible timing. It is inhumane to do this on the day you will be bringing a child into the world. The bow tie clad executive had a terrible hot stove league of the winter of 2016-17. Between the cash he threw at Fowler and lefty reliever Brett Cecil was over nine figures.
In an 11-1 blowout win over the San Francisco Giants last night, Fowler took over in RF, to give Marcell Ozuna a few inning breather. Cecil pitched the ninth in a mop-up role after a great outing by Luke Weaver. Need I say more. Cecil has been pitching well of late. With Austin Gomber being optioned to Memphis, Cecil might have earned the role he was signed for.
Over the few days of Jerry Springer like drama, Cubs manager Joe Maddon goes to the media stirring it up. I like Maddon, and the Cubs will always be the Cubs, but they are fun to watch from a baseball fan’s standpoint. Maddon gets in Cardinal Manager Mike Matheny’s head. The Cubs’ skipper is a cool 70 something year-old man. For what it is worth, the Cardinals skipped over Maddon to hire MM. If Mo and owner Bill Dewitt would have hired Maddon or Indians skipper Terry Francona,
The national media has trashed the Cardinals for mistreating Fowler. I have not read one article that said he was hitting .173. No one on the east coast has witnessed what we as Cardinal fans have witnessed this year.
I listened to the shrill voiced Michelle Smallom, Bernie Miklasz’ sidekick on 101 ESPN saying the negative press the Cardinals were getting nationally was embarrassment. Personally, I don’t care what ESPN thinks or any other national media outet thinks. They think the Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs matter. The premises it that the Cardinals are the most successful in the free agent market, it is dump
Saxon interviewed Dex before last night’s game. Paraphrasing Saxon he asked the underachieving OF about playing time and Mo and being called out for lack of effort.
First of all Fowler said he has to play. No he doesn’t. Harrison Bader needs to play. The 23 year old rookie is a better defender. Going to my next point Bader plays hard, and wants to win.
Fowler said it was “bullshit” that he is called out for lack of hustle. All I can say your laziness is what is BS. It was an issue in Colorado. I remember a comment by OF Tommy Pham last season. He was talking about veterans that show up late and leave early. In an interview this week with Jen Langosh, she confirmed this about Fowler.
The latest drama was that Fowler blocked texts from Manager Mike Matheny. He was upset that he was dropped from the leadoff spot, barely having a triple digit batting average in favor of Matt Carpenter.
Matheny sends out a group text to his players with the lineup and an inspirational message. Since he decided to block the skipper, he did not find out until he got to ball park.
Cry me a river Dex. In the real world you walk into a job and the boss will have a change of plans. Yes you were signed to lead off and play CF, but the fact of the matter is, you are terrible in right let alone center, and I would rather see Carlos Martinez or Luke Weaver come to the plate as a pinch hitter in a tight game than you,
With Paul DeJong being activated from the disabled list, with the Cardinals going with a five man bench now with Yario Munoz kept on the roster instead of Gomber. Munoz will see some time in the OF, as he can be another Jose Oquendo. With defensive challenged Jose Martinez going to see some time in the outfield as well, Fowler slides way down the depth chart. He will collect nearly $50 million over the next three years. If he hangs around, it will be as a fifth or sixth outfielder.
I don’t see any plausible solution to this. An ugly divorce between the Cardinals and Fowler is coming. His wifey might go to social media trashing the Cardinals and St. Louis in general, but she is not complaining the $83mil worth of pay stubs that she will collect saying St. Louis National League Baseball club Inc.
When Tyler O’ Neill comes off the DL, something will have to be done with Fowler. It spoke volumes the day he was called up that he immediately hit in the three hole. O’ Neill can provide some much needed pop for the Cardinals. Dexter Fowler just needs to go away.
If the conversation hasn’t already taken place between Mo and owner Bill Dewitt, I am sure DeWitt has told him how far $50 million could go into the construction of the next phase of Ball Park Village.
In my 43 years of being a Cardinal fan, Garry Templeton and Tino Martinez are my least favorite Cardinals. You can add Fowler to the list. All I know is the Cardinals are 3-1 since Mo’s tirade. Lets put Dex and his drama in the rearview mirror and get back in the race.