I'm sure this will be a topic of conversation today. Strauss is reporting a cut in payroll of about $8M. First off, kudos to Strauss. I'm hard on him and often disagree but he's standing his ground on a piece that is likely to be very unpopular with the Front Office. He deserves some props for that.
The cut shouldn't surprise anyone at this point. The Cardinals have been masking their retreat from an "aggressive offseason" since the day after Mozeliak made that comment. Ticket sales have slowed but not to a point of crisis:
This year, for the first time in new Busch Stadium's four-season history, the club will not sell 3 million tickets before opening day and is not assured an operating profit beyond its debt service on the stadium. The Cardinals expect some relief by hosting the All-Star Game in July, but ownership still has constructed a "worst-case scenario" in which attendance stalls at around 2.8 million.
With 2.7 million tickets already sold, the club no longer fears such a doomsday possibility.
This is damaging evidence in two fashions: 1) it means that the Cardinals went cheap this summer becaise of this fear and 2) it means that they were neatly pocketing some significant cash when they were selling 3.4M tickets, making the playoffs and holding payroll at the same levels for the last 4 years. The throw away line about "some relief by hosting the All-Star Game" is laughable as well.
The last line in the article reads:
"It depends on how revenues develop," DeWitt said. "I think we showed an ability to be creative with Reyes."
Could there be a more disgusting quote in the whole article? Since when does signing a marginally useful LOOGy become something that we fans should be eminently grateful for? The Cardinals etended Kyle Lohse on a significant deal but prior to that, what was the last major free agent we brought in?
The Cardinals have allowed TLR to chase off the only legitimate 2B on the roster. They've provided no contingency plans for an extremely thin rotation being propped up by two starters recovering from injury. They've chosen to sacrifice a great deal of defense to fill in 2B and 3B with (cheap) internal candidates. I'm disappointed, not just in the lack of actual moves, but in the lack of any seeming desire to improve the team. The Cardinals are cutting payroll and remain content to "contend" for the playoffs rather than contend for the WS title.
If anyone wants to have a sit-in about payroll, there's a gaping sore right next to Busch Stadium where we can stage it.