There was a lot of skepticism when Oli Marmol became the new Cardinals manager last year. With no prior experience and only being 35 years old at the time, there were plenty of reasons to doubt how he would perform.
But the Cardinals won the division, and made it to the postseason, albeit fizzle out against the Phillies in the Wild Card round.
And here we are in year two, and it’s been an utter disaster.
The Cardinals now stand at 10-21, the team’s worst start in nearly half a century. It’s a troubling situation that has St. Louis 10 games back of the NL Central lead.
“No one’s feeling sorry for us right now,” said Marmol on Tuesday. “The league loves watching us fail because we’re good every year. There’s not a team out there that’s sitting back and feeling sorry for us. No one’s going to hand us anything. We’re just going to have to dig deep and prove everybody wrong. We’re up for the task.”
It’s not just that it’s any team; it’s that it’s the Cardinals. The same Cardinals that were led to four straight postseasons and only had one losing season in the 21st century. Baseball enthusiasts have taken notice of St. Louis’ slow start, with some contributors from Deadspin even going as far to say “It’s never too early to laugh at the last-place Cardinals.”
And it’s not just the poor performance of the team that’s laughable: it’s the management.
Marmol is coming off as arrogant, pretentious, and overall very smug. Just read this excerptfrom Wednesday night’s presser following the Cardinals’ fifth straight loss:
Reporter: “What’s the reaction when you hear the fans are frustrated?”
Marmol: “You think they’re more frustrated than us?”
Reporter: “I don’t think so.”
Marmol: “I can tell you right now they’re not. That clubhouse is extremely frustrated. Understand something. This is year 17 with the Cardinals. And whether you’re in the minor leagues as a coach in the lowest level. If you’re a coach at the big league level where you’re managing in my seat, you wake up every morning with one thing in mind it’s how to improve the organization. So to sit here and think that other people (Cardinals fans) are more frustrated than us is insane. Absolutely insane I can tell you that.”