Cardinals President John Mozeliak Says Backlash From Fans Is ‘Insulting’

Getty Images St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak

During the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2024 home opener on April 4, the team went through all the fanfare of their usual festivities, featuring players, coaches, legends, and staff. Notably, President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak was booed by the Redbird faithful when he was introduced on the field.

Now, Mozeliak has responded. The executive, who has been with the organization in multiple capacities since 1995, made an appearance on St. Louis affiliate 101 ESPN to discuss the backlash. During the discussion, he answered critics who say the team isn’t spending enough money to put a winning team on the field.

Despite helping deliver the team a World Series title in 2011, the Cards president has fallen out of favor with the club’s following in recent years. That frustration began to boil over when the team went 71-91 in 2023, finishing in the last place for the first time since 1990.

During the discussion, Mozeliak acknowledged the fans’ frustration but countered by saying it was “insulting” for them to suggest the Cardinals weren’t making a conscious effort to win it all.

Cardinals President Responds to Critics

Appearing on the “Opening Drive,” John Mozeliak spoke with host Randy Karraker about the response he received and some of the feedback he’s gotten from the fan base.

“When I hear [criticism] like that, I find it’s kind of hurtful,” Mozeliak said. “Because I have spent many sleepless nights trying to figure out a way to win. Obviously, we were not happy with what happened last year. We decided we were going to be very aggressive this offseason and try to put in the right people to get us back to our winning ways.”

“Our goal is to play deep into October,” he continued. “You want to put a team out there that can compete and give you a chance to win. That’s what we’re here to do. When I hear people say we’re not willing to spend.”

“There’s always ways to do things better, but to say we’re not trying to put a winning product out there is rather insulting to someone like myself because we certainly are. We want to put a product out there that not only are we proud of, but our fans are proud of, as well.”

Mozeliak Has Been Making Moves

Despite the vitriol, the Cardinals executive hasn’t exactly sat on his hands heading into 2024. Seeing the need to improve on a pitching staff that posted a 4.79 team ERA a year ago, he quickly jumped into the free-agent market.

The Redbirds added righthanded starting pitchers Sonny Gray, Lancy Lynn, and Kyle Gibson to their revamped rotation. Gray, the runner-up for the 2023 American League Cy Young Award, was projected as the team’s ace. However, he has battled minor injuries since spring training.

Mozeliak also traded oft-injured outfielder Tyler O’Neill to the Boston Red Sox, and he has helped oversee the development of St. Louis’ crop of young talent like outfielders Jordan Walker and Victor Scott II, as well as rookie shortstop Masyn Winn.

On the field, the Cardinals will wrap up their home series with the Miami Marlins (0-8), before hosting the Philadelphia Phillies (3-4) for a three-game set at Busch Stadium.