ST. LOUIS — During
's six-year reign, the
general manager has traded popular center fielder Jim Edmonds, held firm in his contract offer that resulted in slugger
' leaving, and sent perennial prospect
as part of the revamping of a roster that essentially helped the Cardinals win the 2011 World Series.
As daring and as successful as those decisions were, Mozeliak's decision not to acquire a veteran starting pitcher or a seasoned shortstop has helped the Cardinals' long-term future remain promising.
As for the present, Mozeliak's faith in his team's youth remains intact as the Cardinals will try to take a lead Saturday night in Game 3 of the World Series at
"Nobody knows our organization better than Mo," first baseman
Mozeliak, 44, and his scouting and player development departments currently have mastered the art of winning and developing major league-ready talent, such as Rosenthal,
"You realize [they] are special resources and not easy to find," said Mozeliak, who began his career in the
"I felt at some point, these guys were going to help our club this year. Certainly we did feel we had some needs, but the cost of improving didn't make sense."
Considering the Cardinals missed advancing to the World Series by one game last October, the decision to sit tight seemed like a risk. And it didn't help that shortstop, one of the areas that was under scrutiny in July, was flawed Wednesday in Game 1 when
But Mozeliak's faith was validated in Game 2 when Wacha, Martinez and Rosenthal shut down the Red Sox in a 4-2 win.
One of Mozeliak's biggest decisions was replacing successful manager
"Mike understood the culture of this organization and wanted to keep it going," Mozeliak said. "Obviously, replacing someone like Tony La Russa isn't easy, and one thing you have to admire about Mike is that he came in here with great respect for his predecessor, for the past, but he also wanted to put his fingerprints on this team and this organization."