St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr., talks to reporters

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Part 1: Bill DeWitt Jr. With Chris Hrabe

March 16, 2018 - 11:45 am
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Chris Hrabe: Do you understand some of the fans' unrest after missing the playoffs for two seasons, when you take into account the last decaded or more of success?

Bill DeWitt Jr.: I think they should get antsy we all want the same thing and that's to win every year and to be in the postseason and you know get to the World Series ... I've talked to fans who have trouble watching the 9th inning. I mean I think it's stressful for me, but it's stressful for fans. It's a good thing because we've got a great fan base that really care and you know we're going to draw over three million again and it's just terrific.

Hrabe: Who gets the bigger ovation on Opening Day: Jose Oquendo or Willie McGee? 

DeWitt Jr.: Willie McGee, I don't know how you beat him on an ovation because whenever he's been on the field the ovation he gets is pretty much without equal. But Jose Oqunedo is so admired by the fan base it's going to be a tough call there. Also I think you're going to see a pretty rousing welcome for Marcell Ozuna. Fans are smart they know what kind of talent he is and what he brings not only on the field and in the lineup, as probably the cleanup hitter, but his personality is really engaging and the fans are going to love him too.

Hrabe: Do you think manager Mike Matheny falls victim to unfair criticism by fans second-guessing his decisions? 

DeWitt Jr.: I think most fans think along with the manager and think in their mind what what would I do in this situation I do it myself and it's part of the enjoyment of the game ... The thing about it is the odds are so close together on so many decisions.

Hrabe: Pitching coach Mike Maddux says he wanted to come to St. Louis becuase of you, the Cardinals organization and fans. What do you think about?

DeWitt Jr.: Coaches and players like coming to the Cardinals just because we've got a great franchise with a terrific fan base, we draw well and we've had a history of success for a long, long time close to 100 years and people respect that.