The following article is an editorial by Sports Anchor/Reporter, Blake Guinn.
THE SET UP: As I read posts on social media during the month of April, about 3 times a week posts would begin to fill my timeline with Cardinals fans calling for the demotion, release, or designating for assignment of Cardinals reliever Mitchell Boggs. To most, including me at times, it was hard to understand why he had such a long leash. As I though about this the past few days it hit me why the Cardinals might be so forgiving of him. I figured that with Friday's news of his demotion to Memphis I would share my thoughts with you.
BLAKE'S TAKE: I've been watching the Cardinals my entire life. At times it has been difficult, at times it has been the greatest thing I've ever chosen to spend my time doing. That being said, most of those difficult times have been spent agonizing over why a particular player was still with the team. Whether it was Rick Ankiel in 2000 and 2001 getting an overly long leash while almost burning holes in the backstop of the old Busch Stadium, the injured Jason Isringhausen (who we didn't know was injured at the time) giving up lead after lead in the ninth, or even his successor Ryan Franklin, who started opening day 2011 with a blown save and would blow several more before his release. Of course there was this current situation with Mitchell Boggs that had fans in fits and myself as well from time to time. But the Cardinals have a pattern over the years and the same thing can be applied to this situation and here are the reasons why I think it took them so long to give them the demotion:
1) Mike Matheny and Derek Lilliquist felt somewhat responsible for his problems. I think they might have felt that thrusting him into the closers role with the sudden injury to Jason Motte might have caused some of his woes. Therefore, they tried to move back to his more comfortable set up role and that might line things out.
2) The Cardinals show loyaly to those who show loyalty to them. Look at the past and it will answer this part for you. Whether it be the above mentioned scenarios with Izzy, Ankiel, or Franklin, all the players are people who had previously done things for the organization and even after getting the boot or being demoted, have since returned to the organization in some form or fashion. We might get frustrated as fans but it's one of the things that makes the Cardinals such a well run organization. Bottom line, Mitchell Boggs had been a reliable set-up man and more importantly a great teammate and competitor in the past. The Cardinals reward that loyalty with a loyalty sent back the players way. If you don't believe me when I say they would demote or release a disloyal player quicker than a loyal one, ask Mark Rzepcysnki, who was demoted last week with the reason being he wasn't trying hard enough, according to the Cardinals website.
3) Where else would they really turn. Have you ever considered the grass might not be greener on the other side? The recent promotion of AA Pitcher and one the Cardinals top prospects Carlos Martinez might not work out, we really don't know if he will be a good pitcher or not. I think a close look has to be taken at whether there was a clear option for the organization to go to for his replacement, I feel this also bought Boggs some time. Had Martinez not just recently pitched after Boggs outting last week, he might have been demoted then.
As always these are just my views as someone who has watched this ball club my entire life. Does it necessarily make sense? No, but it does appear to be the pattern that we have seen in the past. One thing we do know, it will be very interesting to see whether Boggs ever makes another appearance in a Cardinals uniform again.
To view the story on the demotion of Boggs and the call-up of Martinez, click here.