Cardinals sitting on hands with Oli Marmol while Cubs run laps with new manager hire should terrify STL fans

The Chicago Cubs are clearly doing whatever they can to improve. The St. Louis Cardinals, meanwhile, seem somewhat content with status quo...
Oct 1, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell looks on before
Oct 1, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell looks on before / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals are on the outside of a huge mangerial twist looking in... Another several seasons on deck having to go up against Craig Counsell several times a year.

In a shocking move to really fire off the offseason, the Chicago Cubs parted ways with four-year manager (really, 3.5 years) David Ross to hire Craig Counsell, whose contract just expired with the fellow NL Central rival Milwaukee Brewers.

Ross was thought to be well-liked by the Cubs front office and ownership group, as well as players. He had just let Chicago to its first winning season under his leadership in Chicago. Going back some time, Ross was a player on the 2016 World Series team as well. His job was secure as they get, so we thought.

The move may smooth over between Chicago and Ross in ensuing years, but for now, there's going to be some bad blood. It was cold-blooded and an obvious signal from Chicago: We're here to play, and we play to win.

And yet, despite the Cubs getting the headlines here, it's hard to not think of another NL Central team in the midst of all of this...

Cardinals still sticking with Oli Marmol while other rivals risk to get better is a bad look... for now

Clearly, Craig Counsell was up for grabs. Though his name came up with a number of teams the last week or so, speculated toward the Mets due to his appetite for the bright lights and his connection with new general manager David Stearns, Counsell finds himself hired by a divisional rival.

The Cubs, despite their comfort with David Ross, saw an opportunity to make a clear upgrade and took advantage of that, making the move while they could. Compliments were handed out by team executives and players alike as the Cubs closed 2023, a year that started slow but featured an almost-but-not-quite postseason push in the second half of the year.

One can easily draw similarities between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cubs here. Both have young, largely unproven managers that the team continues to stand behind despite fans frequently expressing frustration over their job performance.

Except, now, one key difference: The Cubs, given an opportunity, grabbed it. The Cardinals are sticking with their guy in Oli Marmol.

Of course, that's not a huge surprise. It's the Cardinal way, and not long removed from firing Mike Shildt, the Cards are not going to make a change again.

But where is the line between stability and complacency? And how much is Marmol's continued employment pushing up against that barrier?

They are questions the Cardinals and Marmol must justify in 2024. Winning will put all of this to bed.

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