CHICAGO -- For weeks, speculation has abounded about how the Cardinals may approach the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Will they be a buyer or a seller? Is an impact bat the priority?
On Friday, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak suggested something else.
"Maybe the broader question is: Do attitude and culture need to be something that we look to either change or shake up?" Mozeliak said.
Still irritated by the way Thursday's loss concluded -- with reliever Trevor Rosenthal unable to cover first on a ground ball to Matt Carpenter as the winning run scored -- Mozeliak spent several minutes candidly assessing the organization's position before the Cardinals opened a critical three-game series at Wrigley Field.
Mozeliak expressed his intention to be active in the trade market over the next 10 days, but also do to so with an eye on improving this team for 2018 and beyond.
"Watching a game like yesterday, it's tough to justify going out and solely playing for this year," Mozeliak said. "Again, I feel like I don't have that silver bullet to say, 'Hey if we go do this, we will be greatly improved.'
"There's no denying that the type of baseball this team has displayed over the last year and a half is not what our fan base is accustomed to seeing. And I will assure you that's frustrating from [principal owner] Bill DeWitt to myself, all the way down. We can talk about frustration and disappointment, but it's our responsibility to find a way to change it and fix it."
Mozeliak added that blame for the ragged and inconsistent play that has the Cardinals sitting three games below .500 and in fourth place in the National League Central is to be shared.
"When you look at this group right now and talk about attitude and culture, you pointed to a game like yesterday. Is everybody OK with that?" Mozeliak said. "Are those kinds of mistakes just going to be like, eh? Then, it's like, 'Get your paycheck and go home.' And to me, that's a very scary place to be if that's where the mindset is. Because it's certainly not mine.
"Some of this has to fall on the responsibility of the player, right? I'm the last person to sit in front of you guys today and say that we have this figured out, because clearly we don't. But I have been doing it long enough to know that accountability has to be across the board. I feel like I'm not going to make excuses for people or players. Everybody points the finger upstairs to try and find the solution or the move. Well, maybe 25 [players] need to look in the mirror."
Mozeliak was then asked what role manager Mike Matheny plays in all this.
"Look, the manager, coaches, they have to be held accountable as well," Mozeliak answered. "There's nobody that can run from this. But before I start blaming the manager, again, I think the player side needs to still be held accountable."
As far as seeking ways to shake up the current roster, Mozeliak suggested that process will extend well beyond the Trade Deadline. All the while, he hopes to see the on-field product organically improve.
"We need to start showing that we can be a consistent team," Mozeliak said. "Clearly, you have to start winning. There's nothing tricky behind that statement. You need to have confidence, and that has to be something that you see internally build. This team needs to start believing it's a winner."