Busch Stadium crowd boos John Mozeliak during Opening Day introductions

ST. LOUIS – An audible chorus of boos echoed Busch Stadium as the St. Louis Cardinals introduced lead executive John Mozeliak during Thursday’s Opening Day introductions.

Tens of thousands packed Busch Stadium for the 2024 home opener. Many players and coaches were greeted with claps and cheers. Cardinals fans had other plans in mind for the President of Baseball Operations.

This year marks Mozeliak’s 29th season in the St. Louis Cardinals organization and 17th season as the team’s lead executive. During his run at the top, the Cardinals won the 2011 World Series and advanced to the 2013 Fall Classic. Since then, they’ve only won two postseason series (2014 and 2019 NLDS) and finished with one of their worst records in decades, 71-91, just last year.

It appears fan frustrations are mounting, and at least somewhat in part to team results over the last several years. Mozeliak was previously met with some home-crowd boos during Adam Wainwright’s retirement ceremony last year, which was also the season finale to the Cardinals’ first losing year since 2007. At the time, he responded by saying, “I thought you were saying Nootbaar” in acknowledgement of the Cardinals outfielder.

Young Cardinals Victor Scott, Masyn Winn embrace first Opening Day in St. Louis

In the Cardinals next regular-season game, Mozeliak was again met with boos. Unlike last time, he did not publicly acknowledge the noise to the crowd.

What’s behind the escalation? Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch cites one conversation that Mozeliak recently had with 101 ESPN as a possible factor.

“When I hear people say that we are just not willing to spend or we are not drafting well enough or we are not trading well enough, look, there are always ways to do things better,” Mozeliak reportedly said on 101 ESPN earlier this week. “I’m not going to say there’s not. But to say we are not trying to put a winning product out there, I think is rather insulting to someone like myself. Because we certainly are, and we want to put a product out there that not only we are proud of, but our fans can be as well.”

At last year’s All-Star break, FOX 2 Sports Director Martin Kilcoyne interviewed Mozeliak on several topics, including the lost 2023 season and fan criticism. When asked, ‘People that are criticizing you, if you could address them, what would you say?,” Mozeliak offered this answer…

“I think I have a pretty good resume. I think the history of our decision-making overall has been pretty good. I think, the best way to approach this is recognizing that we do have a problem, admit it and try to find a solution. We understand that. I’m not trying to sit here with you right now and defend what we did and blame other people. I know we’ve made mistakes, and we’re going to try and get it right.”

The Cardinals won Thursday’s home opener 8-5 over the Marlins and now stand at 4-4 in the early stages of the 2024 regular season.

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