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#pounditSunday, July 3, 2022

Cardinals president brushes off OF Tommy Pham’s critical comments in SI feature

John Mozeliak

John Mozeliak isn’t too torn up over an interview his player gave this week.

In a recent Sports Illustrated feature, Tommy Pham of the St. Louis Cardinals spoke candidly about his journey to the major leagues and criticized the team for not believing in him as well as for keeping him in the minors for too long.

Pham’s interview was riddled with expletives and also called out the Cardinals front office specifically, saying, “I can’t entirely say they were on my side.”

Addressing reporters on Friday, Mozeliak, who serves as president of baseball operations for the team, was asked about Pham’s comments in the feature.

“I did speak with him today,” said Mozeliak, according to Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I was not overly offended by what he said. I wouldn’t have said the F-word as much as he used it. But, in all seriousness, I think Tommy is being Tommy.

“My takeaway from that, at least I hope his takeaway in the end, is, people did believe in him,” he added. “Because if they didn’t, he would’ve been released. We’ve all been around this game long enough, we know how it works. There were enough people that did believe in him that wanted to stick by him. So, in the end, I’m grateful that we did. That was exactly my message to him.”

The 30-year-old Pham was drafted by the Cardinals in 2006 but did not make his big-league debut until 2014, possibly due to a litany of injuries he suffered in the minors. After his debut, Pham was still sent back down and recalled a number of times but finally appeared to win the team over with a strong 2017 campaign. He was named the Cardinals starting center fielder for 2018.

We continue to get reminders of how difficult life in the minors can be, and it sounds like Mozeliak at least has some sympathy for where Pham, who spent roughly a decade there, is coming from.

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