On Monday, while Dexter Fowler was on paternity leave, Cardinals executive John Mozeliak questioned his effort and desire to play during his weekly radio hit. He later walked the comments back (semi-unconvincingly) and said he and Fowler touched base, and that he understood that the comments were more about the entire team and collective malaise rather than Fowler specifically.
Questionable, to say the least.
Upon his return from paternity leave, Fowler responded to the comments. He was not happy.
Dexter Fowler was quite open in his comments. Said he spoke with Mo and Bill DeWitt. He wants to play. Paused for a long time when asked if he enjoys being a St. Louis Cardinal and admitted it has been up and down.— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) July 5, 2018
Not to read too much into the “up and down” piece of that, that almost seems generous to a fan base that has driven him and his wife off Twitter and been unnecessarily harsh about his contributions. He also said his “effort has always been there.”
“My effort has always been there,” says Dexter Fowler, reacting to John Mozeliak’s comments publicly for the first time. “That’s out of the question. These guys in here know. They’re the ones texting me, saying it’s bull****. I’m playing as hard as I can.” #STLCards— Joe Trezza (@JoeTrezz) July 5, 2018
Thankfully, it seems like his teammates are standing with him in the face of rough comments coming from a front office executive while he was away from the team. Whether you agree or disagree with Mozeliak’s words, Fowler has every right to be upset about them. And if that frustration helps turn his season around somehow, proving the doubters on the team wrong, then even better.