ST. LOUIS — At the end of the 2022 season, two St. Louis Cardinals legends hung up their cleats and retired.
Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, who led the Cardinals team for decades, will not be in the clubhouse to mentor the up-and-coming young players in the organization.
Oliver Marmol talked about the clubhouse culture after their retirements and how it will be during the 2023 season, his simple answer?
"It's because those two led well," Marmol said. "So, because they did their job in leading while they were here, I don't think it'll skip a beat. When you lead well, you're able to leave and things continue to run well."
"I think of Albert, this guy has played 22 years in the big leagues, he was the first one here every day. There are days I would show up and he was already sitting in front of his locker."
Marmol went on to recount a story about Albert Pujols in the 2022 season and how well he led the younger players.
"And I finally pulled up a chair and I said 'Albert, 22 years, first guy here every day, why?'" he said. "He goes 'Listen, part of the responsibility coming back was you got Eddie, Noot and Gorman, all these young guys. Part of it is them being able to see what it takes to be great. That's my responsibility to show up before they show up so they know what it takes.'"
While Pujols and Molina won't be there physically, their legacy will live on through everyone else on the roster and in the clubhouse.
"I'm appreciative of the way they went about it, we won't skip a beat," Marmol said.
Guys like Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are looking to take the lead on leading the clubhouse and being a mentor to younger players on the roster.
"As those guys were on their way out, these guys were taking a bigger role in what that clubhouse looks like," Marmol said about Goldschmidt and Arenado.
Marmol also made sure that everyone remembers that Adam Wainwright, who has been with the team since 2005, will also be a leader in the clubhouse.
"We talk about that culture in the clubhouse, those guys will lead and Waino is still here, let's not forget about that."
The Cardinals Winter Warm-Up takes place Saturday, Jan. 14 through Monday, Jan. 16 at Busch Stadium. Information regarding the event can be found here.