ST. LOUIS — Whitey Herzog has one of the most brilliant baseball minds in the history of St. Louis.
The New Athens, Illinois, native may be 90 years old, but he's sharp as ever.
Herzog sat down with 5 On Your Side's Frank Cusumano for an interview for Sports Plus, hitting some of the hot topics in Cardinals nation.
Herzog managed some incredible players in his career from George Brett to Willie McGee, but even he is impressed by this recent stretch of dominance from first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
"I like Goldy because of his makeup. I like him because he shows up every day. And then when he looks for a pitch, and he gets that pitch, he don't miss it," Herzog said.
When he was in St. Louis, Herzog acted as the manager and general manager of the Cardinals for a time. So, would he be looking to deal from the team's depth to improve for this season?
"Yeah. You can't use all them outfielders," Herzog said about looking to make a deal from the Cardinals' outfield depth, including prospects.
"You can't really say, 'Would you package it?' You've got to make up in your mind, and not just me, Joe McDonald and everybody who worked for me... Write down our outfield of the future."
However, Herzog does think there's still hope for this year's Cardinals.
"I still think they've got a good chance at winning the division. Because they don't have much to beat. If Milwaukee was Yelich of three years ago I'd say that Milwaukee was going to be tough because of their starting pitching and the two guys in the bullpen," Herzog said.
One of the big things that could turn the Cardinals' season around, other than a trade, is if one of their own arms can get back on the mound.
"The big thing is, they've got to get Flaherty back pitching. And he's not in his walk year, he's got this year and next year yet, but next year he's in his walk year. And he's never pitched a full year. He's been hurt every year... can you give him a 5-year contract? No," Herzog said.
Another player currently missing in action for the Cardinals is future Hall of Fame catcher Yadier Molina. Molina is on the IL with knee inflammation but has been doing his rehab in his native Puerto Rico instead of here with the club. Here's what Herzog had to say about Molina's status and mystery.
"I don't know why Yadi's in Puerto Rico. If there's some personal problems... I don't really know the reason for that. I don't know the reason why you'd call Mozeliak every day and tell him you're working out every day in Puerto Rico. When you're on the disabled list and you're the No. 1 catcher in the last year of your career and you're making 10 to 12 million bucks, whatever he's making, you should be here, with the team. I don't have the answers. Yadi has more than given every year as many games as he's caught and the durability. I don't know what's happened, I don't have an answer," Herzog said.
And what does Herzog think about the man currently in the position he used to hold, Oliver Marmol?
"Oli's a person's guy. And Mike (Shildt) and I talked about him a lot. He was sitting with Mike for four years here, and Mike loved him as a person and really recommended him to succeed him. I'm not gonna try and say who's the best of the two. But I think that Oli has a ballclub this year, with the lineup. Becuse Mike had Flaherty hurt, too. But I say, if they don't win that division this year, I mean outright, they oughta fire the whole bunch, clean house. Because they've got a good ballclub," Herzog said.