CEO DeWitt: 'We are committed to finding out what happened'
By Betsy Helfand
The Cardinals understand the gravity of the FBI investigation into an unauthorized entry into the computer system of the Houston Astros reportedly traced back to members of the organization, and they are concerned about the potential impact on the reputation of the franchise.
"These are serious allegations that don't reflect who we are as an organization," William O. DeWitt Jr., the team's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement Wednesday. "We are committed to getting to the bottom of this matter as soon as possible, and if anyone within our organization is determined to be involved in anything inappropriate, they will be held accountable."
DeWitt said that several months ago, after the team was made aware of the allegations, he and GM and senior vice president John Mozeliak engaged Jim Martin and the law firm of Dowd Bennett to assist the team in providing requested information to the federal government, and to conduct an internal inquiry to attempt to identify any employee that may have engaged in the alleged conduct.
"We want to just try to help to get to the bottom of it and also just have an understanding of exactly what happened," Mozeliak told reporters prior to Wednesday night's game at Target Field. "We also just felt it might be beneficial to at least try to do our own and see where it takes us.
"We don't want the brand of the St. Louis Cardinals tarnished for something like this. Both Bill and I are deeply concerned about this, and we hope to have a resolution sooner rather than later."
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday that the league has been fully cooperative with authorities in the investigation.
"I think when you look at organizations, [you're] always looking for separation, competitive advantage," Mozeliak said. "When you look at how you make decisions and why you make decisions, everybody does it differently. And in our case, we're very comfortable with our process and how we think through things and so when something like this occurs, it's shocking, and you're left with the same question everybody else has: 'Why?' I hope that people realize today, though, that this is not something that I was aware of, or Mr. DeWitt was aware of, and in no way did it help inform any of our decisions."
"I am 100 percent confident that these concerns do not touch upper management and specifically John Mozeliak and Bill DeWitt," Martin told The Post-Dispatch on Wednesday afternoon.
The Cardinals' investigation is ongoing, and the organization hopes to provide greater clarity soon. In the meantime, Mozeliak and his manager, Mike Matheny, are determined not to allow it to be a distraction to the players, in the clubhouse or on the field.
"Clearly people may ask questions from time to time on it, so it's something that wouldn't have been asked normally," Mozeliak said. "So if you use the word 'distraction,' it might fit, but we're going to try to do everything we can to minimize that, because no one down here even knew about it or was involved in it. And so therefore it really shouldn't be."
Matheny will do all he can to make sure that is the case.
"It's something we can't control, something we really don't know anything about," he said. "Does it involve our organization? Do we take pride in our organization? Absolutely, but we don't have enough information.
"What really could any of us do when you know that it doesn't have anything to do with one person in that clubhouse? It doesn't. And so with that being said, we just go about our business. We understand there's a story, we understand that this is the most visible group representing this organization, so things are going to fall downhill onto them. But they've got all the reason in the world to just keep doing what they've been doing and not change a thing."
Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.