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Wainwright recounts how steakhouse dinner saved Cardinals’ season

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Wainwright recounts how steakhouse dinner saved Cardinals’ season
by Brandon Wile 33m ago

Icon Sports Wire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

The St. Louis Cardinals can credit their season turnaround to a team dinner at a steakhouse.
Looking to snap their club out of a several-month slump, Cardinals veterans Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina called a team dinner in hopes of unifying the ballclub.
“That was a big turning point for us,” Wainwright told Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “A couple times a year a winning team has show dinners where they get together and kind of have a state of the union (and say) ‘All right, what do we do? What do we need to do? And let’s make a plan and freaking do it, not just talk about it.’
“We got a lot of things out in the open. We had some really great honest talk. We had some guys pour their hearts out that we’d never seen do that before. It was just great, top to bottom. Guys left there with a sense of confidence that I hadn’t seen in years around here and a sense of purpose and some togetherness that was just off the charts. In my mind that’s translated.”
Wainwright and Molina’s call for a meeting came at a time when it appeared the club was in a state of turmoil.
Molina had called out manager Mike Matheny on Instagram in the days prior to the non-waiver trade deadline when the skipper implied that Molina was tired. The post resulted in a response from Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., who labeled the situation “unfortunate.”
One week later, outfielder Tommy Pham expressed his frustration with the team’s offense while talking to reporters.
The Cardinals were two games under .500 at the time of the dinner and were 4 1/2 games back in the NL Central, according to Ortiz. The club has since gone on to win eight of its last nine contests and woke up Sunday in a tie with the Chicago Cubs atop the division.
St. Louis missed the postseason for the first time since 2010 last season, and has not missed the playoffs in back-to-back years since 2007-2008.

The St. Louis Cardinals can credit their season turnaround to a team dinner at a steakhouse.

Looking to snap their club out of a several-month slump, Cardinals veterans Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina called a team dinner in hopes of unifying the ballclub.

“That was a big turning point for us,” Wainwright told Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “A couple times a year a winning team has show dinners where they get together and kind of have a state of the union (and say) ‘All right, what do we do? What do we need to do? And let’s make a plan and freaking do it, not just talk about it.’

“We got a lot of things out in the open. We had some really great honest talk. We had some guys pour their hearts out that we’d never seen do that before. It was just great, top to bottom. Guys left there with a sense of confidence that I hadn’t seen in years around here and a sense of purpose and some togetherness that was just off the charts. In my mind that’s translated.”

Wainwright and Molina’s call for a meeting came at a time when it appeared the club was in a state of turmoil.

Molina had called out manager Mike Matheny on Instagram in the days prior to the non-waiver trade deadline when the skipper implied that Molina was tired. The post resulted in a response from Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., who labeled the situation “unfortunate.”

One week later, outfielder Tommy Pham expressed his frustration with the team’s offense while talking to reporters.

The Cardinals were two games under .500 at the time of the dinner and were 4 1/2 games back in the NL Central, according to Ortiz. The club has since gone on to win eight of its last nine contests and woke up Sunday in a tie with the Chicago Cubs atop the division.

St. Louis missed the postseason for the first time since 2010 last season, and has not missed the playoffs in back-to-back years since 2007-2008.

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