St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol didn’t mince words when discussing outfielder Tyler O’Neill’s effort against the Atlanta Braves Tuesday night.
In the seventh inning, O’Neill was thrown out by Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. as he attempted to score from second base. It was a critical mistake that ended a potential rally. The Cardinals couldn’t overcome a three-run deficit en route to a 4-1 loss at Busch Stadium.
“We’ve got a lot of guys playing really hard and that’s not our style of play as far as the effort rounding the bag there,” Marmol said, via MLB.com. “It’s unacceptable.”
STAY UP-TO-DATE: Subscribe to our Sports newsletter now!
O’Neill insisted he was giving a strong effort. He told reporters he spent the offseason working on a new run-form mechanics. He also worked to develop better workouts to avoid another hamstring injury that impacted his 2022 campaign.
Follow every game: Latest MLB Scores and Schedules
“I think (Marmol) was pretty blunt about it and he didn’t think I gave the best effort,” O’Neill said. “I’m out here every day grinding my (expletive) off and giving it my all and trying to stay on the field for (162) games. Like I’ve said, I’ve got to get a better jump next time and get around the base a little quicker and be in there (safe) next time.”
The Cardinals have gotten off to 2-3 start this season. Marmol wasn’t happy with the team performance and mentioned that each player must give max effort. He noted to O’Neill that each opportunity on the basepaths count.
“Bottom line, that’s not his judgment and that’s why we have a coach standing over there,” Marmol said. “Your effort’s 100 percent until you’re told not to (run).”
The Cardinals concludes a three-game series against the Braves on Wednesday afternoon.