Editor's note: Goold fielded multiple questions about why Fowler wasn't already in camp, as several lineup regulars were. After multiple reminders that Fowler is working out privately with his team of personal trainers and that he isn't contractually obligated to appear in camp until Feb. 17, a reader asked, "Derrick, why do you cover for and make excuses for Fowler?" Goold replied:
I don't need to "cover for and make excuses for" Fowler. I present the facts and let the facts do that for me. You make a huge mistake -- an insulting mistake -- to suggest that a player who isn't here isn't training. Some of the pitchers haven't arrived in camp yet, and you don't seem to care too much about their absence from these informal workouts. How come? It would interest you to know that Dexter Fowler is working with his personal trainer, has spent time with Barry Bonds, and he pays money out of his own pocket to build this training team around him, some of whom travel with him during the season.
And, the "last one to get there, first to leave the ballpark" nonsense you brought up (in his question) about Fowler? Yeah, let's unplug that myth, too. So, some of the work that Matt Carpenter and others do at the ballpark, Fowler does at the gym before the game, or at a training facility with his personal trainer. We've asked him about it. He did that with the Cubs. He's doing that with the blessing of the Cardinals. He's never late for "report time" at the ballpark. And he's rarely the last of his teammates to arrive at the ballpark. In fact, I don't remember a time when he was. It's not something I keep score on, but I do pay attention to see who might be injured or whatever.
The first to leave? How would we know? Asking teammates who also aren't there when the clubhouse opens 10 minutes after the game ends? The next day's starter is long gone by then. Most starters are. Matt Holliday was very swift at leaving the ballpark immediately after a game. No one seemed to care about that.
Facts are a wonderful thing. Some of you should try standing on a few and check out the view.