UPDATE: Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong clarified comments made to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggesting he is "wasting his time" in St. Louis.
"That platoon word is something I don't get along with real well," Wong said. "When that came off, obviously I kind of blew off the top a little bit. Just because I've put in the work this offseason offensively, defensively, offensively, trying to figure out my swing.
"At spring training, we all understand we are trying to figure out something. You are trying to make sure that you are getting yourself ready for the season. My whole thing was, I just got mad at the fact, thinking, I'm over here trying to work on things, trying to get myself better. Not trying to go out here and have an amazing spring training. I'm trying to go out there and have an amazing season. To hear that was something that hit me out of left field. I didn't mean it in a bad way.
"I didn't mean it for me to come off seeming like I wanted to be traded or wanted to get out of this organization. I love playing for the Cardinals. If that wasn't the reason, then I never would have signed that extension. I wanted to be here for the long term. I still want to.
"Right now, I'm going through a rough stretch, trying to figure out my stuff. Eventually it will turn around. I'm so locked in and trying to figure my stuff out, that when I hear other stuff like that, it kind of hit me the wrong way, knowing I'm putting in all this effort and work and doing all I can to help this team win. And to hear that, it was something I wasn't expecting."
Kolten Wong is not pleased with the Cardinals.
The second baseman snapped after general managerJohn Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny said Wong would likely share his starting duties this season with Jedd GyorkoorGreg Garcia. Before the Cardinals'game against the Marlins on Sunday, Wong went on a rant about the new development, and said he would rather play for another club than share the starting position.
"I don’t think you give somebody a contract for no reason,” Wong said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch . “When you are given a contract, you are expected to get a chance to work through some things and figure yourself out.
"Josh Donaldson,Jose Bautista, all these guys never figured their stuff out until later on down the road," Wong continued. "For me, the biggest thing is I just need people to have my back. When that comes, it will be good. But, I think right now, it’s just staying with my play, understanding I’m working toward getting myself more consistent, understanding what kind of player I can be. If that’s going to be with another team, so be it."
Wong just signed afive-year, $25.5 million extension last year that also comes with a $12.5 million optionand $1 million buyout. Due to the longevity of his contract, Wong indicated he felt blindsided byMozeliak and Matheny's comments.
“I don’t want to be here wasting my time,” Wong said. “I know what kind of player I am. If I don’t have the belief here, then I’ll go somewhere else."
In parts offour years with the Cardinals, Wong has posted a.248/.309/.370 slashline with a .678 OPS.