Rizzo on Williams: 'Right guy at the right time'
For Washington sports fans, the name Pete Kozma will forever live in infamy.
Maybe a World Series title for the Nats some time soon would help alleviate what he did in the 2012 playoffs, but for now he rests among those who have ruined title hopes for D.C. fans: LeBron James, Jaroslav Halak, Dan Turk, Damon Jones, and Pete Kozma. The list goes on.
Kozma was the one who had the go-ahead hit in Game 5 of last year's National League Division Series at Nats Park. After Daniel Descalso brought home two runs to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth off Drew Storen, Kozma roped a line drive to right field to plate two more and put the Cardinals up 9-7.
That night will likely haunt Nats fans for years, but Kozma's days in St. Louis may be coming to an end, at least as the team's starting shortstop. After the 25-year-old had a disappointing season for the Cardinals, both his manager and GM have said publicly they hope to upgrade the position. Kozma doesn't fit into the team's future, and the Cardinals have no problem saying it.
Here is what manager Mike Matheny told Sirius XM:
Mike Matheny told us that "up-grading shortstop is in the conversation" #SiriusXM— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) November 5, 2013
General manager John Mozeliak also noted shortstop is a place they can improve on for 2014 to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Mozeliak said that three positions that could be open for the offensive boost the team needs are third base, shortstop, and center field — though not in that order.
Kozma batted just .217 through 143 games this year, posting only 89 hits. His struggles continued in the playoffs where he recorded just five hits in 14 games.
Kozma was a former first round pick of the Cardinals in 2007, but his days may be numbered with the NL champions. Even if he moves on to another team after just three seasons with St. Louis, he'll always be remembered as a Cardinal in these parts.