A short walk from Great American Ball Park is a modest brick office building that’s part of a historic cluster in downtown Cincinnati and, for more than 30 years, has been Bill DeWitt Jr.’s office. From his window the Cardinals’ chairman can see the Reds’ home ballpark and the haze of smoke that hangs over it after post-homer fireworks.

He always has a view of the competition.

This past week, baseball operations executives John Mozeliak and Michael Girsch, met with DeWitt at his office to discuss future moves, and he watched his club make the present more interesting. The Cardinals shook loose from .500 and have, in the past week, conjured a last-gasp playoff run. Their view of the competition is even closer.

During an hourlong conversation at his office with the Post-Dispatch, DeWitt discussed the team’s faults and vaults this season, upgrades desired, its manager, and even what the Cardinals’ role should be as a prominent citizen in a city stirred by protests and exposed social wounds. The following is part of that conversation, edited only to avoid repetition:

Derrick Goold: Your team needs help in the standings but it is playing meaningful baseball in late September, which is always its goal. What are your views of the season, the positives, and some things that have held it back?

Bill DeWitt Jr.: Going into the season I thought we had a very good club that had an excellent chance of playing postseason baseball. I think most people felt that same way. I know our players did, our staff did. We haven’t played as well as we could have. You could point to the various reasons, but I think our bullpen had some issues early on. And we haven’t played as well fundamentally as we should have. I still believe the talent is there. We are playing meaningful games in September even though the odds are stacked against us. They were stacked against us in 2011 and we showed what can happen if you get on a good run and other teams falter a bit.