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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Mike Shildt out as St. Louis Cardinals manager, per report

One week after losing the NL Wild Card Game to the Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals have made a managerial change. Mike Shildt is out as the club’s manager, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The team has not yet confirmed the news but has scheduled a press conference for Thursday afternoon.

Shildt, the 2019 NL Manager of the Year, replaced Mike Matheny on an interim basis in Aug. 2018, then was given the job permanently following that season. The Cardinals went 252-199 in parts of four seasons under Shildt, winning one NL Central title.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 02:51 PM | 55 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, mike shildt

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 03:01 PM (#6046323)
From @MarkFeinsand:


John Mozeliak makes it official, announcing that Mike Shildt will not be back as the Cardinals manager. "We have determined that we have a philosophical difference in the direction that our Major League club is going."

Mozeliak: "Where we felt the team was going, we were struggling to get on the same page." Cards didn't want to go into 2022 with Shildt as a lame-duck in the final year of his contract.

Mozeliak said the decision had nothing to do with 2021, which he termed a success. It was more where the club was headed directionally.


Mozeliak said the situation with Shildt was "something that just popped up recently." Doesn't seem as though this was something that had been festering throughout the season. The two sides had held no discussions about an extension.

   2. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 14, 2021 at 03:09 PM (#6046326)
Wow. Very unCardinal like. As a Cubs fan, any way they can #### up and hurt themselves is fine by me.
   3. McCoy Posted: October 14, 2021 at 03:11 PM (#6046327)
Sounds like Schildt either lost a power struggle or did something or had something discovered that was inappropriate.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 03:13 PM (#6046328)
Yea, it seems like this came up very suddenly.

@Feinsand
The Cardinals requested permission to make this announcement today even though the Giants and Dodgers are playing Game 5. That shows how important it was for St. Louis to get this done and move forward.


They didn't fire him on the off day yesterday, they fired him today.
   5. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: October 14, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#6046330)
Last couple of weeks there were several articles about potential extensions, so this is surprising.

I’m not unhappy, though. While he was better than Matheny, I was never left thinking he was a great manager, just competent.
   6. JJ1986 Posted: October 14, 2021 at 03:27 PM (#6046331)
Maybe they're rushing to bring Aaron Boone in.
   7. asinwreck Posted: October 14, 2021 at 03:33 PM (#6046332)
Shildt went down.
   8. Tin Angel Posted: October 14, 2021 at 03:41 PM (#6046335)
Sounds like Schildt either lost a power struggle or did something or had something discovered that was inappropriate.


Could be drug smuggling or something like that too.
   9. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 14, 2021 at 03:43 PM (#6046336)
Could be drug smuggling or something like that too.


That would fall under the category of "did something."
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 03:58 PM (#6046341)
Maybe he sent some emails to Bruce Allen.
   11. Perry Posted: October 14, 2021 at 03:58 PM (#6046342)
I don't get it, and I don't like it. Took over a dead-ass team that was languishing under Matheny, went 41-28, and within half a year drastically improved the baserunning, defense, and fundamentals, and sustained it. Had a .550+ winning percentage and made the playoffs every full year he had the team. A Cardinal lifer who embodied the values of the organization, on and off the field. Seemed to be well-liked by the players. Won 90 games this year with a decimated starting rotation. After being criticized for bullpen management in the first half this year, made changes that were mostly successful. I don't get it, I just don't.

   12. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: October 14, 2021 at 03:59 PM (#6046343)
He must have emailed Jon Gruden a dirty joke or something.
   13. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: October 14, 2021 at 04:02 PM (#6046345)
I’m not unhappy, though. While he was better than Matheny, I was never left thinking he was a great manager, just competent.

Yes, Shildt was a cog. I guess that would represent an improvement in Queens, but in St. Louis he's not the guy you lose sleep over.
   14. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 14, 2021 at 04:17 PM (#6046352)
Holy S(c)hi(ld)t!
   15. salvomania Posted: October 14, 2021 at 04:20 PM (#6046355)
Continuing to bat Yadi fifth all year despite his .578 OPS over the final 2/3 of the season may not have made a huge difference one way or the other, but it doesn't show a very agile mindset.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 05:10 PM (#6046370)
Has anyone ever won Manager of the Year while unemployed?
   17. AndrewJ Posted: October 14, 2021 at 05:13 PM (#6046371)
Has a manager ever been fired the winter after a 17-game (or longer) winning streak?
   18. phredbird Posted: October 14, 2021 at 05:15 PM (#6046372)

all i can say is i'm (almost) speechless.

he struck me as the quintessential organization man that mo could give orders to and he would follow them.

it looked like he had the players behind him too.

it may be a personality thing with mozeliak, who strikes me as someone who wants to be recognized as a baseball genius (this is based on very scant evidence, just speculation), and so something shcildt did or said rubbed him the wrong way.

i could see how the business of batting yadi too high up in the order and some of his questionable bullpen decisions could have been a factor once all the analysis was in.

lots of folks are going to wonder if this isn't an opening for yadi to be the player/manager or whatever.

*shrug*
   19. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 14, 2021 at 05:32 PM (#6046375)
I'd love to hear from all the Cards fans here as this seems an odd move. The Cards really battled at the start of the season with a rotation that seemed intent on beaning like 200 players this year. They totally revamped that, made it work and had a great run into the WC game where they arguably ran up against the best team in baseball. No shame in the way the season went or ended.

There has to be more to this, right?
   20. Ken Griffey Junior Bacon Cheeseburger Posted: October 14, 2021 at 05:37 PM (#6046376)
Has anyone ever won Manager of the Year while unemployed?


IIRC Davey Johnson announced his resignation from the Orioles on the same day he was announced as Manager of the Year in 1997
   21. mathesond Posted: October 14, 2021 at 05:58 PM (#6046378)
Has anyone ever won Manager of the Year while unemployed?


Did the Marlins fire Joe Girardi before or after he was announced as MoY?
   22. JustDan Posted: October 14, 2021 at 06:15 PM (#6046383)
Well, he ain’t winning the MOTY over Kapler. At least not in my opinion.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: October 14, 2021 at 06:19 PM (#6046384)
I'm somewhat surprised, Shildt is an incredible poor tactical manager, is a great player manager overall he's just like Matheny, more or less above average, the only advantage Matheny brought over Shildt was that he actually learned and was willing to take criticism and make changes on his managerial style. (Matheny though had that "christian clubhouse" reputation that was off putting to some players and free agents to be) Shildt never improved or changed over time.

I'm surprised that they didn't let him play out the contract, but I guess there is a real possibility that the team might perform well under him another season and that even though he's getting results, doesn't mean they think he's a good fit long term.
   24. Perry Posted: October 14, 2021 at 06:25 PM (#6046385)
Wow, I see it as just the opposite, Matheny never seemed to learn a thing in 7 years. Shildt completely revamped the bullpen usage midseason this year, Matheny never would have done that, he would have gone with "our guys" in the same way to the bitter end.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: October 14, 2021 at 06:57 PM (#6046386)
Waiting for the other shoe to drop ...
   26. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: October 14, 2021 at 07:09 PM (#6046392)
lots of folks are going to wonder if this isn't an opening for yadi to be the player/manager or whatever.

*shrug*
Matt Carpenter has talked about wanting to coach when his playing career is over, which it seems likely to be…
   27. sunday silence (again) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 07:25 PM (#6046395)
CFB if he's just like Matheny only worse; why does the firing suprise you? You were calling for Matheny's outster for a long time as I recall.
   28. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: October 14, 2021 at 07:37 PM (#6046398)
"Philosophical differences" could mean "we found a MAGA hat in his office."
   29. salvomania Posted: October 14, 2021 at 08:06 PM (#6046402)
I'd love to hear from all the Cards fans here as this seems an odd move.

I'm very surprised, it seems as if the team's 90-win performance with some real roster (mostly pitching staff) challenges would have bought him a little slack.

I wasn't a fan of his rigid usage patterns (be it batting orders or his closer) but overall, he was miles better than Matheny, who I thought was terrible in almost every way, and was thrilled when he was let go.

Yes, the staff did an about face in the second half, but that was mostly by replacing underperforming pitchers, especially in the bullpen. And the acquisitions of Lester and Happ did what the team hoped it would do, stabilizing a rotation that had lost 4 starters. Neither of those had anything to do with Shildt.

My guess is something very fundamental is at play here, like he clearly went one direction when he was instructed to go another. Whether that was bringing in Reyes in the 9th against the Dodgers, or undermining Jeff Albert (the hitting coach), I imagine it was some kind of decision that contradicted a team directive.
   30. depletion Posted: October 14, 2021 at 08:51 PM (#6046414)
"Philosophical differences" could mean "we found a MAGA hat in his office."

Shildt has a Constructivist outlook on lineup creation, and the Cards clearly were in the Intuitionist camp.
   31. shoelesjoe Posted: October 14, 2021 at 09:33 PM (#6046418)
Rumor has it that during the 2006 offseason he was seen laughing at a Dave Chappelle joke.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: October 14, 2021 at 09:39 PM (#6046421)
Has there been any reaction from players yet?
   33. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 14, 2021 at 09:41 PM (#6046423)
It's a shame the series wainwright was calling is over. It's be fascinating to have him have to talk about during a game.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: October 14, 2021 at 09:43 PM (#6046424)
Rumor has it that during the 2006 offseason he was seen laughing at a Dave Chappelle joke.

Heck of a coincidence that Schildt was in the audience for Chappelle's last funny joke.
   35. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 14, 2021 at 09:59 PM (#6046429)
I wouldn’t have thought Shildt was in firing territory based on performance. Was he expected to beat the Dodgers in the Wildcard? ‘Philosophical differences’ seems an unlikely reason, but perhaps it’s a euphemism for disapproval of something untoward? The actual reason may leak out within a few days.
   36. cardsfanboy Posted: October 14, 2021 at 11:55 PM (#6046499)
CFB if he's just like Matheny only worse; why does the firing suprise you? You were calling for Matheny's outster for a long time as I recall.


I never wanted Matheny to get fired, you have me mistaken with Perry, I've argued that Matheny was quite good and was willing to learn, he changed how he did things so many times and he admitted he was learning on the job. Shildt on the other hand is hard headed and thinks he already knows, refuses to listen to advance stats. Shildt though was a players manager, he's Joe Torre. I think Matheny was equal to Whiney Herzog as a manager, superior to Torre, below TLR among Cardinal managers over the past 40 or so years. I think Shildt was the poor mans version of Whitey, great player manager, suspect tactical decisions.

I would have been fine with keeping Shildt to be honest, sometimes it's better to dance with the devil you know than the angel that you haven't met yet.
   37. cardsfanboy Posted: October 15, 2021 at 12:00 AM (#6046505)
The philosophical difference boils down to, "why the #### is Bader batting 8th and Molina 5th?" type of thing, Shildt has borderline zero tactical ability, no ability to write a lineup, no bullpen management worth a crap. He's borderline anti-stat.

He wins because the players love him and play to their potential because of him. But it's not anything special to be honest, Baker, Torre, Leyland etc... all have done that for a much longer period of time. Again, I would have liked to keep Shildt for another year, but there was some issues with him. His utter disdain for advance statistics and the fact that as he managed more, he became more against it, is probably at least a part of it.
   38. The Honorable Ardo Posted: October 15, 2021 at 12:04 AM (#6046511)
I'm fascinated by whom the Cardinals choose to replace Shildt (it'll explain a lot about why they fired him and where their organizational priorities rest) and whether job candidates will see St. Louis or San Diego as the more attractive vacancy.
   39. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: October 15, 2021 at 12:31 AM (#6046557)
Maybe the Shildt hit a fan.
   40. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: October 15, 2021 at 12:31 AM (#6046558)
Maybe the Shildt hit a fan.
   41. bunyon Posted: October 15, 2021 at 01:06 AM (#6046608)
I don’t give two Shildts about post 39.
   42. The Duke Posted: October 15, 2021 at 01:16 AM (#6046609)
I’m glad to see this move. Shildt was ok. But he wasn’t going to take us to the World Series. He had a number of issues:

1. Poor tactician (too many IBBs, bad use of Platoons, slotting of relievers into “their inning”, etc )
2. Players manager which means veterans always got their way, no platoon usage, poor lineup construction, etc
3. Lack of killer instinct - most easily seen by sticking with wainwright too long in the wild card game. He’s a minor league manager - good with players but lacking the winning style.

If you are a cardinal fan this has to be a good thing because it means Mozeliak will have a more aggressive manager and Dewitt may spend more money this winter.
   43. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 15, 2021 at 07:43 AM (#6046616)
But he wasn’t going to take us to the World Series.


Meh, there have been a lot of bad managers who have won the World Series over the years.

Lack of killer instinct - most easily seen by sticking with wainwright too long in the wild card game.


I'm sorry, what? Wainwright gave up one run . . . in the fourth inning. Sending him out for the sixth had precisely no consequences. The Cards's bullpen isn't exactly an earth-bestriding behemoth, either. Yanking Wainwright so early might have been the mistake.
   44. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 15, 2021 at 08:47 AM (#6046622)
> Has anyone ever won Manager of the Year while unemployed?

In basketball, Dwayne Casey was fired by the Raptors on May 11 2018, and then was awarded the Coach of the Year on June 25 2018.
   45. The Duke Posted: October 15, 2021 at 09:29 AM (#6046628)
Letting him bat in 5th and then yanking him in 6th is simply giving up an out. And he want pitching well - bailed out by good defense. Cards bullpen with the exception of Reyes has been awesome late in year . Bringing in Reyes with game on the line was not a good call either. They still had Cabrera who had good reverse splits. They also had jack flaherty

Shildt’s the kind of guy who wouldn’t use flaherty there because “he’s a starter”. Roberts and Kapler were so much better at this
   46. The Duke Posted: October 15, 2021 at 09:31 AM (#6046629)
Letting him bat in 5th and then yanking him in 6th is simply giving up an out. And he want pitching well - bailed out by good defense. Cards bullpen with the exception of Reyes has been awesome late in year . Bringing in Reyes with game on the line was not a good call either. They still had Cabrera who had good reverse splits. They also had jack Flaherty

Shildt’s the kind of guy who wouldn’t use Flaherty there because “he’s a starter”. Roberts and Kapler were so much better at this
   47. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: October 15, 2021 at 11:36 AM (#6046651)
This seems very, very obviously not baseball related. I doubt there's an urgent philosophical difference around baseball, like Shildt doesn't believe pitchers should throw breaking balls or something.

A bright flame that moth journalists are going to swarm looking for the dirt. My unfounded guess is that there is a gay Cardinal and Shildt is not handling it well.
   48. bfan Posted: October 15, 2021 at 01:09 PM (#6046676)
This seems very, very obviously not baseball related.


Yes, as "gets us in the play-off but cannot get past the dodgers" seems like a pretty high bar. It will be interesting if he is a candidate for other open manager jobs, or if people just see him as a system guy. Until I hear facts and reasons otherwise, I will hold the thought that he was really unfairly treated.
   49. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: October 15, 2021 at 02:00 PM (#6046682)
Rumor is skip Schumacher may be the guy. That’s fun.
   50. bunyon Posted: October 15, 2021 at 02:06 PM (#6046684)
It's either non-baseball or he got a direct order from the GM about something in the wild card game and disobeyed.
   51. sanny manguillen Posted: October 15, 2021 at 03:49 PM (#6046700)
It seems to me that in today's game a manager's resistance on analytics is sufficient to trigger a firing. They're spending a lot of money acclimating young players to their programs. They can't have the players get to the majors and finding the manager doing his own thing.
   52. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 15, 2021 at 04:11 PM (#6046703)
It seems to me that in today's game a manager's resistance on analytics is sufficient to trigger a firing.


Yeah, but that's been true for so long you'd imagine he wouldn't have been hired in the first place if he wasn't on board with analytics.
   53. The Duke Posted: October 15, 2021 at 08:01 PM (#6046743)
“My unfounded guess is that there is a gay Cardinal and Shildt is not handling it well”. This is the first thing that crossed everybody’s mind. Seriously, how crazy is that.

This isn’t hard to see if you’ve been following the Cardinals.

1. Mo hired Jeff Albert not only as hitting coach but also to bring a new hitting philosophy to the entire org. It appears there has been an issue with Shildt in accepting Jeff’s role. This was laid bare when Tommy Edman gave a candid interview mid year about the dysfunction in the batting area.

2. Shildt’s use of analytics generally was weak as you might expect from a middle-aged old school guy. He used them to explain decisions but often came across as a SSS user, abuser of IBBs and terrible in game tactitian.

3. Mo said the decision was NOT a non baseball decision but that it had become apparent in the last 5-6 days when something was brought on his attention. What could that be? Well the cards have a coaches review 2 days after the season and presumably they have a 1:1 with Shildt as well. I’m guessing the cardinals told him they wanted either a bigger and/or more analytical staff like the Giants and Shildt didn’t want that or some back and forth haplened between coaches, manager and front office that led them to believe there was a a bigger issue

Shildt may have done what many subordinates do which is confuse what management said as a suggestion instead of a directive.

   54. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 01:09 PM (#6047166)
Two out, pressure’s on: After firing his second homegrown, hand-picked manager, Mozeliak’s next choice a defining one for Cardinals


What specific statement or stance led to the firing is unclear, though officials and sources said meetings that started the previous Friday with Shildt, his staff and the front office underscored a clashing of ideas. Mozeliak said he became aware of “a collection of information,” gathered background on what was expressed, and made the call. He declared it a “baseball decision.”

Internally, there had been concern about the absence and ongoing leak of Cardinals-rooted presences. Former ace Chris Carpenter’s departure for a role in the Los Angeles Angels’ organization when the Cardinals did not make an offer is a recent example. Cardinals leadership have sought to modernize while also insisting they draw success and strength from a wealth of institutional knowledge, passed down from generation to generation, coaches like Jose Oquendo to infielders, advisers like Carpenter to starters. A source described a rising frustration for “losing tradition.”

There had also been discussions on how this team should strive beyond a 90-win, wild-card finish for higher aspirations in 2022, multiple sources described. What view was articulated about the organization’s goal and by who may have "pushed too hard" in the opinion of the front office, one source confirmed.



Shildt addressed the media today, but didn't really offer any more details.

"I was told not to talk out of school," Shildt said. "And while clearly there were differences that led to this parting of ways, out of respect for the organization and the people who run it I can only express my gratitude, and all those philosophies that were shared the many years most of us were together allowed us to part ways as professional friends.
   55. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2021 at 01:24 PM (#6047173)
"I was told not to talk out of school," Shildt said. "And while clearly there were differences that led to this parting of ways, out of respect for the organization and the people who run it I can only express my gratitude, and all those philosophies that were shared the many years most of us were together allowed us to part ways as professional friends.
Somebody clearly has a severance package conditioned on an NDA.

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