Shildt’s Gone


Will Glarner '22, Editor

The Saint Louis Cardinals dismissed manager Mike Shildt on Thursday, Oct. 14, after John Mozeliak cited a “philosophical difference in the direction that our Major League club is going.” The Cardinals believe this decision was necessary in order to keep the team in contention for postseason play in the future. Shildt had a year left on his deal, and had also reached the postseason in the three years he had been manager of the team. Overall, Shildt was 252-199 as manager, and during his first full season as manager in 2019 he helped lead the Cardinals to a single NL Central crown. With more than 400 games as manager, Shildt’s 252-199 (.559 winning percentage) was sixth best in the Cardinals’ history. Shildt also won the National League Manager of the Year in 2019. 

John Mozeliak met with Shildt and the coaching staff on Friday, but the two did not meet again until he fired Shildt the following Thursday. Both Mozeliak and Bill DeWitt Jr. received permission from Major League Baseball to fire Shildt immediately. This begs the question: was it more than just “philosophical differences?” When asked about Shildt’s response, Mozeliak noted that “he was very shocked.” Late in this season, Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr. praised the work of Shildt during an interview on KFNS radio show. Several media reports pointed to the likelihood of a contract extension for Shildt. The interesting thing was that Shildt was Mozeliak’s “guy.” Mozeliak had hired Shildt as a scout and promoted him on his rise through the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Yet, when reporters and media outlets badgered Mozeliak to elaborate and provide specifics on the firing, Mozeliak would not budge. 

With Shildt gone, potential replacements are now the big question. Mozeliak confirmed that there are several internal candidates in the Cardinals organization who are being considered, but he did not specify. Stubby Clapp, the Cardinals’ first base coach, could be a potential option for the role. Before joining the Cardinals organization in 2019, he managed in the minor leagues for the Astros and Blue Jays. Also, Oliver Marmol, the Cardinals’ bench coach, was drafted by the Cardinals in 2007 and has been with the organization ever since. Lastly, Jose Oquendo, the Cardinals’ minor league infield coordinator, has been with the club for over thirty-five years in various roles. Oqunedo knows the philosophy of the Cardinals better than anybody and could be a perfect fit for the manager position.