If you have not heard the news by now, welcome back from whatever rock you were under. The St. Louis Cardinals are searching for a new manager.
The team has already stated that they are going to take their time, at least until the end of the year, to make the decision. That is an example of the St. Louis Cardinals front office being smart. See how the team plays outside of the Mike Matheny era, then make the decision about the direction of the team.
The second half will say a lot. If the team trends downward, it might mean a rebuild. However, if the team surges their way to a playoff run it will bring hope for the next season. A playoff surge might also secure Mike Schildt’s new job.
Patience Is Key
The Detroit Tigers are the team to look at in terms of finding the right guy for the job. They launched into their rebuild and let Brad Ausmus go. Everyone thought they were going with a young guy to take the reigns, after all that would make sense.
As is documented, the Tigers went with Ron Gardenhire. That is pretty much the opposite of the young, analytic trend, and it has worked out for them so far. They are not a playoff team, they know that, but they have been smashing through expectations this year. Granted, they were low expectations, but you look at the roster and tell me they should be playing as well as they are.
A lot of that credit goes to Gardenhire. He was the right man for the job and that is starting to pay off. So, enter the St. Louis Cardinals manager search. A guy like Gardy might not be the route to go. The point of that example is that the front office needs to figure out who the best candidate for the team is, and go with him.
Second Half Impact
The second half of the year should weigh heavily on the direction the team goes with their manager search. If they can play a better brand of baseball under new management, then they will look into different options than if they continue to play poorly.
A St. Louis Cardinals team that is playing better will look for a manger with a reputation of getting the best out of a talented team. That is where a name like Joe Girardi would make sense to me. Another name that fits the bill is Stubby Clapp from Memphis, because that team is good.
On the flip side if the team wants to launch into a rebuild, that can start with the manager. Getting a guy with little, or no, experience as a manager would allow him to grow with the team. But maybe neither of them are what is best. That is why the front office will need to make the best of the time they are giving themselves.
It seems everyone is happy that a new manager is coming, but there will be a lot of pressure on the new guy. A fresh face can do great things for the organization if it is the right face. That is why waiting until season’s end is pure genius.