Could St. Louis Cardinals hire Yadier Molina as manager?
Fans have wondered if Yadier Molina could be the club’s first modern-day player-manager. With the unexpected firing of Mike Shildt on Thursday, could it happen?
The St. Louis Cardinals’ firing of manager Mike Shildt on Thursday left fans and the baseball world shocked.
John Mozeliak, Cardinals president of baseball operations, said it was a matter of “philosophical differences” regarding the direction of the club. The decision was reached within the last five to six days, according to Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat.
Without the organization going into details, fans are left wondering what those differences could be after months of everything looking great for Shildt to remain manager.
Could it be Alex Reyes pitching in the ninth inning of the NL Wild Card game and, once again, giving up a walk-off homer to lose a game? Reyes hadn’t been put in a high leverage situation such as that since before the 17-game winning streak. Could there be a difference of opinions with a favored member of the coaching staff?
Mozeliak did say he hopes to have a new manager in place prior to mid-November. He noted the club has many internal options from which to chose. This could mean first base coach Stubby Clapp or bench coach Oliver Marmol.
Another internal option could be Yadier Molina.
Molina will be entering what is expected to be his final season as the team’s catcher. He has been an on-the-field manager for the team and has the complete trust of the pitching staff and teammates. During spring training, Molina often runs the coaching and workouts for the catchers. He’s also managed teams during the offseason while home in Puerto Rico.
It isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
There haven’t been any player managers in recent years, though. It was more common in a time when there were not as many moving parts as we have in today’s game.
With the various duties for the team’s manager and the team’s catcher, it’s easy to see why that may not be an attractive opportunity. Or even logical. It would seem highly stressful.
But, if anyone could do it, it would be Molina.
While Molina will be a manager at some point in the near future, I think they will likely go another direction for the manager and have Molina remain the team’s catcher. With Shildt’s firing today, the future of the team seems to be going in a different direction than maybe we’ve anticipated. Who knows what will happen.
A person who can just focus on being the manager will be what the Cardinals need. Who that is will remain a mystery that should unfold over the coming weeks.
Molina will be tasked to remain the on-the-field captain of the team, a role he’s filled like a future Hall of Famer.