St. Louis Cardinals fans were left with more questions than answers after Mike Shildt’s press conference.
Fans hoping to get the dirt from Mike Shildt about why he was dismissed from the St. Louis Cardinals were left with disappointment Monday. Instead of using the press conference to provide insight into what happened, we got a statement of gratitude from a man happy to have had the opportunity at his dream job.
For more information on the press conference, refer to this post from Robert Murray.
With neither side providing insight other than “philosophical differences,” this just leaves fans with more questions than answers. Shildt noted there were differences of opinion but out of respect for the St. Louis Cardinals organization, he would just leave it at that and express thanks for the opportunity.
Anything other than a difference in philosophies revealed will just be speculation and rumor.
This is unfortunate because it makes you wonder what Shildt could have possibly done to create this unresolvable rift. It doesn’t put a good light on the president of baseball operations John Mozeliak and team chairman Bill DeWitt.
Why just a phone call to Shildt? Why couldn’t it wait for a face-to-face meeting? Why the sudden press conference the organization had to get permission to have Thursday? Why couldn’t that wait until the postseason?
And most importantly… What happened that could not be gotten over with a conversation? Shildt was hired by Mozeliak as a scout in 2004 and climbed his way up the ranks to manager. You would feel these two would have a relationship built on communication. How was this relationship fractured to the point of firing him in such a manner?
It certainly creates speculation for any club looking to hire Shildt. He is reportedly being considered for the San Diego Padres managerial opening. The Padres will likely attempt to investigate what led to Shildt’s departure from the Cardinals.
The manner in which the dismissal happened also creates speculation regarding the Cardinals’ organization. Are they still the stable organization we know and love? Would a manager feel secure to do his job? Would he be merely a puppet?
Per further reporting from Murray, Yadier Molina spoke with the media in Puerto Rico regarding his feelings on Shildt’s dismissal. This could make fans wonder how other players feel? Do the players feel confident in their situation with the team, in expressing themselves, or any dissatisfaction without fear of retaliation?
During the conference, he expressed appreciation for his bench coach Oliver Marmol. He was Shildt’s right-hand man and confidant. According to reporting from Katie J. Woo of The Athletic, Marmol has Shildt’s “most trusted respect.” If Marmol’s selected, how can Mozeliak be assured the differences won’t continue? Was Marmol known as a go-between for the coaches, such as hitting coach Jeff Albert and Shildt? Would it be a situation of basically removing the middle man title for Marmol?
After this press conference, more must be explained regarding what happened to a relationship so very steeped in the Cardinal Way. However, that information will not come anytime soon or even at all.
Is this move essentially a changing of the guard for a new Cardinal Way, more centered around analytics? Time will tell if this is the case.
A change this drastic puts Mozeliak on the hot seat. He must get this new hire and everything onward correct. So much is at stake. From the last year of two franchise icons to Nolan Arenado’s time with the Cardinals, not to mention Paul Goldschmidt and the plethora of young talent with the club and in the minor leagues.
It was obvious this offseason was going to be essential to the club’s future. The actions of this past week just turned up the heat for the organization.