Former St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt didn’t receive interest from the Mets or A’s in their managerial searches. But why?
With Mike Shildt joining the commissioners office, it’s time to ask a question that’s been on my mind all day: Why – and how – did he not get another managerial position?
By all accounts, Shildt should be a manager again. He is 252-199 in four seasons as a manager, making the playoffs in three of those seasons. He had the support of the St. Louis Cardinals’ clubhouse and players clearly enjoyed playing for him. For a team like the San Diego Padres, who needed a veteran manager after firing Jayce Tingler, Shildt would have been a great choice.
The Padres went with Bob Melvin, one of the most respected managers in baseball, so they can’t be faulted for that decision. But the New York Mets and Oakland A’s, who both need managers, were not connected once to Shildt. It appears they didn’t even have interest.
It’s likely that teams had concerns about Shildt’s abrupt firing from the Cardinals. When discussing the firing, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak termed it as “philosophical differences,” and there was not much clarity on what exactly he meant from both Mozeliak and Shildt. Teams surely asked Shildt, and those around him, what went wrong in St. Louis. It is apparent they didn’t get the answers they sought or just wanted to go in a different direction.
Shildt, 53, also may not have been ready for another managerial job. Almost a week ago, he told MLB Network: “There is some pain that I’ve got to work through and I’m doing that. I’m a spiritual guy, faith-based. God didn’t want me to be there anymore and he’s gonna put me in a place where he wants me and I trust that.
Shildt deserves to get another managerial job when he is ready. Someone with his track record, and deep history in baseball, should get another shot. A year in the commissioners office should enhance those chances, since he will work with some of the league’s top executives, and will also be in contact with all 30 teams.
But it’s a shame that Shildt isn’t a manager in 2022. It may have been his choice, of course. But he’s at least earned another chance — and the team that eventually takes that chance on him should be better for it.