Cardinals: Mike Shildt’s new job is good for himself and baseball
Former Cardinals manager Mike Shildt will be taking on a new role with Major League Baseball which should help the game.
As has been reported by Robert Murray and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Mike Shildt will be taking on a new role in 2022 with the commissioner’s office On-Field Operations department with senior vice president Michael Hill. According to MLB Trade Rumors, the new role will deal with on-field disciplinary issues and umpiring at both the MLB and minor league levels.
This is not what fans expected for Shildt, as several major league managerial jobs have opened up this offseason including with the Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres. One would think that with Shildt’s experience from scouting to managing the Cardinals since July 2018, he would be a sure hire.
While he was reportedly beloved by his players, some things happened that led to John Mozeliak, Cardinals president of baseball operations, firing him after a tumultuous season rife with injuries and concerns but ultimately getting to the NL Wild Card game. While the reasons given by Mozeliak were noted as “philosophical differences,” the real reasoning is pure speculation and likely why teams were hesitant to hire Shildt as a new manager.
Shildt has a ton of experience and it will serve Major League Baseball well to tap into his wealth of knowledge. Shildt has been outspoken with issues related to umpiring. You may recall his reaction to umpires questioning Giovanny Gallegos and his cap which appeared to have some muck related to a combination of sunscreen and dirt. Shildt noted that while his player was called out, other players were boldly using foreign substances to get control noting it at the time as “baseball’s dirty little secret.” This ultimately led to a bigger crackdown on players possibly using substances and included pitchers getting checked between innings.
While pitchers were frustrated, it did let you know that the league was taking the substance issue seriously enough to check the pitchers consistently. Interestingly enough, it did appear some pitchers definitely changed their approaches after the crackdown.
With over 20 years of experience in baseball, the commissioner’s office will get a man passionate about the game of baseball and equally passionate about helping to better the game. It will be interesting to see what Shildt’s impact will be with the new position and how it will undoubtedly improve the game for players and fans.
Shildt may eventually get another job managing in the major leagues, but he should definitely take this opportunity with the commissioner’s office and grow from it. Not only for the benefit of the game but ultimately for himself.