The Cardinals have a long track record of success so the benefit of the doubt still remains for the organization. That said, it was a weird decision and one that frankly is still head-scratching.
Mike Shildt comes across, in my opinion, as a sympathetic person. His success at the helm of the Cardinals was evident, so the firing came as a surprise to Mr. Shildt as well. I highly recommend the article to everyone, it is great writing by the incredible Nightengale.
Former St Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa questions whether Mike Shildt fostered a toxic environment
One point made in the article was interesting and deserves a deeper examination, in my view. Former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, a legendary manager and someone with close ties to recent Cardinals winning tradition, mentioned that someone within the Cardinals organization commented that Shildt was fired because of a “toxic environment”.
I won’t give too much away, like I mentioned the article is well worth reading and goes into so much more. This comment was fascinating to me, though. LaRussa seemed to strongly disagree with that assessment, instead saying that if a toxic environment did exist, the finger could more likely be pointed at the front office.
It’s clear at this point that Shildt and the front office were not on the same page, but the full extent of that it is unknown. I’m not wanting to stir the pot or try to create drama in the organization if there is none. It’s just notable that someone like LaRusaa brought this comment to light and seemed to redirect it.
The 2022 season is nearly upon us, and the St. Louis Cardinals have new manager Oli Marmol ready to take the reigns. There are reasons to be excited and optimistic regarding Marmol and his leadership. At the end of the day, if he and the team win, the dismissal of Mike Shildt was fade into the distance. Shildt should get a lot of credit for his success in St. Louis and he deserves another managerial opportunity in the future if he wants one.
But the potential for a “toxic environment” is something to keep in mind, especially if things don’t go as smoothly as planned and the team starts to struggle.