Former St. Louis Cardinals skipper Mike Shildt wants to manage again and believes he’s ready after his abrupt firing.
The surprise of the offseason, at least from the St. Louis Cardinals perspective, was the decision to fire manager Mike Shildt. He had four consecutive winnings seasons (252-199 record) and guided the organization to three consecutive postseason appearances.
Yet, the Cardinals went in a different direction, and replaced him with his right-hand man Oli Marmol. While Shildt was happy for Marmol, it left him stunned. Hurt. Blindsided. He needed time away to recharge, turning down managerial interviews and telling teams that he wasn’t ready.
Shildt, who recently filled in on the San Diego Padres’ coaching staff while Bob Melvin was out with COVID, wants to manage again, telling Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “I’m healing now. I’m getting beyond it and I’m ready to get back into the gray with the right opportunity. I’ve won my whole life. I’m more convinced now that I’m ready to manage again. And win.”
It’s understandable that Shildt was hurt by being fired by the Cardinals. After all, he was with the organization for nearly two decades, and came up with many of the team’s players in the minors. He won at each level. He has/had relationships all across the organization. And now that he is ready to manage again, it is very likely that he will be a top candidate this winter, especially after the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Angels have already made managerial changes.
But Shildt will have to answer questions about his abrupt firing, and he is aware of that. The “philosophical differences” between Shildt and president of baseball operations John Mozeliak still largely remain unanswered, though some of it is believed to surround Shildt’s usage (or lack thereof) of analytics.
Shildt is going to be exposed to analytics more with the Padres. After 18 years of seeing the Cardinal Way, he’s now seeing how other organizations do things, and that can be a very positive thing. And he should benefit from it wherever his next managerial gig takes him.