More answers: What kind of job has Oli Marmol done?
Donald Glenn (@BigD_GCS)
(Donald is the host of the Talking Sports on the Bleachers Podcast and a blogger at Gateway City Sports)
“I think really it comes down to support by the front office. I think there was a definite conflict between Mo and Shildt that snowballed. Mo may have publicly supported Shildt, but his movements with the club did not reflect that”
“Marmol has enjoyed an updated roster, additions to the rotation, and the bullpen that were not reclaimed projects. I think if you put a bat like Dickerson in place of say Carp and you have a guy like Montgomery in the rotation last year, it would been a lot different. I think Shildt would have done quite well with this group. I can’t say he would have won more games by now, but I would have like to seen what he could have done with it.”
” I will also say I think the team is playing looser because they don’t sense the tension between the clubhouse and management.”
Ultimate St. Louis Cardinals Fans Facebook Group
Ultimate St. Louis Cardinals Fans is a facebook group that was founded by Mark Gram. I threw the question to the members of this group. Here are some of the responses:
Mark Gram (@mkg59)
“I don’t think there would be a big difference in the Cardinals won/loss record. I do feel that Marmol has created a closer relationship with the players than Shildt had, especially in 2021.”
“No difference. Unless a manager is just horrific, quality of players on the roster, and players performance has more to do with wins and losses. I have the utmost respect for both Shildt and Marmol.”
“99% of managers are interchangeable parts. Exceptions are LaRussa and Whitey on the good end of the spectrum and Vern Rapp on the other end.
“Managers are limited by their roster…..the best managers only impact a couple of games per year. I don’t think there is much difference, at least so far, between the two to say that the team is in a different place now than they would have been with Shildt.”
My own thoughts
It’s hard, if not impossible, to quantify Marmol’s impact on this year’s team. Nevertheless, the team is playing better and looks like it will outpace last year’s 90 wins.
I feel the organization is better in sync with Marmol in the manager’s role as opposed to Mike Shildt. This is what Bill DeWitt Jr has been trying to accomplish as far back as 2007, when they released Walt Jocketty as General Manager and promoted John Mozeliak.
Building an organization from the top down with the Analytics philosophy has been DeWitt’s goal. It feels like the firing of Shildt and the promotion of Marmol has completed that circle. I guess my view closely mirrors a comment from Kevin Jones of the Ultimate St. Louis Cardinals Fans Facebook group.
“Oli seems to be working the plan and implementing the analytics without losing touch with the style of baseball that Cardinal fans have. Now that the front office, manager, coaches, and players are on the same page, the team is doing well.”
So to answer my own question: Is the team better, worse, or the same with Oliver Marmol as the manager? I believe they are better. However, I just can’t quantify Marmol’s overall impact.