Oh boy, there's already been controversy surrounding the St. Louis Cardinals coaching staff, and especially manager Oli Marmol, this season. Former bench coach Skip Schumaker may have just added fuel to the fire.
On the Dan LeBatard Show, the now Miami Marlins manager made some pointed comments about staffs that he's been on, calling them "a little bit toxic" because of the culture that was created. Take a listen in the tweet below.
Was Skip Schumaker referring to the Cardinals coaching staff?
It's impossible to know if Schumaker was referring to the Cardinals or not, but some of the things he mentioned here lead me to believe he may have been referring to his time with the San Diego Padres (although, there is still reason to believe it is the Cardinals, which I'll look at later).
Schumaker was a coach with the Padres from 2018-2021 and had a managerial change happen midway through his tenure (Andy Green being let go for Jayce Tingler) and saw Tingler fired right before he left to become the Cardinals bench coach.
The fact that Schumaker would make a lateral career move, coming on the Cardinals staff in the same role he had with the Padres, lends me to believe he was trying to get a change of scenery. Schumaker had been a manager candidate for teams even during his tenure with the Padres, so his time to lead a club was coming.
But it's still worth wondering if even bits of that were about the Cardinals' coaching staff. Obviously, Schumaker wasn't going to turn down the Miami job, especially with no clear path toward becoming the Cardinals' manager. But it's important to note the Cardinals' experienced their own staff exodus this past year.
Hitting coach Jeff Albert and pitching coach Mike Maddux both decided to leave their roles with the club and pursue opportunities. Maddux has had great success in Texas this year, and although the Mets have not been good this year, Albert received a prominent role with them. Both coaches chose to leave their roles and were not fired.
Matt Holliday was originally onboard to be the Cardinals' new bench coach but then decided right before Spring Training started that he wasn't going to do it anymore. It sounds like being with family played a major role in that, but there also could have been some hesitations as he began working with the staff.
And let's not forget the Mike Shildt situation. The famous "philosophical differences" was not just between the front office and Shildt, but also related to friction he had with other Cardinals' coaches. So maybe that kind of clubhouse toxicity continued with Shildt's protegee, Marmol, in charge.
Schumaker has gone on to have great success with the Marlins this year and currently has them in position to get one of the National League Wild Cards. It's clear he's a very good coach, and it's hard not to think that his absence may be felt by the Cardinals right now.
Keep these comments in the back of your mind for now. If things unravel for the Cardinals even more than they already have, there's a chance these comments could come back to the spotlight and others may decide to chime in.