Now is not the time for the Cardinals to hire a new manager

I know this is the minority opinion, but let me explain.
Miami Marlins v St. Louis Cardinals
Miami Marlins v St. Louis Cardinals / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

It only takes a quick look at the social media posts and listening to every sports station in St. Louis, to find a common theme. Not only does someone need to be fired, they need to be fired now. Cardinal Nation has every right to be feeling this way, but that is the wrong thing to do.  

If the Cardinals replace Marmol, will the new manager get this team to the playoffs? FanGraphs gives the Cardinals a 9.5 percent chance of a wild card birth and a .6% chance of winning the World Series. Those are long odds for even the best manager. 

It is time to realize this team is a mess. We have already seen several articles written about who the next manager should be. A new manager is not the solution. 

The team can put a new face out there that may have some new ideas, but that will not fix the underlying problems this team has. There are many. The Cardinals rank near the bottom of every offensive stat. The defense has slipped, and the starters are average. The Cardinals' farm system ranks 23rd according to and they have only 3 prospects ranked in the top 100. The prospects that make it to the big league team keep getting sent back down. 

Firing Marmol is reactionary. From the outside, the Cardinals seem to not have a plan. There is no identity. No vision. Are they a young team, or an old team? Do they consider more than a year ahead? This year, somehow, they got themselves into a position to replace 60% of their starting pitchers. Guess what? The only players with a contract for next year are Contreras, Arenado, Gray, Mikolas, and Matz. Everyone else will be a free agent, have options, or will seek arbitration. 

Before firing the manager or the hitting coach, this team needs to decide who they want to be. Will they revert to the “Cardinals Way” which was solid pitching, great defense and timely hitting with a major focus on fundamentals? Or maybe they need to change and look at the new rules and become a running team? Will they need to tear down and completely rebuild the minor league system and endure a few years of suffering, or will they continue constructing a team with a half-in and half-out approach? Do they continue to try to just win the division or can they try to do something that everyone younger than 12 years old has never seen? Make it to the World Series. 

Once they decide, the next thing to do is to find a new general manager who can navigate all that will entail. They should get the new manager only after they have decided on that. One that has the same vision as the new GM. 

This statement may stun a few people, but the Cardinals under DeWitt have never hired an outside GM and only hired one manager who was not promoted. The DeWitts bought the Cardinals in 1996. Walt Jockety was on board when they bought the team. The first thing that was done was to go outside the organization and hire Tony La Russa. He has been their only outside hire. When the Cardinals let go of Walt Jocketty, they promoted Mozelaik. After La Russa departed from the Cardinals, the organization chose Mike Matheny for the job, as he still had ties to the organization. The organization promoted Shildt, and they did the same for Marmol.

I keep seeing a list of replacement managers that usually comprises candidates with Cardinals ties. We should cross off the names of Skip Schumaker, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Stubby Clapp, Albert Pujols, and Daniel Descalso from the list. We all know the definition of insanity. Beating your head against the “hire from within wall” and expecting different results is just that. 

If you do not know what the Cardinals Way version 2.0 will look like, how in the world can you pick a new manager? They all bring different strengths and weaknesses. You don’t pick a manager and then mold the organization around that manager. You pick one that fits what the organization has mapped out. 

It is now time to change direction. But before just getting rid of the manager, please decide what that direction is first.