ST. LOUIS – The news was surprising for a lot of St. Louis Cardinals baseball fans. Mike Shildt was the manager who led the team on an electrifying 17-game winning streak this past season. On Thursday, the team announced he is no longer the Cardinals’ manager, citing philosophical differences.
“It’s sad news,” Cardinals fan Bogi Atanasov said.
“How are you going to fire a guy for winning 90 games?” asked Cardinals fan Frank Genzer.
Many fans criticized Shildt for bullpen decisions made during a season-ending Wild Card game loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Some wonder if that one decision was a factor. There are also fans who feel the team underachieved prior to the winning streak.
Some baseball insiders say Shildt was groomed for the managerial job after advancing through the Cardinals organization. The announcement comes as a surprise. Fans are eager to find out who the team will hire to replace Shildt.
John Mozeliak, St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations, said there were potential managerial candidates to replace him on the current staff, but wouldn’t commit that the next manager would necessarily come from within the inside the organization or outside.
He said he hoped that the decision would not extend into mid-November.
Cardinals season ticket holder Rick Zamora hopes the next manager will have a proven Major League Baseball track record. He said there was a point in the season when he thought a managerial change was possible.
“I was concerned before the 17-game-run that maybe there would be some changes,” Zamora said.
He added that once the team went on that winning streak, he did not expect Shildt to be fired.