Why was Cardinals manager Mike Shildt fired? Team president John Mozeliak offered up an explanation that won’t make fans feel any better.
The St. Louis Cardinals unceremoniously fired manager Mike Shildt on Friday. This after a historic 17-game winning streak turned the team’s season around so significantly that it clinched a spot in the postseason.
Despite the highs that winning streak presented, the bottom has still seemingly fallen out on the Cardinals. As if the NL Wild Card loss wasn’t enough — one that needed ninth-inning heroics from the Los Angeles Dodgers — the pain compounded on Friday with news of Shildt’s shocking dismissal.
Now Cardinals fans are searching for answers, and the team is trying to offer up its best explanation for essentially Goodfella-ing hopes heading into an important offseason.
Why was Cardinals manager Mike Shildt fired?
ESPN’s Jeff Passan offered up a quote from Cardinals president John Mozeliak that tried to explain to fans why the move was made.
"Cardinals president John Mozeliak said he fired manager Mike Shildt earlier today due to a “philosophical difference” in the direction of the team. “We decided internally it would be best to separate now,” he said, even though Shildt had one year left on his contract."
It’s an answer in the most specific definition of the word. As far being an explanation, Mozeliak’s statement won’t do much to make Cardinals fans any happier after the stunning news was announced.
Here’s the full press conference announcing the firing and the explanation for why it happened:
Mike Shildt contract: How many years and how much money was left?
As Passan noted, Shildt still had one year left on his contract, so there was no immediate need to make a move this offseason.
That being said, the Devil’s Advocate to that would be if the Cardinals weren’t interested in extending Shildt’s contract then there was little reason to have him manage in a lame-duck season.
The exact dollar amount of Shildt’s deal wasn’t reported, but it’s believed to be on the very low-end of managerial salaries in baseball. Having a talented manager on such a cheap deal, yet moving on from him with a year left, makes the move even more puzzling. Especially when considering the Cardinals will likely look for a big name manager to step in and try to take the team to a level that the front office didn’t believe was possible under Shildt — the type of hire that will almost certainly cost more than it would to have kept things as they were for another season.