Mike Shildt will have to find his Cardinal way to the unemployment line.
On Thursday, the first stunner of the offseason came to pass when the Cardinals fired Shildt, handing him his walking papers after a 90-win season that featured a 17-game winning streak in the closing stages of the 2021 campaign. St. Louis president John Mozeliak would make the move official in a press conference.
The Cardinals would earn an NL wild-card berth in 2021 but lose 3-1 to the 106-win Dodgers, proving to be the last time Shildt would manage a game for St. Louis.
The Redbirds will once again search for a long-term solution after dismissing Shildt following three seasons, all of which ended in the postseason.
Here’s why the Cardinals decided to move on from Shildt:
Why did the Cardinals fire Mike Shildt?
Cardinals president John Mozeliak says that the team decided to move on from Schildt due to a “philosophical difference” in the direction of the team during a press conference on Thursday.
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.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 14, 2021
John Mozeliak makes it official, announcing that Mike Shildt will not be back as the Cardinals manager. “We have determined that we have a philosophical difference in the direction that our Major League club is going.”
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) October 14, 2021
Mozeliak wouldn’t expound on what specifically those “philosophical differences” are. Mozeliak would also say that the team has several candidates in mind to replace Shildt.
The Cardinals manager had a year left on his deal, and reached the postseason in the three years he had been full-time manager of the team. Shildt replaced a fired Mike Matheny in the 2018 season.
With the way that front-office analytics departments are inching closer and closer to the everyday running of organizations, Shildt may not have seen things the same way that the front office did. Mozeliak added that no discussions on an extension were had prior to Shildt’s dismissal.
Shildt’s managing came under fire in the wild-card game, when several bullpen maneuvers were questioned in real-time by viewers and fans, though it was later revealed Cardinals closer Gio Gallegos had a fingernail issue and had to be removed after the eighth inning. The Dodgers hit a two-out, game-winning home run in the 9th.
In all, Shildt was 252-199 (.559 winning percentage) as manager and helped guide the Redbirds to a single NL Central crown, during his first full season as manager in 2019. The team advanced to the NLCS that season.