It's Official: Mike Shildt is the Cardinals New Full-Time Manager

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It’s Official: Mike Shildt is the Cardinals New Full-Time Manager

Chicago Cubs

We discussed it briefly in the MLBits earlier today, but after a 3:00 pm press conference, it’s become official: Interim Manager Mike Shildt is now just “Manager Mike Shildt” for the St. Louis Cardinals. Congrats are in order, I suppose.

When the news first broke of Shildt’s new two-year* contract as manager, I was wrapping up the MLBits and had to shoehorn that news into the post. I stand by what I said at the time:

I mean, sure, the guy has done well, but … really? Already? Three years? I cannot believe that they won’t even interview other candidates in the offseason. It’s not like Shildt was going anywhere, and now the Cardinals are already hitching their wagon to him for three more years. Shrug. Their life.

*UPDATE: The deal is reportedly for two years, not three as it was originally reported, and begins at the start of the 2019 season (taking him through 2020).

I get that the Cardinals are all about promoting from within and Shildt has been with the organization since 2004, but this remains mind-boggling to me. There’s simply NO reason not to wait until the end of the year to at least assess your options. I mean, was anyone really expecting Shildt to (1) get scooped up by another team so quickly the Cardinals couldn’t make an offer or (2) say he doesn’t want the job? Nah ….

I also get that it’s been a very good stretch for the Cardinals under Shildt (26-12), but everyone knows that almost any team – especially one with legitimate talent like the Cardinals – could have a hot stretch like this. It just doesn’t, in my opinion, prove he has some magic sauce (or stupid salsa, or whatever).

Ken Rosenthal shares a similar sentiment:

Indeed, it’s not even September. It remains entirely possible that the Cardinals lose that tenuous 1.5 game grip they have on a Wild Card spot and end up missing the postseason altogether. And then, with a HUGE offseason of free agents ahead of them, they’ll have already committed to one manager, before even seeing what’s out there – remember, the Cubs had no idea that Joe Maddon was going to become available after the 2014 season (you just can’t know until you know).

Of course, there’s also guys like Joe Girardi and Dusty Baker out there (representing two polar ends on the desirability spectrum, no doubt, but both with really solid experience) to look into after the season is over. But nope. Not anymore. Shildt is their man and that’s how it’s going to be. I don’t know why it bugs me so much, but it does. I guess I should actually be happy to see the Cardinals make (what I consider to be) a hasty decision. I think it’s the constant display of internal confidence and hubris that’s bugging me most, but I digress.

Mike Shildt is officially the new, full-time manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. So get used to him. He may be here for a while.

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)


Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami