After a 27-12 record since taking over the team in mid-July, Mike Shildt has proven to the St. Louis Cardinals front office and their fan base that he deserves the job full-time.
On Tuesday the Cardinals held a press conference to officially introduce Shildt as the teams 50th manager in franchise history, removing the interim tag.
Shildt’s new perception and fresh ideas have turned the attitude in the team’s clubhouse from stale to excited. You can see it on the players faces and hear it in their voices.
“We come out here every night expecting to win,” Tyler O’Neill said after Tuesday night’s 5-2 victory.
The offense has performed night in and night out, the bullpen has re-invented its identity and the defense has been superb, especially from Kolten Wong at second base and Harrison Bader in centerfield.
All thanks to Shildt’s new philosophy on being as transparent as possible with his players.
“We just felt like we could not do better,” John Mozeliak, Cardinals President of Baseball Operations, said.
St. Louis had been linked to a number of candidates including former Yankees manager Joe Girardi as well as in-house options that included Shildt, Jose Oquendo and Memphis Redbirds skipper Stubby Clapp, who recently won the PCL manager of the year for the second straight year.
The Cardinals currently sit atop the National League Wild Card with a game and a half in hand over their division foe in the Milwaukee Brewers.
According to FiveThirtyEight.com the Cardinals have an 83 percent chance of making the playoffs and they play 11 games in September against divisional opponents, with eight of them scheduled at home.
The team that once looked dead in the water in mid-July have taken on a life of their own as the hottest team in baseball. The playoffs are on the horizon and Mike Shildt is captaining the ship. He deserves to be there as the Cardinals put together something special.