"Blindsided": Disagreement Over Analytics Led To Stunning Dismissal of Cardinals Manager

 

It came as a shock to many in the baseball world last week when the St. Louis Cardinals abruptly decided to hand manager Mike Shildt the pink slip. Now it appears that the "philosophical differences" referred to by Cards' management are related to Shildt's unwillingness to buy in fully on the analytics' mindset. 

According to sources cited by The Athletic, "one of the biggest differences between management and the front office came over the implementation of analytics, something (president of baseball ops John) Mozeliak and the front office wanted to push further, but something Shildt wasn’t eager to do."

In Shildt's first public comments since the dismissal, he admitted that analytics reluctance was part of the story, but "not the entire picture." 

Sources also indicated that there was a rift between the manager and his coaching staff in regards to his "leadership tactics and communication." Hitting coach Jeff Albert, for one, is a strong proponent of using the analytics approach, and he, in fact, was brought in a few years back by management, not Shildt. 

Shildt forged plenty of success while at the helm of the Cardinals, taking them to three straight playoff appearances, as well as a club-record 18-game winning streak this September for their unlikely push into the Wild Card game. It has been reported that the firing with one year left on his contract left Shildt "blindsided."

For now, the exiled manager is simply going with "differences happen", though he is expected to address the media in more detail on a zoom call on Monday. 

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports



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