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The Cardinals have fired Mike Shildt as manager

This is a surprise.

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Mike Shildt, a Cardinals system lifer, was named the team’s manager in the middle of the 2018 season after Mike Matheny was dismissed.

In Shildt’s tenure as manager, they won a division title and two wild-card spots and in general continued the Cardinals’ “devil magic” or “pixie dust,” winning a franchise-record 17 games in a row in September of this year on their way to the Wild Card Game, which they lost to the Dodgers.

That’s not good enough for the Cardinals:

Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak explained the reasons behind the dismissal:

This is all very curious. I suppose we’ll find out someday what happened that “popped up recently,” considering that “recently” for the Cardinals was basically the 17-game winning streak and 23-9 record after September 1 that got them into the Wild Card Game. That happened despite the Cardinals basically operating with two starting pitchers after a number of injuries decimated their rotation.

I’m not sure what kind of “philosophical differences” you could have with a guy who did that for your team on the field, but obviously the Cardinals have their reasons.

It’s certainly unexpected. Shildt had a year remaining on his contract. Mark Feinsand’s tweets note that the Cardinals have “internal candidates” in mind and that Mozeliak wouldn’t answer a question about going outside the organization.

As always, we await developments regarding the Cubs’ biggest rival.