Anytime a manager loses their position, the fan base and local media begin deliberating on what available big names couple step in to fill the void.
The ink on Mike Matheny’s walking papers was barely dry before Joe Girardi’s name was being tossed around the Twittersphere like a hot potato, and we’ve had plenty of other names — Mike Scioscia, Jim Riggleman, Mark McGwire, Carlos Beltran, etc.. — pop up in the conversation.
And while each of these guys and others could get consideration, as Bernie wrote Monday: It’s interim manager Mike Shildt’s job to lose for several reasons. Cardinals TV voice Dan McLaughlin recently discussed some of these reasons with ‘The Bernie Miklasz Show.’
Shildt’s baseball acumen has gotten plenty of coverage since the Cards handed him the keys, and Danny Mac talked this as well as the fact several current Cardinals rose through the club’s ranks with their newest skipper.
“He’s had a lot of these players that have come through the system; never forget that. He’s gone through double-A and triple-A with Kolten Wong and with others that have come through the system and they all have tremendous respect for Mike,” McLaughlin said.
“Basically you’re getting a guy that has really paid his dues in the minor leagues…He’s a baseball lifer and he’s a guy that I think will get consideration and should get consideration even though he did not play Major League Baseball, which is something he bristles at,” he added. “If you have command of the clubhouse and can relate to people, you can do the job. I think we’re going to see what he can do for the second half of the year.”
Another fact McLaughlin has mentioned during broadcasts, but not all fans may know is that Shildt shares the same eye ailment with Tommy Pham.
“He suffers from keratoconus, which is the same eye condition as Tommy Pham. So those two are very, very close and he’ll tell you it’s amazing what Tommy’s been able to do.”
We’re two weeks out from the MLB trade deadline and one would have an easier time predicting St. Louis’s weather than the Cardinals’ plans for the occasion. With eight of their first 11 games out of the All-Star gate against the Cubs, how the win-loss record looks before July 31 will say a lot. McLaughlin alluded to the amount of pressure management feels to either make more changes at the deadline or this winter.
“I think this trade deadline coming up is fascinating,” he said. “To what direction the Cardinals go in the second half of the season; they’ve eight of the first 11 against the Cubs. So you’ll have a pretty good idea at that point of where you’re at. You have a major free agent class coming out so you can do some damage there.
“They’ve got to retool. So, yeah, there’s some pressure there…This is a big, big time and probably a huge four to six-month period for the St. Louis Cardinals.”
Not really interested
Another echo out of Cardinal Nation as this past weekend’s news went down was, “Why didn’t Jose Oquendo get the interim skipper tag?” Well, it appears as though he didn’t really want it according to McLaughlin and others.
“I talked to Jose about this not that long ago and, in a way he didn’t seem real interested,” he said. “I think he was pretty happy with what he was doing. That may have changed now that there’s the potential of doing this. If some of the players, I guess, would get vocal you might get Jose in there. I don’t know.”
It’s well documented how much players respect Oquendo as a coach and baseball aficionado, but could a clubhouse petition get Jose to think harder about taking the job several fans have thought he should have already had?
“I can’t answer that honestly because I just don’t know. I haven’t asked him in the last 24 to 48 hours, but certainly if he wants to be interviewed they’ll give him that chance and you never know. He just might get it. I think at this point anything is on the table.”
You can hear Danny Mac’s weekly 101 ESPN chat in full below. Stay connected to 101 ESPN and 101Sports.com for plenty of Cardinals talk straight out of the break.