Cardinals Don't Expect Any Bull From Shildt

The Cardinals have already stress to us that it's all on them, but maybe Shildt can help this team go on a Cincinnati Reds-like run after changing managers.

July 18, 2018 - 12:50 pm
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The Mike Shildt era of St. Louis Cardinals baseball began with a high note on Sunday, as St. Louis beat the Cincinnati Red 6-4 in the first game as manager for Shildt. He was named interim manager after the firing of Mike Matheny, Saturday night

We learned from some of the Cardinals players that Shildt adressed the team before Sunday's game, as some what of a inaugural address to hopefully propel St. Louis into a playoff spot in the second half of the season. The Cardinals sit four games out of a Wild Card spot and and seven and a half games out of first in the NL Central.

But maybe the Cardinals can go on a similar Reds-like run after changing managers. After the Reds fired Bryan Price in Apri, the team is 40-38 since Jim Riggleman took over as manager.

Related story: MLB Players Vote St. Louis Best Fans in Baseball

Shildt has logged eight seasons as a manager in the Cardinals organization, the most recent at the triple-A level with the Memphis Redbirds (2015-16). He has compiled a career managerial record of 471-432 (.522) over his eight seasons, winning league championships in each of his three career playoff appearances.

But as the Cardinals player have already stressed, it's up to them. Here's what some of them had to say on Sunday, after going 1-0 in the Shildt era:

Kolten Wong: 

"All the guys in here know who he is, and what kind of manager he is and how he will fight for everybody. He's not going to be the to just leave you out there and Mike has been that guy since day one, every since I met him he's alwasy been true to everybody. He's not going to B.S. you, he's going to make sure that you know exactly where he's coming from and if you've got any problems, step into his office. He's going to be one that's going to dish it out, but he's always there to take it." 

Wong has played for Shildt in two previous seasons, 2011 in Rookie Ball at Johnson City, then again in 2012 with the Spring Cardinals in Double-A. He was one of the players who was adament about he and his teammates taking the responsibility for Matheny losing his job. 

"He's going to put on the lineup that he expects to win and if you've got any problem with it, go talk to him. And we came together collectively as a group to make sure that we kept everything on us. We we're going to blame anything on anybody, if we mess up, if you mess up you take it like a man. That's something that I hope we carry on for a while now and these young guys start realizing because that's what's going to make us win.

"That's something I wish we could have started earlier, but I think with all these new faces that are coming it, it's good that we're doing this."

Jose Martinez: 

"He cares about what's going on outside of the field, what's going on with your mind when you get to the field and I think he just gets you prepared and just gets you loose so that when the umpire says 'Play ball.' You've got nothing to think about, it's about baseball. 

The Cardinals most consistent hitter this season worked with Shildt in 2016 when both were in their first seasons with the Memphis Redbirds. 

John Gant: 

"Great guy, he's a team guy. Great person and looking forward to working under him, playing for him."

Gant did not play under Shildt in the minors, but has been around two other coaches who were promoted after the dismissal of Matheny and hitting coaches John Mabry and Bill Mueller. Although Gant is a pitcher, he has first-hand experience of what Mark Budaska and George Greer have done with Memphis players this season and other Cardinals minor leaguers in the past. 

"Hitters have success when they're down there in Memphis, I don't know exactly what it is, but whatever it is he's doing it and we're excited to have him up here."

Dexter Fowler: 

"Transparency, I think that's key. He's a pretty good communicator. I think the guys who have played with him, played for him, they love him and that says a lot.

"He has good energy, a good energy about him and I feed off of that. Even being around him he is always smiling, but he works hard, he always works hard and he cares."

Yadier Molina: 

"I think he's kind of that old-school manager with an old-school technique and old-school game. I think that's, for me, a good thing."

Miles Mikolas: 

"You try to stay positive in a situation like this and I think he's the right guy to come in here and to be positive admist everything that's going on. Just to look at it as a glass half-full. We've got a new half coming up, a new manager it can be a fresh start for guys and a fresh start for everyone to go out and say we're going to play our asses of for the rest of this season."

Started the first game for Shildt as manager.

Jedd Gyorko: 

"He's been around forever, just talking to him about baseball, I would be far-fetched to find someone who's more prepared and deserving of this job. So as far as all the guys I think I speak for everyone in the clubhouse when I say, we think he's ready. We're gonna play our butts off for him and we look forward to playing for him."