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Shildt ready for his first full season as Cardinals manager

This year, Mike Shildt will be in charge from the beginning for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Shildt [Official team photo]

Shildt was named interim manager on July 15 and managed the team to 41-28 for a .594 winning percentage. That matched the Brewers and Rockies for the most wins among NL teams in that time span. Shildt had his interim tag removed prior to the game on Aug. 28. He helped transform the Cardinals from a middling squad into a playoff contender after going 47-46 under Mike Matheny. “He deserves a lot of credit because he’s putting players in positions to succeed. It’s worked,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt said. “I’m not being critical of the prior regime because they’ve been here a number of years. We said at the time a fresh voice can inject new life into a club and that’s what has happened in my view.” Managers in St. Louis are expected to take their team to October. But the Cardinals have missed the postseason the last three years. “Guys are hungry. They’re eager,” Shildt said. “We, as a staff, have been intentional about working with our players. I think that’s the part that’s most important. Sharing dialogue with the player and getting feedback, his thoughts and information. We want to make sure we use all our resources to help a player. “Players in our clubhouse have full autonomy to challenge respectfully what we say, what we do and what we think. It’s not us versus them. It’s us with them. We’re a team. We want to do our best to go forward and get to the promised land.” Matt Carpenter is a believer in Shildt’s way of doing things. “Some people have a way of making everyone feel involved,” said Carpenter. “You either have that skill set or you don’t. He’s got it. He has a way of bringing everyone into the conversation.” Shildt started with the Cardinals organization in 2004. He worked as a scout. He’s been in player development. He’s been a coach and a manager in the minor leagues in Johnson City, Springfield and Memphis. He doesn’t have much experience as a player though. “I played a lot of left out, and couldn’t hit a lick,” said Shildt of his stint as a utility infielder at UNC-Asheville, where his diamond days came to an end. He knows the players want to succeed. It’s his job and that of his staff to make that happen. “We’re looking at ways to continue to evolve. We want to be the best at getting better every day,” Shildt said. “We’re not crazy outside the box doing anything different. We’re taking all the information that’s available to us and trying to condense it into the most simple form to be able to execute on the field. It’s still baseball. Pitchers throwing strikes, defense making plays and the offense executing.” It sounds simple. That’s how Shildt wants it to be. “We will give no quarter and take as many quarters as everybody will give us,” Shildt said.
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