The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have relieved manager Mike Matheny of his duties effective immediately. Hitting coach John Mabry and his assistant Bill Mueller have also been fired. The Cardinals have announced that bench coach Mike Shildt will take over on an interim basis.
Matheny had been involved in a plethora of off-the-field incidents which hung a cloud around his team this season. First, Matheny and other members of the organization were accused of unfair treatment of OF Dexter Fowler, a scandal headlined by John Mozeliak’s public comments about Fowler.
Just yesterday, the Athletic wrote a story which summarized that closer Bud Norris was effectively a “bullpen snitch,” making sure Matheny knew of the transgressions of relievers, specifically Jordan Hicks. Matheny reportedly used Norris’s words to fine players.
Matheny had been at the helm of the Cardinals since 2012, leading them to a National League pennant in 2013. Matheny was never able to bring the Commissioner’s Trophy home to St. Louis as the manager, however, as the 2013 squad was as close as he got.
The Cardinals missed the playoffs in both 2016 and 2017, and it looked as if they were going to again this season. Matheny never finished a season below .500 as manager of the Cardinals, being fired while the team was still a game above this year.
Mike Shildt will be just the Cardinals’ third manager since 1995, following Matheny and long-time manager Tony La Russa. Shildt has previous experience managing both the Cardinals’ Short Season A affiliate Johnson City and their AA affiliate, the Springfield Cardinals. Shildt has been with the big league club since 2017, serving as quality control coach, third base coach, and bench coach.