October 22, 2021

We Just Ranked the St. Louis Cardinals' 3 Best Options to Take Over as Manager

The St. Louis Cardinals have officially announced that manager Mike Shildt and the organization have agreed to part ways. Despite a 17-game winning streak in September to clinch a Wild Card spot, the Cardinals and Shildt reportedly had "philosophical differences" and thus, the Cardinals are looking for a new manager for 2022.

While the 17 wins in a row was a special moment in the history of the Cardinals, the fact is that it was a very disappointing season in St. Louis. With the trade for Nolan Arenado in the offseason, the Cards were expected to be the class of the NL Central. Obviously, that did not happen.

So who should be the next man up to lead such a talented ballclub? Well, lucky for you, I have picked out the three best candidates to be the next manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.

3. Paul Molitor, Former Minnesota Twins Manager

Molitor managed the Twins from 2015-2018 and while he posted a record of 305-343, he was named the 2017 AL Manager of the Year in 2017 when he led the Twins to the playoffs.

After a disappointing 2018 season where the Twins went 78-84, Minnesota fired Molitor and replaced him with Rocco Baldelli. The Twins went on to win back-to-back 100 win seasons and became the AL Central champions twice.

It is clear that Molitor still has the itch to be around the game as he just recently became a roving minor-league instructor with the Twins. Who knows where Minnesota would be if they decided to keep him after the 2018 season, but the Hall-of-Fame player has proven both as a player and as a manager that he has what it takes to lead a talented team, which is exactly what the Cardinals are.

2. Ron Washington, Third Base Coach, Atlanta Braves

Rumors have surfaced in the past few days that Washington would like to be the next Padres manager, but shooter's shoot, so the Cards should still reach out to the former Rangers coach. 

The 69-year-old is currently the Atlanta Braves' third-base coach, but before that, he led the Texas Rangers to back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. In his eight years as manager for the Rangers, Washington compiled a record of 664-611 and was widely regarded as a "player-coach." As an "infield mastermind" he has been credited with the development of a lot of young stars in this league. Everywhere he has been, the defense and overall player development have been very impressive.

Whichever team hires Washington will probably be his last stop. If he wants to go out with a championship, he could do a lot worse than the Cardinals.

1. Skip Schumaker, Associate Manager, San Diego Padres

Schumaker is Cardinals royalty and this would be his first stint as a manager. Why not go back to the place that you spent eight years? He has been an assistant manager for the Padres since 2018 and was so highly regarded within the organization that San Diego actually had him handle media duties every now and then in spring training.

After his retirement as a player in 2017, Schumaker immediately joined the staff in San Diego and it is clear that he has always wanted to be a manager. He's the perfect fit and the long list of recommendations for Shumaker makes him a pretty easy candidate.

If the Cardinals want to go young then Shumaker should be the first person that they call. He was a good player, he is young, and he is highly regarded in the game. What more could the Cardinals want? In an era where former players are going back to their teams to be managers, Schumaker makes a lot of sense in St. Louis. 

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