Dennis Lin reported yesterday in The Athletic that some inside the San Diego Padres organization wanted Ryan Flaherty as the next manager of the team. That obviously did not happen.
While some might think that a few players might not be super happy about the Shildt hiring, the former St. Louis Cardinals manager shouldn’t have an issue getting buy in from the group.
Why would these players not respect Shildt? Why would they end up not loving him as their skipper?
Sure, there were philosophical differences between him and the Cardinals front office but that wasn’t between him and the players. He was well liked by his players. Former infielder Greg Garcia recently told a story about how he always believed in his players even when he was managing a bad Double-A Springfield team.
“Shildt, who doesn’t say a lot, gets up and says...‘I know you don’t see it now, but five months from now, we’re going to be raising a championship trophy on that field,’” Garcia told Bryce Miller. “Now, we suck at that time...Sure enough, we ended up winning the title at Frisco. He called that (crap).”
Also results-wise, how can these players not buy in on the first day of spring training? As a manager in the big leagues all he has done is produce winning team after winning team.
Mike Matheny was fired in July of 2018 after St. Louis got out to a 47-46 record. Shildt took over—having never managed in the majors—and finished the season going 41-28. Then in his three full seasons as manager the Cardinals would make the postseason every season and win 90+ games in each of his two regular seasons (2019 and 2021).
Yes, I know. Shildt hasn’t been able to get to a World Series as the manager but that means he’s hungry. You know who else should be hungry? Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Yu Darvish and Jake Cronenworth, who also haven’t won a World Series yet and were a part of the most disappointing team in Padres history last season. So really when you think about it, everyone should be hungry, which hopefully bonds them together as a real team.
“I’m excited to work with them to help create a structure where they can thrive and create accountability where the team can thrive as well,” Shildt said Tuesday. “So, you know, let them be themselves in a team setting, get buy-in from them, which I don’t think is going to be an issue at all. These guys are tremendous guys and super hungry.”