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Mike Shildt

Mike Shildt

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St. Louis Cardinals vs Los Angeles Dodgers National League wild-card game (copy)

The Cardinals’ historic 17-game winning streak spoke highly of the leadership Shildt provided.

Fans grew weary of hanging out in Mister Shildt’s Neighborhood while he maintained his stubbornly positive outlook amid his team’s midseason collapse. But his troops appreciated his even-keel approach and they rewarded it with an epic finish.

Shildt made some tough decisions along the way, such as replacing Paul DeJong at shortstop with Edmundo Sosa and moving Kwang Hyun Kim to the bullpen. On the tactical side, he stepped up the team’s running game so it could play to its strength. He also restacked his batting order and reorganized his bullpen on the fly — and got great results on both fronts.

Reaching the postseason for the third straight year despite glaring roster shortcomings was an impressive feat. Shildt deserved a contract extension and the right to chart the team's path forward. Instead, he got fired.

Grade: A

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