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Cardinals fire manager Shildt

MLB notebook

The Associated Press Mike Shildt is no longer managing the Cardinals.

The Cardinals fired former National League manager of the year Mike Shildt over organizational differences Thursday, just one week after St. Louis lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers on a walk-off homer in the wild-card game.

Cardinals president John Mozeliak said the firing was “something that popped up recently,” but he refused to expand on what he called “philosophical differences” between Shildt, the coaching staff and the front office.

“All I can say is where we felt the team was going, we were struggling to get on the same page,” Mozeliak said. “With him having one year remaining on his contract, we could have gone into 2022 having that over him and we just decided that internally it would be best to separate now and take a fresh look as we head into a new season.”

It is exceptionally rare for clubs to fire managers the same day as a playoff game — the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants played the decisive game in their divisional series late Thursday. But Mozeliak and Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr. decided that it was important enough to seek permission from Major League Baseball to make the move immediately.

Mozeliak declined to discuss possible replacements, but he did say there are plenty of internal candidates.

Cora meets ex-team

HOUSTON — Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora was already counting on a rematch with his former team even before the Houston Astros advanced to their fifth straight AL Championship Series.

“He told me (Monday), ‘see you soon,'” Houston star Carlos Correa said.

The Astros assured their place the next day, closing out the White Sox in Game 4 of the Division Series.

Now that this matchup is set and will begin tonight, Cora, the Houston bench coach, will look to take down the Astros in the ALCS for the second time in four years after beating them to a World Series title in 2018.

“I’m enjoying the groove,” Cora said. “I think honestly, as a team, we’re clicking at the right time … and it doesn’t matter how you get here, it just matters what you do from here on and we’re prepared for it.”

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