St. Louis Cardinals Director of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak addresses reporters as interim manager Mike Shildt listens. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Cardinals’ Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Bill DeWitt, Jr., President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak, General Manager Mike Girsch and interim manager Mike Shildt met with the media at Busch Stadium prior to Sunday’s game with Cincinnati to discuss the reasons behind the firing on manager Mike Matheny, hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller.

Mozeliak said after having discussions with DeWitt on Friday, both felt the time was now to make the change at manager.  Mozeliak insisted the firing was not due to recent stories of clubhouse friction such as Dexter Fowler and Matheny not speaking for months or that Matheny had veteran pitcher Bud Norris reporting back to him if pitchers weren’t compliant with team rules.  This decision was based on the wins and losses.

The Cardinals are currently 47-46, 7 1/2 games out of first place in the Central Division behind the Cubs and four games out and four teams behind a Wild Card spot.

Hear the full press conference:

“Some places, just having a winning record, or being .500 is acceptable…not in this city, not with this team and these great fans,” DeWitt said during his opening statements.

Shildt, 49, has been a member of the Cardinals organization since 2004 and has served on the team’s Major League coaching staff the past two (2017-18) seasons.  The North Carolina native managed for eight seasons in the Cardinals farm system where his clubs won league championships in 2010 and 2011 with Johnson City of the rookie Appalachian League and in 2012 with Springfield of the Texas League (AA).  He most recently managed in 2016 with Memphis of the Pacific Coast League (AAA).

“I see this as an opportunity and not a threat.  I’m blessed beyond belief,” said Shildt.

In addition to name Shildt the interim manager, the Cardinals also promoted Mark Budaska and George Greer to be the hitting coaches.