Springfield Cardinals Manager Mike Shildt contacted me Saturday afternoon and we met for a very somber talk at Arvest Ballpark about his actions during an ejection Friday night where a helmet he tossed hit an umpire. Shildt was extremely contrite and apologetic about his actions the night before. “I take full responsibility for my actions,” Shildt told me before Saturday’s game. “It was completely unintentional. I made a poor decision.” The first year manager for the AA Springfield Cardinals went on to explain that it wasn’t until he heard the audible gasp from the crowd, that he realized he had hit First Base umpire Matt Benham. “The fact was that he was hit by it and I immediately apologized for it.” In talking to a team official, Benham’s ejection report also indicated that it was clear that there was no intent to deliberately strike him with the helmet. Shildt began serving a three-game suspension Saturday night as his club went on to beat the Northwest Arkansas Naturals 3-2.
Mike Shildt is among a rare breed of minor league managers without major league playing experience, playing only college baseball for UNC-Asheville. He has served in various positions in the Cardinals minor league system for the past nine years. “This organization has been very good to me. I believe in the Cardinal organization completely.”
Shildt feared that posting this display to YouTube could result in serving to define his legacy with the organization and requested the video be taken down. I, however, will be leaving the video up because of the exact opposite. As indicated in the video, everybody in the ballpark could see that there was no intent to violently hit anyone with his helmet and the incident was more funny than anything else. Plus, that’s not how Social Media works. Within 24 hours of being posted online, the video had been viewed over 400 times. The cat was out of the bag.
I do have a great deal of respect for Mike Shildt following our conversation and certainly don’t want any harm to befall him for making a mistake that ended up on the internet. I think once you watch the entire video, you’ll agree that the event was unintentional.
We will have exclusive audio of Mike Shildt on Sunday’s Royalman Report at 7pm – RoyalmanReport.com.
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