Mike Shildt’s profane postgame speech captured his ‘refreshing’ fire, Cardinals say



Sorry, not sorry, Mike Shildt says.

The Cardinals manager, whose colorfully profane remarks after his team’s NLDS Game 5 win over the Braves were livestreamed by rookie Randy Arozarena, took a moment Thursday to apologize — if his “language offended anyone” not “for having passion about how I feel about our team and the accomplishments of our team.”

It was the preface to his NLCS media availability on Thursday’s workout day ahead of Friday’s Game 1 against the Nationals in St. Louis.

“I wanted to address some of the postgame comments I made yesterday. You know, the clubhouse is a sanctuary that is very sacred, it’s a private opportunity for us to be able to enjoy and celebrate. And yesterday, I got a great opportunity to have a moment with our team that is private, should have been private, and make sure they knew how proud of the accomplishments they have and moving forward, to our staff and our players.

“You know, I apologize if my language offended anyone. It’s not something I like to represent, it’s not to be excused, it’s supposed to be a private moment. But I will say that I’m flawed, I have my moments. I grew up in a clubhouse and one of the crosses I bear is my language. So I have done a nice job over the many years of curbing that and trying to represent always this organization and myself in a positive light, with class and dignity. I feel like I’ve always done that. It was regretful that that was able to get out. I will not apologize for having passion about how I feel about our team and the accomplishments of our team.

“So I just want to get that out there. It’s not anything I want to talk about moving forward, we got baseball to play. And as far as Randy goes, completely give Randy grace for, he was just excited. He’s a great kid with a great heart, and like I said, grace moving forward for him and now, let’s talk some baseball.”

For those only casually acquainted with Shildt, they might have been surprised by his remarks after Wednesday’s series-clincher in Atlanta, given his more typically low-key look in the dugout.

However, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Shildt had simmered while watching the Braves and Cardinals clash around a beef between St. Louis closer Carlos Martinez and young Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. but “boiled hot” as he addressed his team after its Game 5 thumping of the Braves.

“What I loved about this series is, we played the game hard, we played the game right,” Shildt said in the video on Arozarena’s Instagram stories. “They started some s—. We finished some s—. And that’s how we roll. We don’t start it, but no one f—s with us. Ever. Ever. All right? Now, I don’t give a damn who we play. We are going to f— them up. We are going to take it right to them the whole f—ing way. We are going to kick their asses.”

Per the Post-Dispatch, Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said during a Thursday morning radio interview that, while he wished the video had not made the rounds, it did capture Shildt’s “refreshing” fire.

It was a glimpse of Shildt that he flashes only occasionally, usually while arguing on behalf of his team or one of his players with an umpire. This side of Shildt, Post-Dispatch columnist Ben Frederickson says, “clashes with the buttoned-up version of the manager who can come across like a church secretary.”

His players, including the guy who’ll take the ball in Game 1, more frequently see the uncensored, unvarnished, un-church secretary side of him — in a good way.

“We get to see that fired up side of him when the cameras are off or supposed to be off,” starting pitcher Miles Mikolas said Thursday, “and he gets fired up. And when you see your manager getting that excited and that fired up it feeds into what everyone else is doing. It’s hard not to get amped up when you got the guy who is kind of leading your team getting super amped up, it’s contagious.”

 





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