Archive for the ‘Managers’ Category

At each significant step in the Cardinals career of pitcher Barney Schultz, Johnny Keane played a prominent role.

barney_schultz2Keane was the minor-league manager who helped Schultz reach the majors for the first time with the 1955 Cardinals. Eight years later, when Schultz was placed on waivers by the 1963 Cubs, Keane, then manager of the Cardinals, convinced general manager Bing Devine to make the deal that returned Schultz to St. Louis. A year later, in August 1964, when the Cardinals appeared to have slipped out of contention, Keane made Schultz the closer. The knuckleball specialist rewarded his mentor with a stretch of outstanding relief that carried St. Louis to a National League pennant and a World Series championship.

After his playing career, Schultz remained with the Cardinals as a minor-league instructor and then pitching coach on the big-league staff of manager Red Schoendienst.

Schultz, 89, died on Sept. 6, 2015, in his native New Jersey.

His story is one of how being prepared for opportunity and not giving up can lead to success.

Long journey

Schultz was 17 when he debuted as a professional player in the Phillies system in 1944. The right-hander played for five organizations _ Phillies, Tigers, Braves, Cubs and Pirates _ without getting to the big leagues.

After the 1953 season, Schultz was acquired by the Cardinals from the Pirates’ Denver farm club. The Denver executive who made the deal was Bob Howsam.

The Cardinals assigned Schultz to their Class AAA club in Columbus, Ohio, for 1954. The Columbus manager was Keane.

Schultz, 27, no longer was considered a prime prospect. Keane decided to use him mostly in relief. Schultz posted an 8-8 record and 3.86 ERA in 41 games for Columbus. “Barney had a good fastball then, too, and I’d urge him to use it often with his knuckler,” Keane told The Sporting News.

Convinced that Schultz had found his role as a reliever, Keane recommended that the Cardinals give Schultz a good look at spring training in 1955. The Cardinals agreed and Schultz delivered. At 28, he made the Opening Day roster of the 1955 Cardinals, joining another rookie knuckleball pitcher, Bobby Tiefenauer, in the bullpen.

In 19 games with the Cardinals, Schultz was 1-2 with four saves and a 7.89 ERA. On June 16, about three weeks after Harry Walker had replaced Eddie Stanky as manager, Schultz was demoted by the Cardinals to their Class AA Houston affiliate. He was 5-7 with a 3.46 ERA there for manager Mike Ryba.

Back with Keane

Schultz spent the next two seasons, 1956 and ’57, playing for Keane with the Cardinals’ Class AAA club at Omaha. He was 9-12 with a 4.19 ERA in 1956 and 8-7 with a 2.83 ERA in 1957.

Schultz, 31, began his third consecutive season under Keane with Omaha in 1958. His career clearly was stalled. On May 26, 1958, the Cardinals traded him to the Tigers for Ben Mateosky, a minor-league outfielder.

Freed from the Cardinals’ organization, Schultz worked his way back to the big leagues. He pitched for the 1959 Tigers and then for the Cubs from 1961-63.

In June 1963, the Cubs placed Schultz, 36, on waivers. Keane, in his third season as Cardinals manager, urged Devine to acquire the pitcher. The Cardinals submitted a bid to claim Schultz on waivers, then sweetened the deal by offering utility player Leo Burke in exchange. On June 24, 1963, the transaction was made, reuniting Schultz with Keane and the Cardinals.

“We had talked about Schultz all spring,” Devine said. “We were the only ones to put in a bid for him when the Cubs asked waivers on him.”

The only players remaining on the 1963 Cardinals who were with St. Louis when Schultz debuted in 1955 were Stan Musial, Ken Boyer and Schoendienst.

Schultz was 2-0 with a save and a 3.57 ERA in 24 games for the 1963 Cardinals, who placed second in the NL to the Dodgers.

Closer in waiting

Based on their 1963 performances, the Cardinals were expected to contend in 1964 and Schultz, with his connections and experience, was considered a probable fit for the bullpen. Instead, the Cardinals sent Schultz to Class AAA Jacksonville before leaving spring training. The Cardinals sputtered and by mid-June their record was below .500.

Schultz, meanwhile, was pitching spectacularly for Jacksonville and his former Cardinals manager, Harry Walker. Schultz had an 8-5 record and 1.05 ERA in 42 games when the Cardinals recalled him from Jacksonville on July 31, 1964 _ two weeks before his 38th birthday.

Reunited again with Keane, Schultz yielded no runs in his first nine appearances for the 1964 Cardinals, earning five saves in that stretch.

Meanwhile, impatient Cardinals owner Gussie Busch fired Devine and replaced him with Howsam, who had sent Schultz to the Cardinals a decade earlier.

With Schultz confidently protecting leads and closing out games, the Cardinals rallied to win the pennant on the final day of the regular season. Schultz had six saves in his final eight appearances, all scoreless. Overall, Schultz was 1-3 with 14 saves and a 1.64 ERA in 30 games over the last two months of the 1964 season for St. Louis.

After the Cardinals defeated the Yankees in a seven-game World Series, Keane resigned and became Yankees manager.

Pitching for rookie manager Schoendienst, Schultz was 2-2 with two saves and a 3.83 ERA in 34 games for the 1965 Cardinals before he was demoted to Jacksonville.

In 1966, Schultz was a player-coach for the Cardinals’ minor-league Tulsa team. He was a Cardinals minor-league instructor from 1967-70 and served as Cardinals pitching coach under Schoendienst from 1971-75. Among those who praised him as a mentor were Cardinals pitchers Bob Forsch and John Denny.

In 1977, Schultz was pitching coach for the Cubs. His prize pupil was Bruce Sutter, who developed into a standout closer under Schultz and capped a Hall of Fame career by helping the Cardinals win the 1982 World Series title.

Previously: Why the Cardinals played baseball in Delaware on D-Day

Previously: 20th win for Ray Sadecki put 1964 Cardinals into 1st place

Previously: 5-game sweep of Pirates positioned Cardinals for pennant

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Since 1950, Tony La Russa has more wins than any manager in the big leagues. He became the all-time wins leader among modern managers 10 years ago when he passed Sparky Anderson on the career list.

larussa_leylandOn Aug. 25, 2005, La Russa got his 2,195th win as a big-league manager when the Cardinals beat the Pirates, 6-3, at Pittsburgh. That moved La Russa to third in career wins, ahead of Anderson (2,194) and behind Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763).

Six years later, when La Russa, 67, retired after leading the Cardinals to the 2011 World Series championship, he remained third in career wins with 2,728.

Mack and McGraw compiled all of their wins between 1894 and 1950.

Mack managed the Pirates from 1894-96 and the Athletics from 1901-50.

McGraw managed the Orioles in 1899 and from 1901-02 and the Giants from 1902-32.

La Russa managed the White Sox from 1979-86, the Athletics from 1986-95 and the Cardinals from 1996-2011.

Sparky helps Tony

Anderson, while managing the Tigers, had offered advice to La Russa when he was with the White Sox. Anderson remained a mentor to La Russa.

“Nobody was as ready to help or impart knowledge as Sparky,” La Russa told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In the book “Tony La Russa: Man on a Mission,” La Russa said Anderson, who managed in the Cardinals minor-league system in the 1960s, taught him that a major responsibility of a manager “is to try to figure out what your guys do well and where they struggle _ and try to play one away from the other.”

“For example,” said La Russa, “if a guy can’t bunt, don’t put him in a position to bunt. If someone is a bad runner, don’t give him a green light to run. If a guy has trouble going back on the ball but can come in, play him deeper. If a guy can go better to his right, shade him to the left. All of that crystallized the idea to play to strengths and away from weaknesses.”

Cardinals celebrate

On the night La Russa passed Anderson in career wins, Cardinals outfielder Jim Edmonds told the Post-Dispatch, “To have the most wins in the modern era is pretty special.” Boxscore

The Cardinals made sure the achievement was treated as special.

After the game, Edmonds spoke to his teammates in a closed-door meeting to make certain everyone understood the significance of the win.

Reliever Jason Isringhausen presented La Russa with the ball from the final out.

The players doused La Russa with beer. First baseman Albert Pujols playfully dumped a tub of ice water on him.

Isringhausen said the beer shower was planned; the ice water dump was spontaneous _ and momentarily worrisome. “We were afraid his heart was going to stop,” Isringhausen told reporter Rick Hummel.

The club brought out a case of Dom Perignon champagne and made a toast to their field leader.

Team owner Bill DeWitt Jr. had come to Pittsburgh for the occasion. Roland Hemond was there as a guest of the Cardinals. Hemond was the general manager who promoted La Russa, 34, from Class AAA Knoxville and gave him a chance to be a big-league manager with the White Sox in August 1979.

Jim Leyland, a coach for La Russa with the White Sox from 1982-85 and a scout for the 2005 Cardinals, presented La Russa with a personal check for $2,194 _ a dollar for each win that tied La Russa with Anderson _ to be donated to the manager’s Animal Rescue Foundation.

Asked what career he would have pursued if he had flopped as a baseball manager, La Russa said, “I’d be an attorney. That would have been bad. I don’t think I would have been a very good one.”

La Russa thanked his wife, Elaine, and daughters Bianca and Devon. “Without the support of Elaine and the two girls, I would have been gone a long time ago,” La Russa said.

Third will suffice

Anderson had said La Russa could pass McGraw on the wins list. “I don’t think so,” La Russa told Hummel.

Pujols predicted La Russa would aim higher. “I’m pretty sure he’s going to shoot for No. 1,” Pujols said. “Knowing him, it’s going to be real tough for him to walk out of this game.”

During the 2011 season, though, La Russa privately determined he was ready to stop managing. He wasn’t getting enough enjoyment from the job, even though he still loved the game.

In the book “One Last Strike,” La Russa said he spoke with his wife Elaine in September 2011 about his plan to retire after the Cardinals’ final game that year.

“She said it would mean a lot to her and the girls if I passed John McGraw for second on the list for most managerial wins in a career,” La Russa said. “I could understand their thinking, but I couldn’t give in to it because that was something personal and not professional. Doing it for them, knowing that I shouldn’t be there, wasn’t something I could do. I hated to disappoint them.”

Previously: Jim Edmonds got champagne toast for Tony La Russa

Previously: Sparky Anderson, Tony La Russa differ on cap choice

Previously: Tony La Russa: proud pupil of mentor Paul Richards

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In an exhibition established to assist our nation’s war effort and help compensate for the cancelation of the All-Star Game, the Cardinals were used in a baseball experiment.

luke_sewellSeventy years ago, on July 10, 1945, Browns manager Luke Sewell satisfied his curiosity and used nine pitchers in an exhibition against the Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park.

Sewell wanted to see what would happen if he utilized a different pitcher in each of nine innings.

He increased the intrigue factor by alternating a right-hander and a left-hander each inning.

The result: The Browns shut out the Cardinals on two hits and won, 3-0.

Asked whether he’d consider using a different pitcher an inning in a regular-season game, Sewell told the Associated Press, “I wouldn’t think of it, although some people have been suggesting it to me for years … To work as little as one inning effectively, a pitcher has to get warmed up. After that, he needs two or three days rest. I don’t think this will ever be more than just a novelty.”

Non-essential game

For the only time since its inception in 1933, the All-Star Game was canceled in 1945 under orders from Col. J. Monroe Johnson, chief of the Office of Defense Transportation.

With the nation needing resources in World War II, the Office of Defense Transportation had the authority to enforce travel restrictions. It viewed the All-Star Game scheduled for July 10, 1945, at Boston’s Fenway Park to be an unnecessary luxury that would sap travel resources needed for the war effort.

To replace the All-Star Game, Major League Baseball proposed eight interleague exhibition games _ four on July 9 and four on July 10. Proceeds from the exhibitions would be donated to the War Service Relief Fund.

The Office of Defense Transportation approved seven of the exhibitions and rejected a proposed game between the Tigers and Pirates at Pittsburgh because of the distance the Tigers would need to travel from Detroit.

The approved games:

_ New York Yankees vs. New York Giants at the Polo Grounds in New York.

_ Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park in Chicago.

_ Cincinnati Reds vs. Cleveland Indians at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland.

_ Brooklyn Dodgers vs. Washington Senators at Griffith Stadium in Washington.

_ Philadelphia Phillies vs. Philadelphia Athletics at Shibe Park in Philadelphia.

_ Boston Braves vs. Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston.

_ St. Louis Cardinals vs. St. Louis Browns at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis.

World Series rematch

The Cardinals-Browns game matched the defending league champions. The Cardinals had defeated the Browns in six games in the 1944 World Series.

A crowd of 24,113 turned out at Sportsman’s Park for the exhibition, producing $36,000 for the War Service Relief Fund.

In order, the nine pitchers who appeared for the Browns:

_ First inning, right-hander Tex Shirley.

_ Second inning, left-hander Sam Zoldak.

_ Third inning, right-hander Pete Appleton.

_ Fourth inning, left-hander Earl Jones.

_ Fifth inning, right-hander George Caster.

_ Sixth inning, left-hander Lefty West.

_ Seventh inning, right-hander Sig Jakucki.

_ Eighth inning, left-hander Al Hollingsworth.

_ Ninth inning, right-hander Bob Muncrief.

The Cardinals’ hits were a double by left fielder Red Schoendienst off Shirley in the first inning and a single by first baseman Ray Sanders off Zoldak in the second.

Browns outfielder Milt Byrnes hit a solo home run off Cardinals starter Red Barrett in the first.

In the fourth, a triple by Pete Gray, a one-armed outfielder, sparked a two-run inning for the Browns against Al Jurisich.

The seven interleague exhibitions attracted a total attendance of 169,880 and raised $244,778 for the War Service Relief Fund.

Previously: Why the Cardinals considered relocating to Detroit

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Unhappy with management’s indifference to re-signing any of the team’s core free agents and unwilling to ask those players to make the kinds of selfless sacrifices that were essential to the success of his Cardinals clubs, manager Whitey Herzog found himself trapped in the middle of an uncomfortable situation.

whitey_herzog5Twenty-five years ago, on July 6, 1990, Herzog, 58, resigned when he concluded he couldn’t be effective with a team uninterested in playing his style of baseball.

“I was totally embarrassed by the way our team played,” Herzog said to the Associated Press. “I just feel very badly for the ball club, the organization and the fans.”


Herzog said he decided to quit on July 3 while the 1990 Cardinals were in San Francisco. He discussed the decision with his wife on July 4, informed Cardinals management on July 5 and made the announcement on July 6 at a news conference at the team hotel in San Diego.

Three weeks earlier, Herzog had offered to resign, but club president Fred Kuhlmann and general manager Dal Maxvill talked him out of it. “He told us then it could get a lot uglier,” Maxvill said.

When Herzog stepped down, the Cardinals had a 33-47 record and were in last place in the National League East. In 11 years with the Cardinals, Herzog was 822-728, with three NL pennants and a World Series championship. He replaced Ken Boyer as manager in 1980 with the club in the cellar.

“I came here in last place and I leave here in last place,” Herzog told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Red Schoendienst, the Cardinals coach and former manager, was named interim manager. “I had dinner with Whitey (July 5) and we stayed up late discussing the team,” Schoendienst told Hummel. “He never gave me a hint (about resigning).”

Herzog blamed himself rather than the players for the team’s performance. “I don’t think that I have done a good job as a manager this year,” Herzog said. “I just can’t get the guys to play and I think anybody could do a better job than me.”

Invested in self

Outfielders Willie McGee and Vince Coleman, third baseman Terry Pendleton and reliever Ken Dayley were among the ten 1990 Cardinals eligible for free agency after the season. By July, it became apparent management wasn’t interested in re-signing any of those core players.

“I watched Whitey suffer through this year and his hands are almost tied,” Cardinals broadcaster Mike Shannon said after Herzog resigned. “He can’t get things done right because we don’t really have a Cardinals baseball team here. What we have, in my estimation, is we’ve got so many people … just playing for themselves. They’re just playing for their free agency. Whitey Herzog is not going to be responsible for having a club that’s not a team.”

Herzog told Ross Newhan of the Los Angeles Times, “I felt I couldn’t look them in the eye and ask them to do the little things we always had to do because it might cost them 10 points off their batting averages and that might cost them $3 million as free agents. We had a half season to go and I felt powerless.”

Before the season ended, the Cardinals traded McGee to the Athletics. Coleman, Pendleton and Dayley became free agents after the season and signed with other teams.

In his book “You’re Missin’ a Great Game,” Herzog said, “Fred Kuhlmann decided not even to negotiate with our free-agent players. He wouldn’t even talk to their agents. I said, ‘Man, at least talk to them; let ’em think they might be coming back. That way they have something to play for.’ But they wouldn’t do it.

“Why is that important? For our type of ball club, it was death … If we were going to win, we had to hit to the right side, play team ball and sacrifice personal stats … But if you were up for free agency, and if you knew the club didn’t want you, would you shoot the ball to right?”

Brain drain

The impending free agents weren’t the only players who were falling short of executing to Herzog’s standards. “I feel kind of responsible,” said first baseman Pedro Guerrero. “I know that I haven’t done the job that I did last year at this point.”

Said Herzog of his players: “The effort is there, but sometimes I don’t know if the minds are there.”

After his news conference, Herzog departed for St. Louis on an Anheuser-Busch corporate jet without saying goodbye to his team.

“We didn’t deserve for him to talk to us,” catcher Tom Pagnozzi told Bernie Miklasz of the Post-Dispatch. “We embarrassed him. We all but spit on him with the way we played. He didn’t have to say anything to us. We know why he’s leaving. We drove him out of here.”

Said Pendleton: “It wasn’t his fault that we stunk.”

Faces of hate

Miklasz, a sharp-eyed, pull-no-punches observer, had this chilling opening to his column from the Cardinals clubhouse in San Diego after Herzog departed:

“This was a clubhouse divided, with all the ugly cliques finally exposed,” Miklasz wrote. “Cardinals were squared away in opposite corners, eyeballing each other with looks that could kill. White players, mostly pitchers, on one side. Black players, most notably Ozzie Smith, on the other. Bad vibrations everywhere.

“It’s no wonder Whitey Herzog wanted out of here and escaped on the first corporate jet he could find. Whitey didn’t resign; he evacuated, leaving behind a team so ripped apart and split open that the players didn’t try to conceal the wounds. No one bothered to put on a mask. Nothing could hide these faces of hate.”

Previously: How Tony La Russa can learn from Whitey Herzog mistakes

Previously: Ted Simmons helped put pal Joe Torre on path to Hall


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Once upon a time, the managers of the Cardinals and Reds threw punches at one another and wrestled on the ground near home plate. One of them may have taken a bite out of the other. No, we’re not referring to Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker.

harry_walkerSixty years ago, on July 5, 1955, managers Harry Walker of the Cardinals and Birdie Tebbetts of the Reds fought one another during a game at Cincinnati, prompting players to rush onto the field and join in the fisticuffs.

Watching from his seat in the Crosley Field stands was National League president Warren Giles. “I never before heard of two major-league managers starting a fight between their teams by being the first to exchange blows,” Giles said to The Sporting News. “To the best of my knowledge, their fight was unprecedented.”

Action inning

The drama began in the ninth.

The Cardinals scored twice in the top half of the inning, taking a 4-3 lead. Bill Virdon began the comeback with a home run off former St. Louis pitcher Gerry Staley. Bob Stephenson gave the Cardinals the lead with a RBI-single off Joe Black.

In the home half of the inning, another former Cardinals player, Ray Jablonski, delivered a RBI-single for the Reds off reliever Paul La Palme, tying the score at 4-4.

At this point, Walker made a pair of defensive changes, sending Ken Boyer to replace Solly Hemus at third base and Pete Whisenant to replace Joe Frazier in right field.

Bill Sarni, the Cardinals’ catcher, went to the mound to visit with La Palme. Tebbetts suspected Sarni was trying to buy time for Boyer and Whisenant to loosen their arms. The defensive replacements were tossing balls to teammates on the sidelines while Sarni and La Palme huddled.

Tebbetts protested to plate umpire Jocko Conlan, claiming the rules called for the game to resume as soon as the new fielders took their positions.

The argument ended without a resolution.

Sam Mele then stepped to the plate for the Reds. Batting with one out and runners on first and second, Mele flied out to Whisenant.

Johnny Temple was the next batter, but before he could take a stance, Sarni again visited the mound. As he did, Whisenant threw more practice tosses.

Temper tantrums

Tebbetts came out to the plate to complain to Conlan. Walker rushed over to defend his team. The managers began yelling at one another, with Conlan between them.

“We called each other names,” Tebbetts said. “We both seemed to get the idea at once that the only way to settle our argument was with our fists. So we started swinging.”

In The Sporting News, Bob Broeg wrote, “Tebbetts suddenly swung _ and missed _ prompting a return blow that landed.”

Tebbetts, 42, and Walker, 38, grabbed one another, wrestled to the ground and rolled around in the dirt.

Players from both benches emptied onto the field, with several piling onto Walker and Tebbetts. Some squared off in individual battles. Pitchers Art Fowler of the Reds and Larry Jackson of the Cardinals tangled. So did Frazier and Reds outfielder Wally Post.

Others, such as Stan Musial and Red Schoendienst of the Cardinals and Ted Kluszewski of the Reds, played peacemakers.

Bruised and battered

Walker suffered a bruised forehead and said Tebbetts bit him on the left ear.

“A lot of players must have hit me or kicked me,” said Walker. “At one time, while we were down, I yelled at Birdie, ‘You’re trying to bite me.’ ”

Said Tebbetts: “Someone stomped on my back and someone else kicked me in an ear. I saw another foot coming at me and ducked my head against Harry’s face so close he thought I was trying to bite him. I was just trying to protect my own head.”

Tebbetts suffered a nosebleed and cuts on his lip and neck. “I feel like I have been run over by a steam roller,” Tebbetts said.

Reds rally

Conlan ejected Tebbetts, Walker and Sarni.

When played resumed, Temple singled off La Palme, scoring Chuck Harmon with the run that gave the Reds a 5-4 victory. Boxscore

Giles fined Tebbetts and Walker $100 each.

“Managers have an obligation to preserve or restore order and not, by their actions, to incite disorder,” Giles said.

Neither manager seemed contrite.

Said Tebbetts to the Associated Press: “This is not a game of tiddlywinks.”

Previously: The story of why Cardinals fired manager Eddie Stanky

Previously: No backing down: Tony La Russa vs. Lloyd McClendon

Previously: Wrangle at Wrigley: Tony La Russa vs. Dusty Baker

Previously: 1980s macho match: Whitey Herzog vs. Roger Craig

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Twenty years ago, in June 1995, the Cardinals were a franchise in disarray. The depth of their dysfunction was revealed on one dismal day, June 16, when they fired their manager, Joe Torre, and traded their cleanup hitter, Todd Zeile.

todd_zeileRather than signal an inspiring beginning, the moves had the feel of surrender.

The termination of Torre largely was viewed as a lame effort to deflect attention from management’s shortcomings.

The trading of Zeile largely was viewed as spiteful.

A bad team

After being named Cardinals manager in August 1990, Torre led the Cardinals to winning seasons each year from 1991 through 1993. His best record was 87-75 in 1993. When the Cardinals fell to 53-61 in strike-shortened 1994, Torre’s friend, general manager Dal Maxvill, was fired and replaced by Walt Jocketty.

By then, the Anheuser-Busch ownership of the Cardinals seemed more interested in minimizing expense to enhance profitability than it did in investing in the team.

The 1995 Cardinals split their first 18 games, then lost 10 of their next 13 and sunk to 12-19.

“This is a bad team and someone must pay the price,” columnist Bob Nightengale wrote in The Sporting News. “They don’t have a marquee power hitter. They’re awful defensively. They have no speed.”

Published reports indicated Cardinals president Mark Lamping was pressuring a reluctant Jocketty to appease a restless fan base by changing managers.

Cheap PR move

On the morning of June 16, with the Cardinals’ record at 20-27, Jocketty went to Torre’s home and informed the manager he was fired.

“It didn’t surprise me,” Torre told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

His overall record as Cardinals manager: 351-354.

“We worked hard and we did a lot of things,” Torre said. “We just didn’t win enough.”

Said Jocketty: “We will not stand pat and let things keep going as they were.”

Unimpressed, Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz wrote that the Cardinals “dumped a classy guy, Torre, to feed the wolfpack.”

“All I see is a cheap PR move.” Miklasz wrote. “All I see is a twitch reflex from a panic attack.”

Change the dynamics

After considering Cardinals coaches Chris Chambliss and Gaylen Pitts as candidates to replace Torre, Jocketty chose director of player development Mike Jorgensen.

“He is an intense guy … He’ll bring a little fire to the clubhouse as well as to the field,” Cardinals pitcher Tom Urbani said of Jorgensen.

Said Jocketty: “I wanted to bring in someone who could change the dynamics a little.”

Jocketty, though, wasn’t done for the day. Next, he dealt Zeile.

Deal or no deal

Zeile was batting .291 with five home runs and 22 RBI as the first baseman and cleanup hitter for the 1995 Cardinals. In June that year, he revealed that the Cardinals had reneged on a three-year, $12 million handshake agreement he said they made in April.

Lamping was furious. “There never was a deal with Todd Zeile,” Lamping said to Hummel.

Jocketty traded Zeile, 29, to the Cubs for pitcher Mike Morgan, 35, and a pair of minor-league players, first baseman Paul Torres and catcher Francisco Morales.

“We’re not happy with the chemistry and the focus of this team,” Jocketty said. “If you saw Todd Zeile play, you could see he’s not a real aggressive person in his approach to the game. He was kind of at one gait.

“Todd Zeile was not happy here. Todd Zeile asked to be traded … We didn’t want someone here who wasn’t happy.”

In seven seasons with St. Louis, Zeile started at three positions _ catcher, third base and first base _ and batted .267 with 75 home runs.

Zeile told Hummel he would depart “with a lot more fond memories than negative,” but added, “Unfortunately, this situation turned kind of ugly at the end. I think it will be better in the long run to go somewhere where I’ll be embraced.”

Miklasz blasted Lamping and Jocketty, saying the Cardinals executives “smeared Zeile, suggesting he was responsible for poor team chemistry. Zeile wasn’t any more at fault than any of the other veterans on the team. Why single him out as the villain?”

Noting the decisions by Jocketty to acquire underperforming third baseman Scott Cooper and pitcher Danny Jackson, Miklasz wrote: “Jocketty traded for Cooper and he’s a nervous wreck. Jocketty signed Jackson and he’s a physical wreck.”

The aftermath

Getting fired by the Cardinals turned out to be a blessing for Torre. He was hired to manage the Yankees and led them to four World Series titles and six American League pennants. Torre was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

Jorgensen managed the Cardinals to a 42-54 record and returned to the front office after the season. He was replaced as manager by La Russa, who would lead St. Louis to two World Series championships and three National League pennants and would be inducted into the Hall of Fame with Torre.

Rookie John Mabry replaced Zeile as the Cardinals’ first baseman.

Zeile was a bust with the 1995 Cubs, hitting .227. After leaving the Cardinals, Zeile played for 10 teams: Cubs, Phillies, Orioles, Dodgers, Marlins, Rangers, Mets, Rockies, Yankees and Expos. He had 2,004 hits and 1,110 RBI in 16 seasons in the majors.

Morgan made 17 starts for the 1995 Cardinals and was 5-6 with a 3.88 ERA. The next year, he was 4-8 with a 5.24 ERA for St. Louis before he was released.

The two minor-league players acquired with Morgan from the Cubs never reached the big leagues.

Previously: George Kissell, Cardinals inspired Joe Torre to be manager

Previously: Why the best Joe Torre Cardinals club was not good enough

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