ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Cardinals surprised the baseball world Thursday by announcing that manager Mike Shildt will not return for what would have been the final year of his contract in 2022. President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak cited philosophical differences as the reason behind the firing in a Zoom news conference with owner and Managing Partner Bill DeWitt, Jr.

Shildt joined the organization in 2004 as a scout and coach, before being promoted to the major league coaching staff in 2017. He became the team’s manager, taking over for Mike Matheny in July 2018. He guided the Cardinals to a 90-72 record in 2021, with a franchise-record 17 game winning streak powering the club to the second National League Wild Card berth. In parts of four seasons, his record was 252-199.

Announcing the move on the same day as a major league playoff game is unusual—the Dodgers will face the Giants Thursday night in the deciding game of the NLDS–so unusual that the Cardinals consulted with Major League Baseball to get permission to make the announcement.

“2021 was a real success, something that for all of us part of the organization, take pride in,” said Mozeliak. “We have enormous pride in the 17 game winning streak. But, decisions never are never easy, ultimately something we felt like we had to do.” Mozeliak said he felt the team was “managed well.”

The decision came to a head within the last five to six days, Mozeliak said. He told FOX2’s Martin Kilcoyne that there was no meeting where Shildt was asked to get on board with the organization or be fired.

Mozeliak said there were potential managerial candidates to replace him on the current staff, but wouldn’t commit that the next manager would necessarily come from within the inside the organization or outside. He said he hoped that the decision would not extend into mid-November.