The Cardinals have announced that Dave Duncan will retire because of personal issues, apparently due to the health struggles of his wife.
It's a shame to hear on many levels. Most importantly because I hoped that Jeannie Duncan was improving and getting the best of the cancer that invaded her brain. On a more superficial level, it hurts the Cardinals that the dean of the coaching staff won't be around -- at least not as much as the team hoped he would.
Apparently Duncan wants to remain with the Cardinals in some capacity. But I don't see how he could divide his attention while his wife is ill. I wonder if the Redbirds will give him a title to allow Duncan to keep his family's health insurance whilte requiring no regular duties.
I was just thinking a couple of days ago about when I wrote during Duncan's leave of absence in late August or early September that I was suspicious that former manager Tony La Russa was going to retire because he knew his right hand man wasn't going to be able to continue. Basically the reflection surrounded the thought that I was glad to be incorrect.
I'm sorry to see that suspicion become a reality.
Best wishes to the Duncan family. While coaches and managers sometimes have adversarial relationships with fans who by nature demand results, I hope Dave, his wife and his sons know that everyone in Cardinals Nation is pulling for him. And while we're sorry to see him go for selfish reasons, we all understand that the important thing is for him to be there for his wife.
Best wishes, Duncans.