The Oakland Athletics have announced that they have hired former St. Louis Cardinals bench coach Mike Aldrete to perform the same role with their club.
Prior to serving as the St. Louis bench coach, Aldrete was the Redbirds' assistant hitting coach.
It has long been speculated that Aldrete was going to leave the Cardinals this off-season with reports that he would either go to Oakland or to the Arizona Diamondbacks where former St. Louis skipper Tony La Russa now heads up baseball operations.
I have mentioned before that if Aldrete left I'd like to see the Cardinals hire an experienced former manager who could help skipper Mike Matheny groom his game management skills. Hopefully an older former manager wouldn't be a threat to Matheny's authority. But he could be someone the young, relatively inexperienced Matheny could bounce ideas off.
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I'm envisioning Red Schoendienst when he worked with Joe Torre in St. Louis or Don Zimmer who was Torre's bench coach with the New York Yankees and later Joe Maddon's with the Tampa Bay Rays as the sort of guys the Cardinals should seek.
Failing finding the experienced old sage, I'd love to see the Cardinals hire Jim Edmonds or Chris Carpenter for the job. They're both students of the game who notice things about the game that most of us never see. They're parts of World Series winning teams, so they know what it means to be mentally and physically prepared and they've both expressed recent interest in becoming more involved with the team.
Something the Cardinals have failed to do in the past is keep their former players involved to pass institutional knowledge on to their younger players that follow. They've been a little bit better with that lately, bringing in Matheny as skipper and employing guys like Edmonds, Carpenter and Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith as spring training instructors. But this is a chance to bump things up a gear.