One of the worst things about being a manager or head coach of a Major League team is the time it takes away from your family. The players can always go home after games and road trips, but the workday seemingly is never done for the one in charge.
But this weekend in Jupiter, Fla., one manager is taking a day off to do something entirely family-oriented – getting married.
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt is tying the knot with fiancee Michelle Segrave on Friday.
“Maybe he’s just getting married for attention,” Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright joked while speaking to MLB.com.
On Thursday, Shildt managed both of his team’s split-squad games. The wedding party was at the evening game in West Palm Beach, Florida. There was a party for them in a suite of the stadium that serves as the spring home of the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.
“I’m a pretty present guy. I know where I’m going tomorrow and I know where I’m going today,” Shildt told The Associated Press. “I show up and be present and enjoy the opportunities in both.”
The couple originally thought about getting married during the regular season, but quickly dismissed the idea. And they eliminated the winter months because they didn’t want to inconvenience guests who’d have to travel. They chose March during spring training because Segrave has family in South Florida and those closest to Shildt would already be there.
“You think, ‘Well OK, we’ll do it after the season,’” Shildt said. “Well, after the season, everybody wants to go home and see their families. She’s got family down here. The timing made a lot of sense and thinking about planning it, which I’m not doing a whole lot of anyway, I don’t want to think about planning it during the season. It just made sense to do it [now].
“People say, ‘What about a honeymoon?’ Every day is a honeymoon. I love her.”
If the impending nuptials are distracting Shildt, his players haven’t noticed.
“It’s definitely a Shildty thing,” Cardinals second baseman also told the Associated Press. “The guy loves the game. You can tell just how he goes about it every single day. Obviously he loves his fiancée just as much because he’s doing it right in the middle of what he loves the most.”
Interestingly enough, Shildt said he didn’t invite anyone of his players because he didn’t want them to feel obligated to spend a rare day off (they only have two all spring) to attend the wedding.
“There’s going to be a giant cardinal bird that gets wheeled into his wedding and then we just punch through the feathers of it and all come out dancing around,” reliever John Brebbia said. “A Trojan Cardinal.”
Shildt will immediately return to the team in time for Saturday’s game.
“Every day here (in spring training camp) is a honeymoon,” Shildt told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Shildt, the National League’s reigning manager of the year, said he wasn’t feeling jittery about the wedding.
“I’m not nervous about either one (season or wedding). I’m excited about both,” Shildt said. “The ceremony is small. It’s not interfering with anything we’re doing with baseball.
“I’m in this for the rest of my life. And I’m confident that will happen.”
One thing is for certain. The Cardinals organization is very fond of their manager, who was originally hired as an interim when they fired Mike Matheny in July 2018.
“Mike has shown he can do the job. Mike checks a lot of boxes along the way,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told The Athletic. Having Mike Shildt as manager is a tremendous story. I hope the next chapter is even better.”