As Oliver Marmol transitioned into a coaching career with the St. Louis Cardinals, it became clear he had the potential to become a big league manager one day.

That day has arrived – a little earlier than expected.

The 35-year-old Marmol was promoted from bench coach to the majors’ youngest manager on Monday, taking over the Cardinals almost two weeks after Mike Shildt was fired in a surprise move by one of baseball’s most stable franchises.

“I really felt like Oli was going to be a major league manager at some point. I did not think it was necessarily going to be 2022,” said John Mozeliak, the president of baseball operations for the Cardinals.

Marmol is the team’s youngest manager since Marty Marion at age 34 in 1951. Marmol, a New Jersey native who traces his lineage to the Dominican Republic, also becomes the franchise’s second minority manager. Cuban-born Mike Gonzalez managed the team for parts of the 1938 and 1940 seasons.

“Some of the neighborhoods we lived in early on … these opportunities don’t come across the table to the majority of the people that grew up like that,” Marmol said. “For them to be able to identify and see someone of color in a position of leadership, especially for a franchise, a winning franchise, one with a history that the St. Louis Cardinals has, is extremely meaningful.”

Marmol was picked by St. Louis in the sixth round of the 2007 amateur draft out of the College of Charleston, but his playing career stalled at Class A Palm Beach. After coaching and managing in the minors, he joined the Cardinals’ major league staff in 2017 as the first base coach.

He spent the past three years as the bench coach under Shildt, helping St. Louis to three consecutive postseason appearances. The Cardinals used a 17-game win streak in September to move into playoff position, but they lost 3-1 to the Dodgers in the NL wild-card game.

As late as the flight back from Los Angeles, Mozeliak didn’t think the Cardinals would be making a change at manager. But Shildt, 53, was fired Oct. 14 over what Mozeliak described as “philosophical differences” between Shildt, the coaching staff and the front office.

“We had internal issues we felt we could not resolve,” Mozeliak said. “We felt the best path forward was to make a change for the organization, regardless if it was not a popular one. We did not take this lightly.”

MARINERS: Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. is investing in the Seattle Mariners in a way he never has before.

He’ll be part of the ownership group going forward.

The Mariners announced their most famous former player has also become the first one to purchase a stake in the ballclub.

Griffey was the No. 1 overall pick in the amateur draft by the Mariners in 1987. Less than two years later, he made his major league debut and quickly grew into one of the best players of his generation with that familiar “S” on his hat – whether it was turned forward or backward.

Griffey spent his first 11 seasons with the Mariners, helping them to a pair of AL West titles and was the 1997 AL MVP. He engineered a trade to Cincinnati following the 1999 season but made his way back to Seattle for the conclusion of his career in 2009 and part of the 2010 season before retiring at age 40.

CUBS: The Chicago Cubs continued to reshape their front office, hiring Houston Astros executive Ehsan Bokhari as assistant general manager.

The move comes a week and a half after the Cubs hired Carter Hawkins from Cleveland’s front office as general manager to work under president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer.

PHILLIES: The Philadelphia Phillies announced they hired Bobby Dickerson for a second stint as their infield coach.

The 56-year-old Dickerson served as Philadelphia’s infield coach in 2019. He spent the last two seasons with the San Diego Padres, serving as bench coach in 2020 and also third base coach this past season.

BREWERS: Longtime Milwaukee Brewers coach Ed Sedar has retired after a 30-year career with the organization.

Sedar, 60, had worked as the Brewers’ first base coach from 2007-10 and third base coach from 2011-20. He spent this season as an adviser to the Brewers’ major league coaching staff.

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