The St. Louis Cardinals continued their disappointing first half with an ugly 8-2 loss at home to the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, to fall to 47-46 on the season.

Within a couple hours of the loss, the Cardinals sent out a tweet announcing the firing of manager Mike Matheny. Hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller were also fired. Bench coach Mike Shildt has been named the team’s interim manager.

This decision was long overdue. While the rosters have been very flawed, the Cardinals have been big disappointments over the last three seasons after making the playoffs in Matheny’s first four seasons as manager (2012-15).

But Matheny’s hard-ass, old-school managing style has also been heavily questioned, and his comments following Bud Norris’ treatment over Jordan Hicks is what likely made the Cardinals’ front office decide enough is enough.

And USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that former Yankees and Marlins manager Joe Girardi is the favorite to take the full-time job. The former catcher played his final MLB season with the Cardinals in 2003.

The New York Post’s Joel Sherman also suggested Girardi for the job:

Now, here’s the thing: the front office deserves even more blame for the team’s performance the last few years and president of baseball operations John Mozeliak recently threw one of their own players under the bus. So Mozeliak should be viewed on the hot seat as well.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.