On September 18th, the Memphis Redbirds capped off their back-to-back appearances in the AAA National Championship Game by this time defeating the Durham Bulls in Columbus, Ohio. The victory was a perfect ending to the last two seasons which have seen Memphis win back-to-back division and PCL titles, set a team record for single season wins, and a record for wins in consecutive seasons.
The reason we’re here today is the other big piece of that puzzle. Redbirds Manager Stubby Clapp.
Clapp has won the PCL Manager of the Year award the last two seasons and Baseball America’s Minor League Manager of the Year award last season. That Baseball America award is given out after the MLB season concludes so it’s possible Clapp could win it again.
Stubby’s name then came up in some new places.
Outgoing Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons endorses Stubby Clapp as his replacement. “You know what they should do? They should hire Stubby Clapp. He’s Canadian. He can handle young players. And he knows the system,” said Gibbons. https://t.co/IxKyNGmL56 pic.twitter.com/32SOPdNp8j— Brian Walton (@B_Walton) September 29, 2018
The fans in Toronto are particularly fond of Stubby as well.
You spelled Stubby Clapp wrong— Karen Blue Jays fan (@KarenSoutar1) October 3, 2018
I've made my choice. Who would you like to see take over from Gibby? https://t.co/b2maCKz1Tb— Barry Davis (@BarryDavis_) October 1, 2018
Then, on top of the Blue Jays opening, the Minnesota Twins fired Paul Molitor. A familiar name popped up online there as well. However, unlike the Blue Jays’ managerial search, Clapp hasn’t been brought up in any “official” capacity, but moreso as an option that’s been brought up in the Toronto search.
For the time being, Clapp is stuck where he is in the Cardinals’ organization. With Mike Shildt firmly in the Cards’ top spot right now, the only move up would be for an assistant to Shildt. Does Stubby even want that though? He’s been fairly vague on the subject.
Clapp is currently spending his offseason working with ballplayers in the Arizona Fall League as the manager of the Surprise Saguaros, which has a few Cardinals minor leaguers on its roster.
Whether or not Stubby comes back to the Redbirds and the confines of the Cardinals’ organization, remains to be seen. If Stubby gets the promotion to The Show, and has success, it could lead to a lot of head shaking and questioning why from Cardinals fans.