Memphis Purge Begins with Coaching Staff

Manager Danny Sheaffer and hitting coach Tommy Gregg will not be returning to the St. Louis Cardinals Triple-A club, the Memphis Redbirds, in 2007.

The St. Louis Cardinals and Triple-A Memphis manager Danny Sheaffer have mutually agreed not to renew his contract to manage the Redbirds in 2007. This ends Sheaffer's four-year stint as manager of the Redbirds.

Sheaffer compiled a 244-266 (.478) record in his four seasons at the Redbirds helm. The 2006 squad finished with a 58-86 record, placing them third in the four-team American Northern division of the Pacific Coast League.

Sheaffer, 44, completed his sixth year coaching in the Cardinals minor league system, previously leading Peoria to the 2002 Midwest League championship and managing the New Haven club in 2001. Sheaffer could remain in the Cardinals organization in another capacity.

In addition, Memphis hitting coach Tommy Gregg's contract will not be renewed. Gregg completed his fifth year in the organization and in his role with the Redbirds. He spent three years coaching in the Atlanta Braves' system before joining the Cardinals.

With a club generally devoid of future major league talent, the deck was stacked against the 2006 Redbirds from the beginning. A revolving-door roster of minor league free-agents and former fringe major leaguers certainly made the challenge for Sheaffer and his staff even greater.

At this time, the role of Memphis pitching coach Dyar Miller is unchanged, a Cardinals organization source confirmed late Friday.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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