The Cardinals are coming off an improbable World Series title. But even so, they are not a team that needs to be rebuilt. Even had they not won the World Series, they would still be considered a "now" team going in to next season. The Cardinals are a veteran lead team and assuming they re-sign Albert Pujols, the 2012 Cardinals will be almost a carbon copy of the 2011 Cardinals, plus Adam Wainwright who was injured last season. The best route to go should be to maintain as much of the current coaching staff as possible which includes coaches Dave McKay and Oquendo. Making Duncan the manager also allows fill-in pitching coach Derek Lilliquist to take the job full time. The Cardinals can then go into 2012 as defending World Champions, not as a team trying to learn the system of the new manager. Granted Tony LaRussa will be a tough manager to replace, but the system he shared with Duncan was a recipe for success going back to their days in Oakland. And Duncan should be a major league manager if not for being a loyalist all these years to LaRussa. While former pitching coaches like Bud Black and John Farrell have landed jobs, there is none more qualified than Duncan. And this is a team who is not looking for a manager to lead the team for the next 10 years which fits for Duncan, now 66. And having a manager in waiting, like Oquendo, on the coaching staff should make the transition easier from LaRussa to Duncan to Oquendo while keeping a similar philosophy in tact. Now the issue is his personal matter that he had to attend to towards the end of last season. If that is something that will serve as a distraction for the upcoming season, he may not even return as a coach. I also suggested him as a candidate for the currently vacant Boston job.
As for Riggleman, he will for now be remembered for leaving his Nationals job after a contract dispute. And while I don't condone his actions, I understand that he just wanted some security and was doing a tremendous job with a young team. Just about any baseball person has the highest of regard for Riggleman. I thought the Mets should have brought him in as bench coach instead of the contriversal Bob Geren. Riggleman is a man that players have been known to respect and I think could fit in well for a St. Louis team that is expected to be competitive and better assuming Pujols returns and Wainwright regains form after his battle with Tommy John surgery. That of course, is only if Duncan doesn't want the job.