Cardinals Hire Ex-Redbird Matheny

Francona. Oquendo. Sandberg. McEwing. Maloney. Svuem. Maddux. Hale. Martinez. Mackanin. Alomar Jr.

All 11 candidates have interviewed for at least one of the three MLB manager openings in the last couple weeks. All have coaching or managing experience in the MLB or MiLB. However, the Cardinals wanted to go a different direction.

Earlier today, Jon Morosi reported that the Cardinals have named former catcher Mike Matheny as their manager. Joe Strauss later chipped in, telling us that the deal is for 2 years with a club option. The Cardinals will hold a press conference Monday at 11 a.m. local time to introduce their new manager.

Mike Matheny has been working as a special assistant to the GM for the Cardinals the last couple years. He also has had is hand in some post-game commentating for the regional sports network that covers the Cardinals. Matheny played 13 seasons in the MLB and 5 with St. Louis.

Matheny has been been lauded for being a great leader and superb character guy. During his time in St. Louis, Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan continually praised Matheny for being the ever needed “coach on the field.”

However, through all this praise, you may notice there is one key component missing to Matheny’s game. Matheny has never coached nor managed on any major or minor league baseball team.

A substantial amount of Cardinals fans seemingly agree with anything the Cardinals do. If David Eckstein was named manager instead, these same fans would be praising the hire as well. Then again, why shouldn’t they? They just won the World Series. However, it isn’t a constructive way to look at things. Forming your own opinions based on qualities you consider critical to being a good manager is a better way to go about it. Every team makes “mistakes.” A ton of them every year. The Cardinals will be no different. Bias is informed ignorance.

In no way am I saying that Matheny doesn’t have a chance to be a good manager. There is a good chance he will be considered a good manager regardless what he does day in and day out. Matheny has a good situation in front of him. Assuming Pujols comes back, he will have a very good team in front of him. Unfortunately, fans don’t judge managers on what they do, but how their team performs.

Matheny IS going to make mistakes. A lot of them. It doesn’t mean he was the wrong decision for manager. But it also doesn’t mean he was the right one.

A word to those who want to be true critical fans, and not just that all too popular “yes, I agree” fan – Form your opinions yesterday. Don’t base it on whatever your team does. Don’t base it on what the media says. Form your opinion BEFORE your team makes a move.

Like in life, the easiest thing to do is to be reactive. Start challenging yourself, be proactive. Not just with your opinions about baseball, but with the way you live your life.

A smart man once told me “Don’t follow your life wherever it goes. It is the easiest way to get left behind. Instead, lead your life the way you want it to go.

Apply that to your baseball opinions and maybe we can talk.

Maybe…

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