The Case for Mike Matheny as Manager
By now any fan of Tony La Russa has learned that the TLR they knew and loved has stayed past his welcome in St. Louis and that it is time for him to hang it up or leave and join another team, hey the Cubs are hiring! The Cardinals will need a manager that is refreshing and does things the right way but that also has good chemistry with the team, so why not former Cardinal catcher Mike Matheny? He was a fan favorite known for his glove who also happened to mentor the once young prospect by the name of Yadier Molina, heard of him? So let us take a look at who I believe is a great fit to manage the 2012 Cardinals and beyond.
Matheny played with the Cardinals from 2000-2004, so current Cardinals: Chris Carpenter, Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina are all familiar with the Cardinal great. He is much younger than TLR and if not for bad concussion problems he could still be catching in the Major Leagues. He would have no problem in the clubhouse and would be well liked, he has also been a spring training coach for the team since 2008 and has joined the FSN pre and post game shows, so he is familiar with the new members of the Cardinals as well as his former team mates.
As most managers are Matheny was a catcher just like some of today’s managers including: Mike Sciosca, Joe Girardi, Clint Hurdle, Ned Yost and Bruce Bochy are a few of the former catchers who are now managers. So Matheny would be joining an established list of former backstops who become managers. Matheney also has experience coaching with the Cardinals as mentioned before but he has no experience managing professionally.
TLR is 66 years old and has been the longest active manager in baseball, Matheny is only 40 years of age and would bring a whole new perspective to the game. TLR grew up where the game was a lot different and his methods are no longer working, he along with Dave Duncan both need to leave and retire before their reputations are completely ruined and tarnished. Matheny could bring a new exciting strategy in order to make the team win versus the TLR version of the game we have seen since 1996.