The straw –which could be any number of things, really– finally broke the camel’s back.
Following an 8-2 loss at home to a surging Cincinnati Reds team, the Cardinals finally made the move that many have been calling for all season long. They fired manager Mike Matheny, and hitting coaches John Mabry and Bill Mueller. After a very lackluster and inconsistent start to the season, Cardinal leadership finally answered the call for change.
Currently, St. Louis is in line to miss the playoffs for the 3rd season in a row, as they sit in 3rd place in the NL Central, 7.5 games back of the Brewers. This stretch of baseball has been the most frustrating this side of the year 2000. If you know anything about Cardinal Nation – self proclaimed BFIB (Best Fans In Baseball) – it is that they are not happy with mediocrity and have been wanted a change of scenery for a while now.
Never mind that almost half of the Cardinal starting lineup is either under performing at the plate or has missed significant time due to injury. Understandably, tensions have started to rise in the locker room and this has caused irreparable rifts up and down the Cardinal roster. Ultimately, Matheny struggled to maintain control of his players, as complaints of his managing style started to leak to the media. He has been accused of being a good ole boy and only playing the guys that he liked, letting his personal opinions get in the way of professional business. Inconsistencies in bullpen strategy/fielding positions/and batting order put the players into situations where they were not set up for success.
Things had to change somewhere, and this move is much easier to make than trading off an under performing player left on an expensive contract.
The bright side about being the Cardinals, is that St. Louis has a tried and true tradition. The manager position in St. Louis is an enviable job and the list of qualified candidates is extensive. Cardinal Nation bleeds red and will follow this franchise and its manager to the ends of the earth…if he is winning, that is.
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