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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Mike Matheny Fired

Jenifer Langosch

@LangoschMLB
4m4 minutes ago
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#STLCards announce that they have fired Mike Matheny.

Interim manager: Mike Schildt. John Mabry and Bill Mueller also fired.

Andere Richtingen Posted: July 14, 2018 at 11:19 PM | 49 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals

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   1. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:06 AM (#5710073)
Finally.
   2. phredbird Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:06 AM (#5710075)
now? wtf.
   3. phredbird Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:09 AM (#5710077)
at this moment, i'm watching the scene in north by northwest where cary grant is in the middle of nowhere being buzzed by an airplane. i can't help feeling this is somehow apt.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:12 AM (#5710081)
there is talk about Girardi?

he's a good manager, but he's wound up beyond belief.

hard to see him as anyone's midseason pickup unless there is chaos we didn't even know about.

Girardi is more of a December hire, then make the adjustments to start fresh in spring training.
   5. greenback made it work, honey Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:39 AM (#5710095)
#### it, bring back La Russa.
   6. Spahn Insane Posted: July 15, 2018 at 01:04 AM (#5710100)
Pass the popcorn.
   7. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 15, 2018 at 01:04 AM (#5710102)
I'll admit I haven't really paid attention other than the Cards are pretty middle of the road right now. I know Matheny has his detractors, but is this something that's been brewing for a while or was the firing a bit unexpected?
   8. this is normal 57i66135. move on, find a new slant Posted: July 15, 2018 at 01:55 AM (#5710116)
did i see something in the news about hazing in the cardinals' locker room?
   9. Perry Posted: July 15, 2018 at 02:03 AM (#5710118)
Unexpected in the sense that the Cards don't usually do midseason firings and until quite recently he seemed to have the backing of ownership and the front office. But yeah, it's been brewing for a while among the fanbase, stoked by some of the writers (particularly Miklasz). Read the last week or two of Miklasz and Saxon's stuff in The Athletic if you're a subscriber and you'll get a pretty good idea of the issues, both long term and last week's firestorm. If you don't have The Athletic, just scroll through Miklasz's recent Twitter stuff and some of the free links therein.

His comments in the Norris/Hicks story that Saxon wrote last week seems to have been the final straw; even though Hicks afterwards said he had no problem with Norris's tough-love mentoring, the quotes on how he thought modern baseball was too soft on young players and the revelation that he used Norris as a snitch didn't sit well with management.

Long term, the main issues were his tactical judgment, the failure to improve it despite 7 years on the job, plus the continuing, un-Cardinal sloppiness and poor fundamental play that's been an issue for the last couple of years at least.
   10. greenback made it work, honey Posted: July 15, 2018 at 02:19 AM (#5710120)
I know Matheny has his detractors, but is this something that's been brewing for a while or was the firing a bit unexpected?

Bernie Miklasz was surprised. I'm not a fan, but he's supposed to be the leading sports commentator in St. Louis, and about 15 minutes before the Cardinals announced the firing, Miklasz tweeted he didn't expect it wouldn't happen during the season.

The Cardinals are a conservative organization. They clearly value stability, and they've worked hard to maintain an image of wholesomeness that makes eyes roll at places like Deadspin. They really don't want drama. Matheny came to the organization well-respected, and he hasn't done anything particularly controversial since then. He's a good Christian who spouts a lot of platitudes about leadership, and he has a nice jaw line. They made it to a World Series in 2013 and won 100 games in 2015, so it's not like Matheny was some sort of Bowa-like impediment to winning. The fundamentals of the organization were stacked in Matheny's favor, which I think is what guided Miklasz's and similar expectations.

OTOH the team hasn't made the playoffs the last two seasons, and it's something like an 80% chance that it won't happen this season either. The prognosis for the Cardinals is clearly inferior to that of the Cubs over the next two seasons-plus. This is in spite of some front office efforts to immediately improve the major league roster (Ozuna trade and disastrous Holland signing being the most recent examples). There has been grumbling that players don't care for Matheny's dull clubhouse, and some recent noise has suggested that Matheny isn't particularly attuned to millenial sensibilities (i.e. the Hicks hazing). That's standard issue stuff for a team that doesn't appear to be going anywhere, I think. But what you're left with is that Matheny is a cog in a larger machine, so he's pretty disposable. He doesn't have a magical sense for when a pitcher should be pulled, or special communication skills to get guys to come clean about injuries, or a knack for calling hit-and-runs.
   11. greenback made it work, honey Posted: July 15, 2018 at 02:22 AM (#5710121)
His comments in the Norris/Hicks story that Saxon wrote last week seems to have been the final straw; even though Hicks afterwards said he had no problem with Norris's tough-love mentoring, the quotes on how he thought modern baseball was too soft on young players and the revelation that he used Norris as a snitch didn't sit well with management.

Straw is a good description here. It's worth noting though that the hitting coaches, Mabry and Mueller, were both canned with Matheny, and it seems unlikely that they had anything to do with Matheny's mentoring/hazing/informant scheme between two relievers.
   12. Michael Paulionis Posted: July 15, 2018 at 03:52 AM (#5710124)
Sir Carlos Beltran

Get it done, Johnny M. Don't disrespect Beltran by saying he needs to get experience first. Don't listen to the pleas for Girardi. Pardon the racial insensitivity involved, but Carlos is your "white knight". 15 years (& 2-3 more championships) later, Molina can take over from his countryman.

The majority of the St. Louis Cardinals fanbase deserves a clubhouse leader like Beltran. My Aunt Laurie, lifelong Cards fan, took me to Busch II to see my 1st MLB game. I got a chance to see Ozzie back in the late 80's, before I'd get my 1st chance to visit Wrigley. She passed away a few seasons ago, and I'm pretty sure she put in a good word for my Cubbies prior to October 2016. She would have deserved the kind of smart, revered leader Beltran will be for the current & future Cardinal ballplayers.
   13. Jose Bautista Bobblehead Day Posted: July 15, 2018 at 04:44 AM (#5710126)
JOHN FREAKIN' MABRY?!?!?!?
   14. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 06:42 AM (#5710127)
I would LMFAO if they hire Girardi.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: July 15, 2018 at 08:00 AM (#5710138)
Is Jack McKeon still alive? Doesn't he always win with mid-season appointments?
   16. The Duke Posted: July 15, 2018 at 08:34 AM (#5710141)
Well, this has been a long time coming. He’s terrible at in-game strategy including bulllen management, bunting, base-running strategy, and double-switches. His calling card was his “leader of men” schtick. So the recent issues of a bad clubhouse dented that.

Molina gave up on him last year so not surprised.

I would think Girardi might have a shot. I think Molina could be a player-manager. Not sure who else

Also a big signal that Mo has at most two more years. Clock is ticking , Mo!
   17. salvomania Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5710160)
This has been an ugly team to watch. Horrible defense (I havn't seen them pull off a clean rundown all year), terrible baserunning, clueless at bats (how many called strike threes with RISP are "too many"?), and excruciating relief appearances (how does a reliever stay in a close game long enough to allow six of seven batters faced to reach base, as happened yesterday?) have been near-constants for this underachieving team. I'm no fan of Stoic Mike Matheny, and I'm hoping a less-rigid individual (I don't think he ever understood or warmed up to analytics) gets the nod to lead the team.

I'm not saying that's all Matheny's fault, but he certainly hasn't seemed to help, or to do anything leading to positive improvement, for a ship that's been slowly sinking for the past couple years...
   18. puck Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5710193)
Didn't Mozeliak call out Fowler's effort publicly? Fowler's been dreadful but that doesn't seem good.
   19. Greg Franklin Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5710203)
With the improbable resurgence of the Oakland A's, now is the perfect time for Billy Beane to bring back JOHN FREAKIN' MABRY. After all, Chris Truby will be at the All-Star Game pitching to Hoskins in the HRD. Let's bring back old times and the old memes.

As for the Cards, I'm suspecting the only guys who can manage the current team with that organization are Yadi and Pujols. One is still playing and should be, the other is still playing and shouldn't be.
   20. Tin Angel Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5710243)
Has anyone checked in on cardsfanboy? I'm a little worried.
   21. The Duke Posted: July 15, 2018 at 12:51 PM (#5710245)
Yeah, he heard Herzog was in the mix to replace Matheny and committed Harry Caray
   22. JH (in DC) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5710267)
With the improbable resurgence of the Oakland A's, now is the perfect time for Billy Beane to bring back JOHN FREAKIN' MABRY. After all, Chris Truby will be at the All-Star Game pitching to Hoskins in the HRD. Let's bring back old times and the old memes.


What does this have to do with Frank Tanana?
   23. TomH Posted: July 15, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5710268)
How many other team's managers would be fired here? It seems to me the Cardinal franchise has a perhaps too-high expectation of success, based on results since the early-mid 2000s. You win two trophies, which franlkly included some bit of good fortune, and suddenly a guy who guided a team to divsiion titles and and a WS berth is disposable?

In 2014, a very average team won a divsion title. In 2015, a very good team held off two other very good teams to
win another division title.

This isn't Steinbrenner 70s-80s level, and I don't know the internals, but it seems odd to me.

   24. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5710270)
It's not the W-L but Matheny's mismanagement coming to a head.
Same thing with Farrell and Girardi after last season.
   25. phredbird Posted: July 15, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5710276)
Alfonso Soriano is available?
   26. Loren F. Posted: July 15, 2018 at 05:01 PM (#5710312)
How much of the firings of Matheny, Girardi, et al, are due to teams desiring managers who will simply follow the strategy set by the front office? It seems some teams are setting down some in-game guidelines for tactics and looking for the manager to try not to be too smart. In a sense, in-game tactics are a commodity where 75% (I am guessing here) of decisions can be set ahead of time using a “if X happens, do A or B” system, and so managers add the most value in managing the clubhouse. This would mean more managers get fired for failing to develop younger players or failing to maintain the right tone in the clubhouse, rather than getting fired for W-L records. This is my view of why the Yankees replaced Girardi (too smart to the point where he overmanaged some games) with Boone (just dumb enough to follow Cashman’s orders). Not sure what the Cards’ approach to this dynamic is or will be.
   27. SoSH U at work Posted: July 15, 2018 at 05:16 PM (#5710316)
This would mean more managers get fired for failing to develop younger players or failing to maintain the right tone in the clubhouse, rather than getting fired for W-L records.


You'd be hard-pressed to find a manager who has had more success developing young players than Girardi.
   28. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: July 15, 2018 at 05:28 PM (#5710320)
is calling card was his “leader of men” schtick


It’s like John McGraw said... 1% of ballplayers are leaders of men, and the other 99% are followers of women. :)
   29. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 05:40 PM (#5710324)
You'd be hard-pressed to find a manager who has had more success developing young players than Girardi.


All the nonsense with Sanchez says they developed in spite of him. And if you don't give him credit for Judge, who are we counting? But it was more he was a control freak in an era moving away from that style.

I can't see the Cardinals bringing in an ex-Cub, regardless. But it'd hardly shock me.
   30. Tin Angel Posted: July 15, 2018 at 05:50 PM (#5710326)
I can't see the Cardinals bringing in an ex-Cub, regardless. But it'd hardly shock me.


I was surprised they went to the bench coach for the interim instead of Oquendo. Does McGwire want to manage?

   31. greenback made it work, honey Posted: July 15, 2018 at 05:52 PM (#5710328)
Girardi was a Cardinal in 2003. His heartfelt announcement of the cancellation of the Cardinals-Cubs game after Darryl Kile died in June 2002 exempts him from a lot of the standard Cub-bashing.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: July 15, 2018 at 05:57 PM (#5710331)
All the nonsense with Sanchez says they developed in spite of him. And if you don't give him credit for Judge, who are we counting? But it was more he was a control freak in an era moving away from that style.


Sanchez developed into a very fine player under Girardi. Gardner became a better player than expected. Hicks has developed nicely. Cervelli exceeded expectations. Gregorious became a better player in New York. The Yankees under Girardi had an awful habit of playing better than they were projected to. And why on earth wouldn't you give him credit for Judge, other than it damages your point?

And it seems to me that the modern GM is the true control freak in the equation.
   33. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 06:24 PM (#5710339)
Maybe another control freak is perfect for the Cardinals.
   34. Cowboy Popup Posted: July 15, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5710353)
Sanchez developed into a very fine player under Girardi. Gardner became a better player than expected. Hicks has developed nicely. Cervelli exceeded expectations. Gregorious became a better player in New York. The Yankees under Girardi had an awful habit of playing better than they were projected to

They fired Girardi this offseason right? So add Severino, Hicks, Castro and like every no name bullpen arm that came up and struck out a ton of guys over the last few years (oh, Betances too!). It wasn't just Yankee farm hands. The random young guys that came over via trade almost universally improved. And what happened with Gardner was so dramatic that it should be counted at least twice.

Girardi was freaking magical when it came to player development and squeezing extra wins out of his teams.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: July 15, 2018 at 07:08 PM (#5710357)
That’s been my impression.
   36. cardsfanboy Posted: July 15, 2018 at 07:21 PM (#5710360)
How many other team's managers would be fired here? It seems to me the Cardinal franchise has a perhaps too-high expectation of success, based on results since the early-mid 2000s. You win two trophies, which franlkly included some bit of good fortune, and suddenly a guy who guided a team to divsiion titles and and a WS berth is disposable?


Agree, the firing happened simply because of the Reds having had a great reaction to the firing of Price. It's makes no sense in that way of course, but the hope is for a resurgent performance because of a shakeup. Apparently the team had zero desire to make a trade at the trade deadline, so instead took this as an action to be made to fix the sub par performance of the team so far this season.



I can't see the Cardinals bringing in an ex-Cub, regardless. But it'd hardly shock me.


As Greenback posts in 31, Girardi is exempt from Cubs bashing among the Cardinal faithful, he has done nothing other than be a magnanimous former Cardinal. If you have ever seen any interviews with him and where he talks about the Cardinals, he has nothing but high praise for the organization up and down. I don't want him personally as a manager, but I'm not going to be upset if he gets the gig(which seems very likely, outside of what Shildt does this season.... I don't think the team has any intention of actually hiring a manager during the season unless they absolutely have to, and they will give Shildt every chance to win the job since he'll ultimately be a lot cheaper than an outside hire, and as pointed out, does have a loyal following within the organization)

I was surprised they went to the bench coach for the interim instead of Oquendo..


agree, but the more I think of it, the more it seems likely that Oquendo has decided he doesn't want to be a manager anymore. I have always assumed his comments saying that he wasn't interested in that job any more was just him being political.
   37. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 07:30 PM (#5710365)
squeezing extra wins out of his teams.


If you don't count 2017.
   38. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 07:43 PM (#5710370)
just him being political.


I don't want to make too much of it considering I have never followed the team closely, but there's more than a whiff of racism in events swirling around Matheny's ouster... and there's some past history, too.

I'll leave the unpacking of the Cardinal Way to someone else as well.
   39. Sunday silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 07:52 PM (#5710372)
and still Clint Hurdle remains with PIT
   40. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 15, 2018 at 08:04 PM (#5710373)
They fired Girardi this offseason right? So add Severino, Hicks, Castro and like every no name bullpen arm that came up and struck out a ton of guys over the last few years (oh, Betances too!).

Starlin Castro? No.

It's something that probably isn't talked about much with him, but maddon is fantastic with young players.



   41. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5710375)
The majority of the St. Louis Cardinals fanbase deserves a clubhouse leader like Beltran.


The majority of the Cardinals fanbase deserves to suffer through a long, anonymous, boring, White Sox-style WS drought for the next 100+ years.
   42. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 08:17 PM (#5710378)
Sanchez developed into a very fine player under Girardi. Gardner became a better player than expected. Hicks has developed nicely. Cervelli exceeded expectations. Gregorious became a better player in New York. The Yankees under Girardi had an awful habit of playing better than they were projected to.


All of this was why I was mystified by his firing. I grant that there may be internal organizational things that go on, but there's no way you could ask for better results than you got from Joe G.
   43. cardsfanboy Posted: July 15, 2018 at 09:01 PM (#5710381)
I don't want to make too much of it considering I have never followed the team closely, but there's more than a whiff of racism in events swirling around Matheny's ouster... and there's some past history, too.

I'll leave the unpacking of the Cardinal Way to someone else as well.


I have literally no clue what the quoted part above refers too. There was never a whiff of racism, the only whiff was a bit of old school tendencies by the manager(in regards to rookie hazing) and a pro-christian contingent in the locker room... any whiff of racism is imagined or more likely created.
   44. Bote Man is no David Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:29 PM (#5710399)
PETE KOZMA NOW!!
   45. DL from MN Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5710463)
committed Harry Caray


He got drunk and sang "Take Me Out To The Ballgame"?
   46. perros Posted: July 16, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5710508)
any whiff of racism is imagined or more likely created.


Listen, I'm not suggesting anything blatant, but the commment about Oquendo 'just being political', and that any such thing is 'imagined' or 'created' are classic ways of dismissing minority concerns that touch upon treatment in the workplace.

But the stuff in with Fowler, Hicks, and to some extent Pham has created smoke surrounding Matheny's firing. Fowler was apparently alienated by his manager, with Mozeliak questioning his 'energy and effort', and the Cards airing that Hicks's tardiness was responsible for his demotion. Now both of these are legitimate baseball issues, but the way they were managed... not particularly.

Then the whole Bud Norris, snitch and fraternity hazer, seems questionable, particularly in light of these comments from 2015:

If you’re going to come into our country and make our American dollars, you need to respect a game that has been here for more than 100 years, and I think sometimes that can be misconstrued,” Norris said. “There are some players who have antics, who have done things over the years that we don’t necessarily agree with.”


The thing is, all of this stuff has likely been a part of clubhouse culture forever, and likely wouldn't have made the papers without the obvious mgmt issues... which is why you can so easily dismiss it. It's perfectly normal.

   47. GGC Posted: July 17, 2018 at 08:40 PM (#5711613)
45. DL from MN Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5710463)
committed Harry Caray


He got drunk and sang "Take Me Out To The Ballgame"?


Way to spike The Duke's set-up over the net.
   48. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 18, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5711857)
and committed Harry Caray

Holy Cow!
   49. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 18, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5711863)
All the nonsense with Sanchez says they developed in spite of him. And if you don't give him credit for Judge, who are we counting?

Sanchez developed into a very fine player under Girardi. Gardner became a better player than expected. Hicks has developed nicely. Cervelli exceeded expectations. Gregorious became a better player in New York. The Yankees under Girardi had an awful habit of playing better than they were projected to. And why on earth wouldn't you give him credit for Judge, other than it damages your point?

Also, he managed the 2006 Marlins, who had guys finishing 1st, 3rd, and 4th in Rookie of the Year voting. Plus three additional players who also received votes for RoY. That's unprecedented.

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