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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Mike Matheny to be Royals new manager | MLB.com

A press conference to introduce Matheny is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT today at Kauffman Stadium.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 31, 2019 at 11:37 AM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: managers, mike matheny, royals

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   1. RoyalFlush Posted: October 31, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5897401)
Hate it.
   2. Mike Webber Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:24 PM (#5897434)
Definitely a Trick not a Treat.

Glass last little present for Royals fans on his way out the door....
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:31 PM (#5897440)
How good were the Cardinals supposed to have been during the 2012-18 time period without such a train wreck for a manager?
   4. ajnrules Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:34 PM (#5897443)
It's head-scratching, especially given Danny Duffy's prior history with bullying. It's probably not going to make for a very pleasant clubhouse.
   5. salvomania Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5897450)
Mike "Camo & Crosses" Matheny, fighting for Jesus and Baseball the Right Way.
   6. salvomania Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:45 PM (#5897451)
Matheny is supposed to be smart, but I never saw much evidence that he was able to process new information and use it to improve.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5897453)
Matheny is supposed to be smart, but I never saw much evidence that he was able to process new information and use it to improve.

Smart and stubborn often go hand-in-hand.
   8. kubiwan Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5897455)
How good were the Cardinals supposed to have been during the 2012-18 time period without such a train wreck for a manager?


This is always the question I have when I see a coach who is objectively successful just repeatedly, unendingly trashed (basically the same discussion we had about Jill Ellis in the soccer thread this summer). Under Matheny, the Cardinals averaged 90 wins/year, went 4-4 in postseason series, and won a pennant. Is anyone willing to argue that an average manager would have garnered something like 95-96 wins/season, 2-3 pennants, and at least one World Series title? I just dont see that level of talent there...
   9. Zach Posted: October 31, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5897458)
Didn't want to upstage the World Series...
   10. Zach Posted: October 31, 2019 at 01:17 PM (#5897460)
He has a lot of anti fans online. Not sure if that's a function of Cardinals fans bearing grudges, Royals fans who hate the Cardinals, or both.
   11. salvomania Posted: October 31, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5897461)
I see a coach who is objectively successful just repeatedly, unendingly trashed

I don't think it's a coincidence that the Cardinals went 47-46 under Matheny in 2018, then 41-28 the rest of the way after Schildt took over, then won the division this year after not making the playoffs three years in a row.

And when they did make the playoffs, Matheny was the brains behind the decision to go to Michael Wacha---who hadn't thrown a pitch in three weeks---to start the bottom of the 9th inning of the NLCS-clinching game with the score tied 3-3. A single, a walk, and a Travis Ishikawa three-run homer later, the Giants were going to the World Series.

And we can talk about how Kolten Wong stagnated, then regressed, under Matheny's doghouse-style tough love, one of many examples of Matheny jerking around players based on a couple games' sample, yet not recognizing his own relievers' massive season-long reverse-platoon splits and bringing in lefties who get crushed by lefties to face a lefty.
   12. Zach Posted: October 31, 2019 at 01:29 PM (#5897465)
Not sure what I think about it. You tend to want a change of pace with a new manager, and the Royals have been too complacent since 2015. Yost's big skill was managing people, and Matheny doesn't seem to have that reputation. Plus, going from the Cardinals to the Royals is going down the food chain, not up. Those are all worrying signs.

On the other hand, he was awfully successful for a guy with a bad reputation, and he's had a few years to think about it. He's been manager in waiting for a while, and knows the organization. He's joining a team at the bottom of the cycle, when they're not going to be very attractive to the top tier candidates. The early losing could overwhelm a first time manager.

If he can figure out how to run a better clubhouse, I'd be willing to give him a chance.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: October 31, 2019 at 01:30 PM (#5897467)

I don't think it's a coincidence that the Cardinals went 47-46 under Matheny in 2018, then 41-28 the rest of the way after Schildt took over, then won the division this year after not making the playoffs three years in a row.

And when they did make the playoffs, Matheny was the brains behind the decision to go to Michael Wacha---who hadn't thrown a pitch in three weeks---to start the bottom of the 9th inning of the NLCS-clinching game with the score tied 3-3. A single, a walk, and a Travis Ishikawa three-run homer later, the Giants were going to the World Series.

And we can talk about how Kolten Wong stagnated, then regressed, under Matheny's doghouse-style tough love, one of many examples of Matheny jerking around players based on a couple games' sample, yet not recognizing his own relievers' massive season-long reverse-platoon splits and bringing in lefties who get crushed by lefties to face a lefty.


Or, you could look at the .555 winning percentage over the seven seasons he was there and think maybe there were some things he did well that offset those other things you vividly recall (for instance, Matt Carpenter became an all-star under him, then fell apart after he left).

Or maybe they really were a true talent 95-win team for the past seven seasons, and only Matheny's brainlessness kept them from their rightful perch atop the NL.
   14. salvomania Posted: October 31, 2019 at 01:58 PM (#5897486)
maybe there were some things he did well that offset those other things you vividly recall

I'm not saying he didn't have any positives, just that the negatives---such as his seeming resistance to a more analytical approach and his "old-school" tough-guy persona that clearly alienated some players---were obvious and very hard to stomach as a fan, especially as they descended to mediocrity his last 2-1/2 years.

His bullpen management seemed sometimes inordinately push-button (his "by the book" ROOGY/LOOGY moves, evidence be damned), other times (like the Wacha move) inscrutable.

All that could just be confirmation bias on my part, as I remember all the moves that backfired but not the ones that worked, but I was relieved when he was canned and I haven't had nearly the same type of in-the-moment reactions to Shildt's moves.
   15. Mike Webber Posted: October 31, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5897489)
If he can figure out how to run a better clubhouse, I'd be willing to give him a chance.


I'm in this group, but most (maybe all) of my Royals fans friends think this is a poor idea. That could be the fact that he's a Cardinal.

This is the type of resume I'd look for in a manager, and I'm willing to give the Royals front office the benefit of the doubt on his clubhouse management going forward. The front office has always coddled their guys, sometimes too much in my opinion. I doubt they would bring in someone that they thought might not follow this game plan.
   16. Mike Webber Posted: October 31, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5897491)
His bullpen management seemed sometimes inordinately push-button (his "by the book" ROOGY/LOOGY moves, evidence be damned), other times (like the Wacha move) inscrutable.


This is almost exactly what Harvey's said about Ned Yost as a Brewers manager, and I was bracing myself for this when he took over the Royals.

I always thought Ned did a nice job with the pen, of course better when it was Herrera-Davis-Holland and worse when Willy Peralta-Brad Boxberger - Ian Kennedy.
   17. Zach Posted: October 31, 2019 at 02:27 PM (#5897500)
Yost kind of brought me around on the virtues of push button bullpens.

In the HDH years, everybody knew their role, got ready at the appropriate times, dominated, then sat down. It was a very harmonious group, despite Herrera and Davis having a good claim to the closer role when Holland was having arm troubles.

   18. salvomania Posted: October 31, 2019 at 02:52 PM (#5897515)
Yost kind of brought me around on the virtues of push button bullpens.


If you have a great pen, the push-button method works pretty well.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 31, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5897516)
If you have a great pen, the push-button method works pretty well.

If you have a great pen any method works pretty well.
   20. Brian Posted: October 31, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5897525)
Except for the Buck Showalter school of not getting them in the game.
   21. The Duke Posted: October 31, 2019 at 03:30 PM (#5897526)
Matheny was a terrible in-game manager when he started. He was in love with the sacrifice bunt and other non value add manager meddling. He was and continued to be until the end a believer in “roles”. Guy would throw an eight pitch 7th inning and he would yank him for the 8th inning guy. He over-worked his pen and played favorites. By the end he was better but still hated analytics and seemed to have lost the team.

It was a running joke in STL that the GM had to make roster moves either to prevent matheny from using someone or to force him to use someone.

Having said all that, if the royals simply hire a good bench coach and empower him to help with in game strategy, matheny could be ok. He did win a lot of games so its possible he had leadership skills that were not apparent to the fans.
   22. DCA Posted: October 31, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5897532)
I recall someone noting the Cardinals improved in the 2nd half every year under his tenure (too lazy to look it up). Theory that he used the first half to audition guys for stretch run roles, and then had the team performing well going into the playoffs.

Could be something to that.
   23. Greg Pope Posted: October 31, 2019 at 04:12 PM (#5897538)
if the royals simply hire a good bench coach and empower him to help with in game strategy

Has this ever happened? It comes up a lot here as a suggestion with managers who are supposed to be good with players (I'm thinking Baker or Washington). But either teams haven't thought about it or they don't think it would work.
   24. Bhaakon Posted: October 31, 2019 at 04:18 PM (#5897541)
Or, you could look at the .555 winning percentage over the seven seasons he was there and think maybe there were some things he did well that offset those other things you vividly recall (for instance, Matt Carpenter became an all-star under him, then fell apart after he left).

Or maybe they really were a true talent 95-win team for the past seven seasons, and only Matheny's brainlessness kept them from their rightful perch atop the NL.


No one would argue that Josh Reddick is better than Joey Votto, but their team records say that's so. So, yeah, I think there's every reason to believe that there are winning managers who are mediocre at their job and losing ones who are great at it. Picking out who they are is the problem. Managerial record--which is almost certainly a worse evaluator than the much--maligned pitcher win-loss record--might be the only "objective" tool available to us, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be exceedingly skeptical of it.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: October 31, 2019 at 04:31 PM (#5897544)
No one would argue that Josh Reddick is better than Joey Votto, but their team records say that's so. So, yeah, I think there's every reason to believe that there are winning managers who are mediocre at their job and losing ones who are great at it. Picking out who they are is the problem. Managerial record--which is almost certainly a worse evaluator than the much--maligned pitcher win-loss record--might be the only "objective" tool available to us, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be exceedingly skeptical of it.


First, I'm quite confident that managerial W-L record is a vastly better evaluator than local fans' recollections.

But I'm not claiming that Mike Matheny is a great manager. What I am saying is that if a guy puts together a .555 winning percentage over seven seasons, which is better than a significant number of Hall of Fame managers, it's really hard to make the claim that he's incompetent, as is the claim around here and elsewhere among Cards fans. Does anyone really believe that a team that averages 90 wins over 6-plus seasons has been seriously underachieving?

Whatever Mike Matheny's faults, and I have no doubt he has them, they just weren't a serious impediment to winning baseball games, unless you believe the Cards were really a true-talent 95-win team over the past decade.

   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 31, 2019 at 04:43 PM (#5897548)
Has this ever happened? It comes up a lot here as a suggestion with managers who are supposed to be good with players (I'm thinking Baker or Washington). But either teams haven't thought about it or they don't think it would work.

There's a perception that Don Zimmer was a major factor driving strategy as Joe Torre's bench coach from 1996-2003, and that in-game strategy suffered as a reult of his leaving.
   27. Bhaakon Posted: October 31, 2019 at 04:54 PM (#5897552)
First, I'm quite confident that managerial W-L record is a vastly better evaluator than local fans' recollections.


Is it, though? I'm pretty sure they're both hopelessly biased. The former by the talent on the roster and the later by whatever agenda the fans have.

Whatever Mike Matheny's faults, and I have no doubt he has them, they just weren't a serious impediment to winning baseball games, unless you believe the Cards were really a true-talent 95-win team over the past decade.


It's possible, on the outside. Though I suspect that if a manager consistently made that large a difference we'd have less trouble noticing their impact. More likely, if he's truly bad, he held back a 92-ish win team.
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: October 31, 2019 at 05:16 PM (#5897556)
Is it, though? I'm pretty sure they're both hopelessly biased. The former by the talent on the roster and the later by whatever agenda the fans have. '


There's no question that talent is the single biggest factor, and W-L should be considered within the context of the talent on hand. But we are talking 90 wins per season. That's a pretty damn high bar to be underachieving from.

It's possible, on the outside. Though I suspect that if a manager consistently made that large a difference we'd have less trouble noticing their impact. More likely, if he's truly bad, he held back a 92-ish win team.


Well, I've looked and there's no evidence that the Cards were considered a true-talent 92-win team in that time frame. The various preseason projections and over/under totals (there's no single one I could easily find) pegged them for mid to high 80s win totals during that time. So again, I find it very hard to make a case that Mike Matheny, no matter how much he irked Cards fans for whatever reason, was any kind of deterrent to the Cards winning baseball games over the long haul.
   29. SteveM. Posted: October 31, 2019 at 05:27 PM (#5897561)
I would wager a bet the comments here were uniformly against the Royals hiring Ned Yost. That seemed to have worked out okay.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: October 31, 2019 at 08:39 PM (#5897588)
Managers are a bit like closers -- they can mosey along being perfectly competent, even good, at their jobs but it's always those few games they screw up entirely that stick in the mind and either can be dumped from their role after a bad week.

On pen management ... relievers (as a group) pitch so much these days while individual relievers generally pitch so little that getting through a 162-game season without burning them out pretty much requires push-button management (as long as one of those buttons is 'don't pitch a guy more than 2 days in a row and avoid even that as much as possible'). There are now so many variables involved (who's healthy, who's fresh, pitcher splits, batter splits, base/out/leverage, who's available for the rest of the game, who's available tomorrow, who has options, can we get somebody here from AAA by tomorrow) that you probably start every game with two basic partially overlapping lists of 3-4 each -- who I plan to use if we're winning, who I plan to use if we're losing. At that point, who to use when is going to look like push-button more often than not anyway.

Seriously, nearly every single manager of the last 20 years will put in his 8th inning guy whether his 7th inning guy has thrown 8 or 25 pitches. That might be a bad tactic but it doesn't make Matheny a bad manager compared with his colleagues. In addition to "roles" and winning today's game, he's thinking "great, I can use my 7th inning guy again tomorrow when I might even need him as my 8th or 9th inning guy." Or "those 8 pitches brought him to 50 pitches over the last 5 days, I better not push my luck." Usually the 7th inning guy is the 7th inning guy because the manager thinks he's not as good as the 8th inning guy. That's with 0 pitches thrown yet this game. Why would 8 pitches change his mind? The main reason to keep him in would be the 8th inning guy having maybe been worked a bit too much lately or the leadoff batter will be a RHB then you want to bring in your LHR -- something I'm pretty sure most managers including Matheny would do if the 7th-inning guy threw just 8 pitches.
   31. Mike Webber Posted: October 31, 2019 at 08:45 PM (#5897591)
I would wager a bet the comments here were uniformly against the Royals hiring Ned Yost. That seemed to have worked out okay.




Royals fire Hillman Hire Yost


I'd say that is a good guess...

Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 13, 2010 at 09:38 PM (#3531973)
Ned does create a good atmosphere for young players that is conducive to them getting their sea legs and being established in the major leagues. He's a positive guy.

The negatives are as follows:

--he does not recognize talent. He has to be told who to play or you will have the hustle and show guys up and down the lineup

--He cannot discipline veteran players. Young guys will listen to him but older guys with an attitude give Ned fits and having them on his team will cause his authority to be undermined. The GM has to make sure that the vets are 'good soldiers'

--Ned couldn't manage a bullpen to save his life. He will burn out arms faster than Leyland goes through a carton of Camels. It's incredible.


I will state that Alex Gordon probably has the best bet to get his career back on-line with Ned as manager IF the GM tells Ned to play him. Ned will put him in the lineup and tell everyone within hearing range that Alex is a hard-workig young man who just needs a chance so everyone get out there and give Alex a lot of support and let's hold hands and go "Yoo-hoo" together. Yayyyyyyyy, TEAM!!


As I mentioned in #16 Harvey's always hated Ned's bullpen usage.

Harv added this a little later
17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 13, 2010 at 09:49 PM (#3532001)
Davey Johnson

But Yost is several deviations away from awful when it comes to bullpen management. He takes inept to levels previously unseen by modern man.


Some other takes -

4. JoeHova Posted: May 13, 2010 at 09:36 PM (#3531967)
Yost is an atrocious manager. Many people will give him credit for "developing young players" but I'm extremely skeptical that he had anything to do with Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder becoming great hitters. Maybe he did though, who knows?


30. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 13, 2010 at 10:21 PM (#3532042)
When someone's Missing the Point Entirely, chances are that person's working for the Royals.


50. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: May 14, 2010 at 01:21 AM (#3532227)
Out of the frying pan, into the volcano...


   32. Zach Posted: October 31, 2019 at 11:44 PM (#5897633)
I would wager a bet the comments here were uniformly against the Royals hiring Ned Yost. That seemed to have worked out okay.

Yost had a distinct before/after shape to his career.

Before the Wild Card game in 2014, there was quite a bit of grumbling. I think a lot of Royals fans were worried that he was holding the team back by inept decisions.

After the Wild Card game, it was more "Yeah, he flubs it sometimes, but the guys play hard for him, so who cares?"

Which is not a bad way to look at a manager.

Having seen many managers come and go, I'd like to see

1) A reasonably happy clubhouse, where players focus on playing baseball instead of feuds or vendettas.
2) Players develop at about the rate that could be expected given their level of talent / age / etc.
3) Players with limited or incomplete skills find roles that allow them to contribute.
4) Players play hard and give their best effort regardless of position in the standings.
5) Competent execution of in-game tactics.

A failing manager tends to fail at 3 first, followed by 2 and 1. When the players stop playing hard, the writing is on the wall and doom is only days or weeks away.

I don't know if I've ever seen a manager fail due purely to tactical failures.
   33. greenback slays lewks Posted: November 01, 2019 at 12:38 AM (#5897636)
The article was more interesting than the weird tastes great/less filling argument over Matheny's talents as a manager.
“I had never heard of [media consultant] before,” Matheny said. “In baseball, we’ve dropped the ball on that [not hiring media consultants]. I never had that media training. I never had that as a player coming up. And I was completely unprepared for that as a manager. I was catching a lot of noise. So I just thought, ‘Why not learn about this?’ It wasn’t my place then to talk to the [Royals media relations people about it]. But how else will I get better if I don’t ask someone? I have continued to talk to him.”

That's funny, because I always imagined Matheny giving Crash Davis's cliche speech to young pitchers.

Matheny also was labeled an anti-analytics guy in St. Louis, an image he promises to change. He hired a consultant to better acquaint him with analytics in the past year and recently passed a baseball analytics course with Sports Management Worldwide.

Now I'm imagining Matheny sitting in a college classroom with a bunch of 20-yo, learning cluster analysis in R.

“I always had a great appreciation for that,” Matheny said. “I wish I had that information when I was playing, with the blast-motion sensors, the Rapsodo -- I had a whole lot going wrong with my swing. I would have loved for someone to give me some data. It’s amazing. People who aren’t using that are cutting themselves short.”

I believe this. As a player, Matheny was famous for his willingness to try anything to improve his hitting. He tended to have some good months where he'd hit .300 after he tried the latest thing. I don't know if what followed was regression to the mean or scouting reports catching up, but he never did become a good hitter.

In general, he comes off as a guy who either respects technical expertise, or as a guy who knows how to spout the right BS. And let's be blunt, the difference between Billy Beane and Allard Baird was about 50% the first thing and 50% of the other.

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