Okay, before you read on, I have to come clean- I have a Man Crush on Mike Matheny and have for several years. I was fortunate enough to cover him when he was a player with the Cardinals. Like Kurt Warner and Al MacInnis, Mike Matheny is all about character and integrity. I saw it day in day out. He treated everyone with respect.
I’m surprised by the measurable amount of Matheny hators out there. I'm not talking about those who disagree with some of his moves. I disagreed with the line up he threw out there on the last day of the season with home field advantage on the line. I didn't like how he hung with Westbrook and Mujica too long. I think he should have rested Yadi more after the all-star break. I think he has plenty of room for improvement as any second year manager would. With that being said, the object is to win ballgames and that's all that Mike Matheny and the Cards organization have done the past two seasons: Matheny bashers will despise the following:
His team went 97-65 this season. Won NL Central- only division with (3) teams with at least 90 wins and only division with (3) teams competing after the regular season.
Best record in NL.
Tied for best record in MLB.
Team kicked ass in September (crunchtime) 19-8 Best in MLB
Highest scoring team in NL
One of the best rotations in NL
Tied 1985 Cards for best home winning percentage since 1944
Best RISP average (.330) since they started keeping that stat in 1974.
Helped cultivate rookies into becoming important contributors.
Delegated authority and allowed Carp, Waino, Yadi and Holiday to lead.
Injuries (from Bernie Miklasz)-losing three starting pitchers, his shortstop, his closer, and then his top RBI producer for the final month... a manager that won 97 games while using 20 rookies this season... including the rookie pitchers and rookie first baseman that played huge roles in carrying the team to a 17-5 record in the final three-plus weeks.
AND SOME OF YOU MATHENY HATORS WONDER WHY WE THINK YOU ARE NUTTIER THAN A SQUIRREL TURD?
Oh I see, some of you give him absolutely no love when he wins but would want him prison raped if he didn't win. Well, that's fair.
Heard over the loud speaker-"Mentally deranged Matheny Bashers, party of very few." Your table is ready.
Hell, you and I can write a line up card everyday. It isn't always about who has the most talent. If it was, the Bulls, Lakers, Yankees and Red Wings would have about 5 more titles each. It's about the entire organization from top to bottom finding harmonic convergence.
One of the toughest task for any leader is managing human beings and Matheny gets an “A” in that department. He’s does a nice job of putting people in a position to succeed, getting the team to buy in, getting them on the same page, coaching guys up and making them believe in themselves, motivating people, knowing when to step on the gas pedal and when to put it on cruise control. He knows when to breast feed them, give them a timeout in the corner or a good swat on the ass.
I can’t tell you if Matheny will ever win a World Series. All I know is that it’s been a pretty damn good start. Shit, Herzog has one ring to show for all those years of Hall of Fame Managing. Notice I didn't say "just one." World Series titles are special. Just ask the Cubs.
While the Matheny Bashers are choking on their cheap vodka & hatorade, I will be enjoying my Bromance with Matheny and looking forward to the Cardinals future.
Oh yeah, one more reason to hate Matheny- your woman drools every time she sees him on TV!
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