Monday, Nov. 14, 2011
Former Brewer Mike Matheny named Cardinals manager
Matheny is just 41 and has no coaching experience - he was a minor-league instructor. However, the Cards interviewed 5 men for their head job and just one of them had major-league managing experience. Matheny received a two-year contract with a team option for a third year. That's not a lot of time for someone who's never managed before to establish himself or find a rhythm. Luckily for Matheny, well-respected pitching coach Dave Duncan, who has a year left on his contract, appears to be returning. Between questions about his wife's health and LaRussa's retirement, it didn't seem likely that Duncan would commit another year to the Cardinals. That veteran presence and genius mind will be a huge help for Matheny. My guess is that the Cardinals really think that their team can basically manage itself. They aren't losing a lot of guys and the veteran presence is huge. They should function next season much the same way they did this season, meaning there shouldn't be much for Matheny to do. He'll be experiencing the exact opposite of trial by fire. There's probably something to be said about Matheny being a LaRussa guy. He's bought into the system and is a long-time Cardinal. He drank the Kool-Aid and will continue in the same vein that LaRussa did.