The Cardinals Aren’t The Bad News Bears

I was perusing Twitter yesterday morning and my eyes fell on this gem from Post Dispatch beat writer Derrick Goold:

 

 

I had to read it more than once to believe what I was seeing.  I’ve heard a lot of things out of the mouth of Mike Matheny that I didn’t agree with, but this was the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard from the manager of any major league baseball team.  “We want him to feel like a King”?  Was Matheny rehearsing a commercial for Imperial margarine?

This is Major League Baseball, not Little League, and Trevor Rosenthal is a grown man, not a 12 year old.  “We” don’t care what he feels like.  “We” care that he gets batters out and helps the Cardinals win baseball games.  “We” also think Mike Matheny should be more concerned about winning games and less concerned about channeling Dr. Phil.

This is so reminiscent of the first part of 2013, when Mitchell Boggs was struggling, and Matheny kept putting Boggs in high leverage situations as if the baseball game was some sort of therapy for Boggs to cure his lack of confidence.  The Cardinals lost plenty of baseball games because of this, and Boggs was finally sent down to Memphis and then traded away.  Matheny’s “therapy” accomplished nothing except losing baseball games that should have been won.

There is something to be said about managers who care about the well being of their players.  That is to be commended.  However, helping players with any psychological issues they may have should be restricted to off the field.  Once that game starts, the manager should have one thought, and one thought only on his mind—winning.  That means putting the best players in the best situations to succeed.  The baseball diamond is not a therapy couch.

Mike Matheny has to leave his Little League mentality behind.  This is the big boy league where not everyone gets a chance to play and making them all feel good about themselves is not the goal.  If Trevor Rosenthal cannot get outs as the closer, then someone else needs to take his place who can.  I don’t care if he gets his feelings hurt.  Mike Matheny shouldn’t care either.  He should care about winning the game.

I have been very critical of Matheny as a manager and for good reason.  He makes poor in game decisions and doesn’t appear to have a clue how to properly manage a bullpen or even what a double switch is for.  He plods along in some time warp of “role players” and doesn’t have the ability to think outside the box.  It’s like his brain gears are stuck in neutral.  Despite all this, I have never once advocated for his removal as manager.  I’m beginning to teeter on the edge of changing my mind.  If Matheny cannot focus on winning baseball games above all else, then he has no business being the manager of the Cardinals.  The Cardinals cannot afford otherwise.

Grow up or get out.

 

Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

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