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The Cardinals name Mike Matheny their new manager

Nov 13, 2011, 6:17 PM EDT

mike matheny getty Getty Images

UPDATE:  The Cardinals have hired Matheny.  Wow.  Between him and Robin Ventura in Chicago, no managerial experience is the new thing for 2012.

The Cards are going to formally announce Matheny tomorrow.

Saturday: The Cardinals are expected to name Tony La Russa’s replacement at some point before Thanksgiving, and possibly as soon as next week.

Six candidates have interviewed for the job: Triple-A Memphis manager Chris Maloney, White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing, former Cubs great Ryne Sandberg, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo and former Cardinals catcher Mike Matheny. The St. Louis higher-ups are not expected to interview more.

So where does this all stand? Is there a front-runner? And can any of the names above be ruled out?

It’s hard to say. The Cardinals are keeping tight-lipped as usual and the beat writers who cover the team have been unable to pick up strong leads. But there is a little something brewing.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a column Saturday handicapping the field, and while he states that the rankings are only a matter of opinion and speculation, he’s about as close to the team’s thinking as it gets. And his best guess for a current favorite would be Matheny.

Then comes this tweet from SI.com’s Jon Heyman:

source:  Matheny has no managing experience and turned 41 years old just last month, but the feeling is that he would make the transition from La Russa a smooth one and that he would operate well with the front office and coaching staff that is currently set in place. He’d also be cheaper, presumably, than Francona.

We can’t be certain that Matheny is truly the front-runner for the gig, but there’s certainly some buzz.

  1. toosoxy - Nov 12, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    francona deserves a great job. boston misses him already. i hope it’s him. the thought of francona and epstein hanging out in chicago makes me too sad.

  2. okwhitefalcon - Nov 12, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    It’s sounding less and less like Oquendo’s got a shot, the 4th gig he’s interviewed for and won’t likely get.

    It’s too bad, good organizational guy – I hope he sticks around if the Matheny buzz is indeed true.

    Francona never seemed like a good fit, somewhat akin to the Tino Martinez signing post McGwire – ‘member that one?

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 14, 2011 at 11:24 AM

      Wow Falcon. I forgot all about the Tino signing. That takes me back.

  3. dlevalley - Nov 12, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    When Matheny was with the Giants people LOVED him. All anyone – announcers, coaches, my dad, blah blah blah – was how great a guy he was and what a great manager he was going to be some day. I’d like to see him get a chance, just to see if everyone was right.

    While I’d like to see Francona land a new gig, I also enjoyed him when he sat in for McCarver for a few games…

    • okwhitefalcon - Nov 12, 2011 at 9:35 PM

      That’s the general consensus about Matheny it seems, very well liked/respected wherever he’s been.

  4. lovesmesomeme - Nov 12, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    Sounds like God is going to tell Albert to go elsewhere, Matheny was not who Albert told god to hire.

    • okwhitefalcon - Nov 12, 2011 at 9:43 PM

      I’m fairly certain AP and God will be cool with Matheny if Dewitt and Mozeilak don’t fuck up and lowball him and Him….

      • lovesmesomeme - Nov 13, 2011 at 6:51 PM

        All is not lost Cardinal fans I just found out through my sources and has yet to be confirmed by Rosenthal and buster olney but God has spoken to Albert and apparently Matheny is a Jesus guy to. Another positive to the Matheny hire is that he probably won’t fall asleep at the wheel of his escalade drunk off his ass and then questioning the cops if a .12 is bad. He can ask the little Latin guy who coaches third to be his designated driver.

  5. sfchamps2010 - Nov 12, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    Loved Matheny when he was with the Giants! Give him a chance he an all class kind of guy. Perfect for St Louis!

  6. salukis92 - Nov 12, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    What about Ted Simmons? Why isn’t he in the mix?

    • okwhitefalcon - Nov 12, 2011 at 11:42 PM

      Simmons is in is early 60’s and has experienced some health issues over the last few years unfortunately.

  7. thefalcon123 - Nov 12, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    Th Cardinals’ players can learn a lot from him, like the consequences of not putting a knife back in it’s sheath properly or how to be a starter on a playoff team when posting an OPS .798 lower the league leader or how to be intentionally walked 16 times in a season despite being Mike f**king Matheny*

    I look forward starting a long love/hate relationship depending on whether or not the Cardinals in on that given day.

    *2003

    • paperlions - Nov 13, 2011 at 8:27 AM

      Well, if you are think MLB playing pedigree is important…then Matheny should by a gazillion times better than LaRussa.

      • thefalcon123 - Nov 13, 2011 at 10:20 AM

        I don’t. Hr could be great, he could be awful. I have no clue what the cards are looking for or what his managerial plans are, so making serious comments is kind of pointless for me.

  8. snowbirdgothic - Nov 13, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    Isn’t Heyman now legally obligated to claim that there’s a mystery team interested in hiring Metheny?

  9. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Nov 13, 2011 at 8:23 AM

    Word is that Matheny is in the best shape of his life.

  10. brewcrewfan54 - Nov 13, 2011 at 8:32 AM

    I remember when Matheny was with the Brewers and he got hit in the face by a fastball. Guy barely flinched and just walked to the dugout as he spit out blood like a faucet. The guy is nails. If he does become manager hopefully he doesn’t continue with LaRussa-esque douchery.

    • paperlions - Nov 13, 2011 at 8:58 AM

      I was too lazy to go back and find your previous jerky posts…but I am more than willing to point them as as the come.

      Here is one.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 13, 2011 at 9:06 AM

        Actually that post is mostly positive and unjerky. And by the way, are you 5 years old?

      • paperlions - Nov 13, 2011 at 9:15 AM

        Nope…just noticed that you can’t help but take a childish jab at anything related to the cardinals. Yeah, it was positive about Matheny WHEN HE WAS WITH THE BREWERS…then you hope he doesn’t turn into a douche if he is hired by the Cardinals.

        Be a homer all you want, but there isn’t any reason to be a constant dick toward another team.

      • lovesmesomeme - Nov 13, 2011 at 7:20 PM

        Your a sensitive boy aren’t you Paper, did you just find out your parents are kicking you out of the basment. Cinn-a-Bon is hiring.

    • okwhitefalcon - Nov 13, 2011 at 1:35 PM

      If you’re expecting Matheny to let Brewers pitchers go up and in with no clue where it’s going without retaliation I suspect the alleged “LaRussa-esque douchery” will continue in full force.

  11. brewcrewfan54 - Nov 13, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Yeah it was about him as a Brewer because that was the only time I have ever really watched him play. Cant make comments about his time with the Giants or any other team he was on when I didn’t watch enough of their games to notice him much. And jerky or not the last sentence is my true feelings. For obvious reasons I hope he’s a lousy manager but if he’s not I just hope he’s not as big a douche as I, and many others think LaRussa was. And it wasn’t just Brewer fans who were thinking it.

  12. skitd - Nov 13, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    I hope Matheny is hired as the new manager of the Cardinals, and I also hope you keep whining about what a douche the manager is. That will mean that the brewers will still be choking and the Cardinals will still be kicking their ass. Maybe the brewers should actually do something before they strut around like they’re the elite team in the NL.

  13. hotkarlsandwich - Nov 13, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    If he gets hired, you heard it from me first.

    hotkarlsandwich – Oct 31, 2011 at 11:28 AM
    My inside source has been telling me for the past few years it will be Mike Matheny

    23 4

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/10/31/so-who-replaces-la-russa/

  14. brewcrewfan54 - Nov 13, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    You Cardinal fans are a touchy bunch. You won the World Series. Why does me thinking LaRussa was a douche bother you so much?

    • spudchukar - Nov 13, 2011 at 11:04 AM

      Just because the Cardinals won the World Series, and along the way devoured your poorly managed Brew Crew, does that in any way give you an excuse to air more inanities.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 13, 2011 at 11:54 AM

        Getting back to my original comment, I just hope if Matheny is hired he uses the strategic lessons he has learned from LaRussa and doesn’t bring along the douchey parts. Thats all I’m saying guys. Not sure why it hurts your feelings so much. There’s plenty of Cards fans out there who would agree with me that the guy is a douche. He isnt a god to everyone.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 13, 2011 at 11:59 AM

        I find your comments amusing for one simple reason: Paper Lions spent a considerable amount of time talking smack on TLR last season and especially in the playoffs. He is the last person who would think TLR was a “god” as you put it.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 13, 2011 at 12:18 PM

        I find that funny also considering I’m a jerk to him because I criticize LaRussa.

      • paperlions - Nov 13, 2011 at 6:08 PM

        It isn’t because you criticize TLR, you would have to get up pretty early in the morning to criticize him even 1/2 as much as I did, it is because you consistent take jabs at the Cardinals in general when it has nothing to do with the topic. For example, the next Cardinal manager has nothing to do with how big a douce TLR could be (which was sizable). It seems that you can’t wait to rip on the Cardinals for anything…so much so that you assumed it was one of their employees that recorded and released the tape of Washingtons pre-game speech.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 13, 2011 at 8:20 PM

        Constant jabs at the Cardinals? Im not going to go back and look at all the comments I’ve made about them but I actually don’t take shots at the Cardinals. I take shots at 2 people on the Cardinals, Pujols and LaRussa. Its hard to take shots at a team who is historically much better than
        Mine. I will however criticize LaRussa for being a jerk and I will criticize Pijols for doing the same things that he bitches about other teams doing, i.e watching homeruns. It seems I no longer will betalking Larussa much anymore since he is gone but I will continue to do it about Pujols regaedless of where he plays next year or how great a player he is. And I admitted my mistake in the Waahinton speech thing. Why you keep bringing up old shit that I already owned is beyond me and pretty childish.

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 14, 2011 at 11:36 AM

      Quite obviously…it’s your constant neddling 54. All the time. Every post. On and on and on.
      You appear to have what I refer to as “little brother syndrome.”
      You guys have a solid squad. You guys have also done plenty of things to make me dislike your team. Nyjer is only the latest example. Base hit…queer as Monster thing. Double…queer ass Monster thing. Get on base…show up the opposing teams duggout by pointing in their direction. Do something…then talk shit. Otherwise, don’t talk shit. It’s pretty simple really. To do otherwise makes you look like a little girl. I mean that with sincereity.

  15. goawaydog - Nov 13, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    Many a catcher has turned into a very good manager ….

  16. cintiphil - Nov 13, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    I saw Matheny play many times, but not as a Red, so not too sure of what he is capable of doing. I seem to remember that he was good field and no hit, but maybe I am wrong. In any case, what he did as a player has nothing to do with what kind of manager he would be. If I had any criticism of this move or of him, I would think that with the resources the birds have, they certainly could afford to pay a guy who had a track record as a manager/coach, not just a player. The guy could be great on the bench, or a total bust. Who really knows? We had Rose manage here, and he was from nowhere as a manager, even though he was a great player. In fact, if he had not taken the managers job, probably would have been in the hall already, now he probably will never be there.

    • cintiphil - Nov 13, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      By the way, I should add that many catchers do know a lot about the pitching of course, and may make good managers, but not all, and the best example is Yogi, who was great behind the plate, but not so good on the bench.

  17. stlducks - Nov 13, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Brewcrew, us cardinal fans are not touchy it just gets old hearing people bitch about La Russa even though he has proved he is one of the best managers of all time.

    And I can’t speak for all cardinal fans but I know I hate everything a brewer fan/player/coach says because we have had to listen to their annoying crap for years even though they haven’t won anything. Brewers have become more annoying than the cubs in my mind.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Nov 13, 2011 at 1:15 PM

      Still mad about the untuckimg of the shirts because thats the only talking the Brewers have done other than Morgan this year. But you hating the Brewers doesn’t bother me.

    • paperlions - Nov 13, 2011 at 6:12 PM

      For the record:

      1) I don’t hate the Brewers, their players seem like a good bunch.

      2) I thought the TLR and the Cardinals were being stupid about the untucking the shirt thing…the other team celebrating has nothing to do with you as the loser, so they should have just shut up.

      3) I thought the earthquake thing they did after Fielder’s walkoff HR was genius. Loved that.

  18. okwhitefalcon - Nov 13, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    It’s done, Matheny is in.

    Hopefully the staff will stay in tact, including Jose Oquendo.

    Nice to see this wrapped up, time to move forward – see what the market looks like on AP and get it done as well.

  19. aceinthehole12 - Nov 13, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    This is actually a good move for the Red Birds, Robin in Chicago..not so much.

  20. shrimpking55 - Nov 13, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    If true that Matheny is the new manager, Albert Pujols heading to another team can be reality. Maybe he is going to South Beach!

  21. garlicfriesandbaseball - Nov 14, 2011 at 2:43 AM

    I can’t think of a better match for the St Louis Cardinals. Integrity, ethics, high standards. Mike Matheny is a leader by work ethics and by example. This is one of the best announcements that’s come out of MLB in years from any team and hats off to the powers-that-be at the Cardinal hierarchy for having the wisdom to make this decision.

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