top50stl person of the week: Mike Matheny

Spring training began this week and just like every raving Cardinals’ fan, I am anxious for another season. This year’s club looks just as impressive as the last few years even though we lost a few talented players in the off-season many of whom found a home in Chicago. The Cubs, for a change, have actually put together an impressive looking team and have been picked by most analysts to win the Central Division and quite possibly the World Series. I agree that they will contend for the division and have a great possibility of winning it, but I think we have the advantage when it comes to coaching. We have Mike Matheny.

I recently finished Matheny’s book-The Matheny Manifesto. At it’s heart, the book discusses the type of man Mike Matheny is, what he stands for. Mike Matheny is a man with strong principles and a solid foundation. He knows the game of baseball very well, but I think he knows himself and what he stands for even better.

Just like every fan, I question his moves from time to time. We all throw our baseball knowledge around and second guess a managerial decision that doesn’t seem to make any sense. But, what I’ve grown to understand is that Matheny is not a manager of baseball so much as he is a manager of baseball players. He has to assess at every moment how his players are feeling, both physically and mentally, and while many decisions he makes may not make sense on paper, I am confident they make sense given the bigger picture.

The Cardinals took a gamble hiring Matheny as a young, inexperienced coach, but I don’t think he was hired for his baseball expertise. Mike Matheny was hired because of who he is, his foundation, his principles and his ability to manage players. It’s because of this that I think as long as we have Mike Matheny as a coach, we will always be in contention to win every year, not only the Central…..but the World Series.

 

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