St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny addressed the media this afternoon before the start of World Series Game 2 against the Boston Red Sox.
Q. You guys were terrific at home, especially down the stretch. It was like 27‑4 or something like that. And besides the comfort of playing in front of the home fans, is there any way to explain that? Are you guys especially adapted or is there a dynamic there that fits you at that ballpark?
MIKE MATHENY: You know, I really don’t like thinking that that’s the case because we have to play so many games on the road. There’s just times you play better in certain times. And I think at home there definitely can be an advantage. I think you see that at different places. I think we saw that last night. And whenever you have familiarity I think there’s a little bit more of an opportunity to be consistent.
But I’ve seen us play very, very good against some tough teams and tough pitchers on the road as well as at home. It’s something we don’t really put that much thought into.
Q. Do you have any update on Beltran?
MIKE MATHENY: Not yet.
Q. The follow‑up, is it a game‑time decision? Does he need to go through steps?
MIKE MATHENY: He’s probably about 10, 15 minutes away from being able to get into the cage and get some more swings in, and we’ll have a better idea then.
Q. Other than the fact that they’re obviously smarter, why have so many more catchers become Major League managers than pitchers, who I think have the fewest of any position player to be managers?
MIKE MATHENY: Spoken like a true catcher. I think the obvious answer would be there’s so much responsibility that’s given to a catcher during the game, so much responsibility outside of his own individual position, where he’s keeping an eye on the infielders, the pitching staff, bunt defense, first‑and‑thirds, outfield position, all that goes into play, trying to understand where the manager may go for potential bullpen moves. So I think it’s part of the natural process of thinking. But obviously there’s a pitcher over here who’s doing a great job as a manager and there’s many other examples of position players and pitchers.
I know from just speaking personally, there was so many things that I had to think about as a catcher that I know helped prepare me for some of the responsibilities that I have as a manager.
Q. Two questions: No. 1, Jon Lester said resin is the only thing he had in his glove. Are you a hundred percent convinced of that? No. 2, there’s a suggestion that Major League managers don’t like to call attention to, what some people might perceive as questionable substances in pitcher’s gloves, because they don’t want their own pitchers to be checked. Do you subscribe to that?
MIKE MATHENY: I guess I’ll answer both questions at once and just say this has caught a lot of attention here lately. Just to reiterate the fact that this was not instigated by us. And the way that we approach this is we just play the game. We don’t deny that some things have been acknowledged. And if that’s what he claims, then that’s what it is. That’s all there is to it. And right now it’s pretty much a dead issue. We move on with the fact that the League now has to take notice. But once again, this wasn’t something that was instigated by us.
You realize the ramifications of that, if we started going down that path, would just be trying to make excuses for a pitcher having a very good game against us and us not getting the job done. And that’s not the kind of team we are. So we see what happens, we make note of it and we just keep playing.
Q. That being said, with the knowledge that pitchers not just on the Red Sox but the Cardinals and all across the league do use substances sometimes to get a better grip on the ball, do you think that the rule that’s in place right now regarding foreign substances needs to be updated?
MIKE MATHENY: The rules are the rules. And it’s the responsibility of the League if they notice something that looks out of character, they’ve got to jump on it. I’m not part of the Rules Committee to start making changes here. Once again, when something becomes noticed, it’s addressed and I think it’s been taken care of.
Q. Can you talk about Pedroia and what do you think he means to the Sox on and off the field, Mike?
MIKE MATHENY: Well, it’s not really a statement that I can make, as much as what we see on the field is how he’s a spark for these guys. He plays the game right. You can tell he’s energy. And obviously talent goes along with it. But they all kind of feed off each other, and I think he’s a big part of that.
Q. In terms of Carlos, any treatment today that he’s had to get ready, how is the decision made? If he says he’s good, do the doctors have to say that? Is there a certain point you’re at right now?
MIKE MATHENY: It’s both. First you have to get medical clearance and it’s seems like things are leaning in that direction, but a lot of it is going to be how much he can tolerate, and if it starts to affect the way he can do his job. And if it gets in the way, then we’re not going to be able to play him. We’re going to find out when he gets in the cage and gets some swings.
Q. How many moving parts then do you have with your lineup or do you have some fixed points like who plays centerfield, shortstop, those kind of things, or how many things are in flux because of Beltran’s situation?
MIKE MATHENY: If he can’t go, we’ve got to move some things around. But we typically have some guys that we know are going to be in there, but it would make difference on one, personnel, and two, where guys go in the lineup.
Q. Did Craig come out of the game okay last night? And how is he feeling today?
MIKE MATHENY: He felt good. A little bit different. He’s been challenged here to move pretty fast in this rehab process, right towards the end. But I thought he took good at‑bats, looked like he was seeing the ball pretty well, and didn’t see a lot of apprehension. But he’s still going to be guarded little bit. But everything came out pretty good.
Q. If Beltran can’t go, going forward, will that change your mind in using Craig in the field when the series does change to St. Louis?
MIKE MATHENY: We have to have him be able to do it well in order to have him out there. And I think that would be pretty much of a stretch. You’d be putting him in the outfield expecting him to cover a lot of ground, especially in a big outfield. That would be a tall order.
Q. You being a former Gold Glove catcher, and having Yadier with five straight, what’s your thoughts on David Ross and seeing him last night and also when he was with the Braves?
MIKE MATHENY: He’s a quality catcher. He’s a guy who knows how to handle the position, how to handle the staff. You can tell there’s guys on that staff that like him, and that’s the greatest compliment you can get as a catcher. But also he understands the leadership position that that has behind the plate and he makes an impact with the bat, too. He’s a guy that’s been around for a reason.