Mike Matheny previews St. Louis Cardinals season, talks selflessness


While addressing a dinner prior to the Missouri State baseball season, St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny took some time to preview the 2014 Cardinals season.
Dec 10, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny talks with reporters during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Image Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
Matheny’s son, Tate, plays for Missouri State. He was previously drafted by the Cardinals, against the wishes of the Cardinals manager, but chose not to sign with the ballclub and stuck with plans to attend college. He is a sophomore this season and will be eligible again for the draft in 2015 after his junior year.

Matheny’s key for success is selflessness.

"“It’s not about my contract. It’s not about my numbers. It’s not about me attaining this. This is about ‘we.’ This is about team,” Matheny said Saturday night. “This is about, ‘Even though it doesn’t feel right, even though my agent tells me I need to get this many at-bats and this many starts,’ this is about, ‘How do I make the team better?’”"

Matheny touched on the Jhonny Peralta signing, saying that the shortstop is “a much better defensive player than what people give him credit for.”

Both Allen Craig and Oscar Taveras are ready to go, the Cardinals manager said while speaking to the media during a brief session.

The manager stressed that nobody should be taking their position for granted.

"“These guys are going to be required to come into spring training and fight for a job,” Matheny said. “I believe I have to fight for my job every single day. I think everybody in the workplace does the same thing. There’s no reason why our guys shouldn’t come in with that mindset.”"

The battle for center field leans towards Peter Bourjos over Jon Jay while the second base battle leans towards Kolten Wong over Mark Ellis.

It’s first base and right field that get tricky. Depending on how hot a spring that Taveras has, the Cardinals may not have a choice but to keep him on the roster–which begs the question, where would Matt Adams play and how often? With 15 teams in each league now, the DH is possible during interleague games on the road. The problem with that is that there won’t be a stretch of interleague games on the road until the start of June, when the Cardinals play seven games against the Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays, and Tampa Bay Rays. August will see a 3-game series on the road against the Baltimore Orioles.