Mike Matheny’s optimism helped in rough times, per GM John Mozeliak


Fans of the St. Louis Cardinals were often perplexed by Manager Mike Matheny this season.

Ok? Perplexed is putting way too nice.

Fans would, and still, take to social media in droves to not just criticize the manager but seriously bash him.

So, it makes you wonder … what does GM John Mozeliak think?

Mo answers just that very question in the second part of Jenifer Langosch’s interview with him for MLB.com. Here’s what he said:

"It’s been a challenging year for him, because last year, from an offensive standpoint, we were clicking. But from a rotational standpoint, we were much more challenged. It was tough to balance that. This year, it was the opposite of that, so all of that helps him grow as a manager. I just think his overall confidence and his in-game strategy is becoming something that he has more confidence in. … [His optimism] an amazing trait, for sure, because he never got down. Even when things appeared to be going south, he figured a way with his optimistic outlook to keep things cloaked. In the end, that may be the message of this season, because there were times where you thought all of a sudden that this season might run away from us and it never did."

Mo seems to be quite OK with him and even thinks his optimism helped when things were bad at certain points in the season. Matheny, a first time manager in his third season, has been billed as a “Great Leader of Men” as Fox Sports Midwest broadcaster Ricky Horton so often put it. Three straight post season appearances, including a World Series appearance in 2012, is not bad for a first time manager.

This doesn’t mean that fans are going to automatically forget or forgive some of his moves this season that were real head scratchers. Not one bit. Nor should they. But? Matheny was able to keep this team motivated in the more troublesome parts of this season. They were able to kick their game up a notch and fight their way to first place and win the NL Central.

Would an unmotivated, disgruntled team have been able to do what the Cardinals have done thus far this season? I think not. Did you see the Milwaukee Brewers collapse? Goodness. Matheny should be given SOME credit.

Matheny still has a lot of work left. Beat LA, move on to the NLCS and WS and win it, and maybe Matheny finally will get that credit!