Mike Matheny Counseling St. Louis Cardinals Players
One of the many roles you just kind of new Mike Matheny would be able to handle as St. Louis Cardinals manager was leading. Another role we knew was there, but we only addressed it from the back of our minds, was counselor.
We all remember Mike Matheny, the on-field leader as catcher, being there for his teammates after the passing of Darryl Kile. And now, he’s going to be taking on this role of counselor again for his team after the passing of Oscar Taveras.
According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, Matheny was with Carlos Martinez this week as he spoke with some youth baseball players. She described Matheny’s sense of pride and heartbreak as he watched Martinez turn the tragedy into a teaching moment.
"“It was moving and powerful and you could just see a different level of maturity that I hadn’t seen from him before,” Matheny said of watching Martinez address the youngsters. “They were listening to him talk about issues of his faith and things that he’s learned. And not necessarily bringing up Oscar, but there was no question what he was talking about.” ..“I wanted to find a way to create an environment where I could be real and not be this superhero,” Matheny explained. “And then the more I thought about it, the more I realized that they were all most likely in a place where they were surrounded by people with even deeper relationships than they have here. They could get real with the people that are truly the closest in their lives. Our baseball family has hurt through this, but guys individually needed to deal with it in their own individual way.”As individuals grieved, Matheny reached out. He sent text messages, made calls, visited with some face to face, when possible …“I’m still worried and concerned about him because they were closer than anybody on that club and that goes way back,” Matheny said. “You just need to have multiple voices and people that keep coming back long after the initial shock is gone. You need to have people who are available and pouring into your lives.”"
For all the crap Matheny received about his managing style, and many times it was rightly so, he is a great leader for this team. He is a good person – fatherly, older brotherly figure – that this team greatly respects. There is no denying that.
There is no better person to be St. Louis Cardinals manager right now than Mike Matheny.