Since taking over the St. Louis Cardinals prior to the 2012 season, Mike Matheny has a .579 regular season win percentage, but is just 21-22 in postseason action
The move made Matheny the youngest manager in the majors, and was surprising to most, considering Matheny had no professional coaching experience prior to the hire.
All Matheny has done thus far in St. Louis is compile a 375-273 (averaging 94 wins a year) regular season record. He has led his team to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons, including NLCS berths from 2012-2014, with a World Series appearance in 2013. His Cardinals have been crowned NL Central Champions the past three seasons as well.
Matheny is the unquestioned leader in the Cardinal clubhouse. Matheny carries himself with a confidence and presence that sets the tone for the entire Cardinals roster. Players, both past and present, are quick to credit Matheny’s leadership style as reason for his past success and reason why he should continue to be successful moving forward in his career.
“People make a big deal out of not having coached or managed. … You can take a guy with no people skills, no leadership ability, let him manage in the minor leagues for 20 years, and he’ll never be ready to manage at the major league level. And you can take a guy that has all the intangibles, put him in the big leagues, and he can be a hall of fame manager.” -Former Cardinal right fielder Lance Berkman.
Cardinal fans have questioned some of Matheny’s in-game decisions, particularly in the playoffs, and with good reason. Hindsight is definitely 20/20, but there are legitimate questions concerning the workload he has placed on his pitching staffs of the past, pitching personnel decisions in the postseason, and how much he has rode Yadier Molina the past couple of seasons, even if it was Yadi who was pushing for it.
This article will break down each year of Matheny’s tenure thus far, ending with a breakdown of what Matheny’s future looks like going forward as the Cardinal skipper.
We will start with 2012.
Next: Year 1 - 2012