The team is in the midst of an uncharacteristic down season, and questions have been circulating about Mike Matheny’s ability to manage the team. This quarrel between Yadier Molina and Matheny poured gasoline onto the St. Louis Cardinals manager’s already burning seat.
While Matheny’s perspective as a catcher most likely prompted him to make those comments, he picked the wrong player to call out to the media.
Yadi isn’t just any player: he’s been a clubhouse leader and has kept the heart of the St. Louis Cardinals beating for a long time. He’s also someone far more beloved and less expendable than Mike Matheny.
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There are few things that Matheny could have done to make his tenure with the Cardinals any more unstable, essentially saying that the veteran leader of the team is dogging it around the bases is one of those things. Considering that Yadi has only played fewer than 135 games one time in the last seven years, he has every right to be insulted.
For Matheny as a manager, losing the relationship with your catcher is one of the easiest ways out, especially since he was brought in partly because he was a catcher himself.
There was no real reason to make these comments now, and it was even worse that he made it public. Events like this can act as a catalyst in many cases, and this is one of them.
Whether or not this marks the beginning of the end for Matheny’s relationship with the locker room is yet to be seen, but past performance is a good indicator of future results, and Matheny doesn’t have a track record that makes me confident in reconciliation or in his position as the manager for the St. Louis Cardinals as a whole.