As the playoffs come to a close and the Winter Meetings approach, teams have already started making moves. One team we surprisingly didn’t see this postseason was the St. Louis Cardinals. It was actually the first time since 2010 that the Cardinals failed to make the playoffs, and the first time under manager Mike Matheny that they failed to do so.
While the Cardinals did fall short of expectations this year, they still managed a second place finish in the division behind the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It’s impressive they were able to scrape together 86 wins despite adversity, and that’s a nod to the manager on a job well done.
Despite the disappointing season, Matheny was rewarded yesterday with a three-year contract extension to remain manager in St. Louis. Matheny holds a .569 winning percentage with a pennant to his name. Obviously, management is confident in the 46-year-old’s abilities and were impressed, rather than angry like some fans, with how their manager handled the litany of injuries and other issues the team faced throughout the season.
The former Cardinal catcher has had an impressive run thus far as manager, taking the team to the playoffs every year but this one, reaching the World Series in 2013, the NLCS in ’12 and ’14, and then the NLDS last year following a 100-win regular season.
Matheny has more to his credit than just a winning percentage, and although some fans aren’t the biggest fans of the skipper, Matheny does his job quite well and has overseen the development of players like Stephen Piscotty, Carlos Martinez, Matt Carpenter, and now Alex Reyes. Some fans will gripe about how he actually uses those players, but it has worked out so far and the success has for the most part been there, so the “Best Fans in Baseball” really should be more grateful as we see every year just how tough it can be to find a quality manager.