The Cardinals have actually long was standing behind their manager in spite of his questionable decision-making. Lock dismissed that Saturday due to the fact that he had lost the assistance of his team.

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The Cardinals winner the World series in 2011, and their room of call manager, Tony La Russa, feel it to be time to speak to it a career. La Russa was among the an excellent tacticians of his era, and also while the efficacy of few of his innovations — such together the one-inning closer — was questionable, nobody regulated more than he did.


The man the Cardinals chose to change La Russa, then-41-year-old Mike Matheny, had no ahead managerial experience, and also never identified the tactical side of the game. He never established how to properly run a bullpen, and despite regulating in the National league for six-plus seasons, he never really established the double switch. Matheny wasn’t the just inexperienced former light-hitting big leaguer to be handed the keys to one MLB franchise towards the start of the decade, yet most of the rather have because been fired (Colorado’s Walt Weiss, Chicago’s Robin Ventura) or figured it out (Milwaukee’s Craig Counsell). Matheny won regardless of being widely pertained to as the league’s worst tactician.

But negative tactics aren’t why the Cardinals fired that on Saturday night.

Matheny led the Cardinals to the playoffs in each of his an initial four seasons at the helm, v St. Louis to win an MLB-high 100 gamings in 2015. Because he to be fired through the team 2018 record at 47–46, he’s still yet to short article a shedding season. It is because, as much as some human being hate bunts and also managing come the save, girlfriend can obtain away with bad tactics as lengthy as you don’t shed the clubhouse. Matheny has actually done that last part to spectacular impact this year.

Two mainly ago, Cardinals chairman of baseball operations john Mozeliak trashed outfielder Dexter Fowler in a radio interview, saying, “I’ve additionally had a many of civilization come approximately me and question his effort and his power level. Girlfriend know, those space things that ns can’t defend.” Those remarks were poorly timed, as Fowler was simply taking paternity leave, long a lightning rod for the hunter-gatherer types in sports and sports media, and also Mozeliak easily tried to walk lock back. Yet it to be the start of the fatal crack in the dam.

Less 보다 a mainly later, mark Saxon of The Athletic reported the Fowler and Matheny to be no longer on speak terms. 5 days after ~ that, Saxon reported that St. Luigi closer Bud Norris, with Matheny’s support, had been “mercilessly riding” rookie reliever Jordan Hicks, explicate a pattern of behavior that sound an horrible lot favor workplace bullying.

Matheny’s contribution to the story: “I think the video game has progressively obtained a small softer. Man, it had some teeth no that long ago.” once Matheny dubbed the story “inaccurate,” Saxon i ordered it to have actually the tape play on local radio. And on Saturday, after ~ a second consecutive blowout loss to the last-place Reds, Mozeliak cashiered Matheny and two assistants.


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In the second decade that baseball’s public analysis revolution, we’re discovering that the instant post-Moneyball insights around the manager’s function were wrong. It helps if a manager bats his best hitter second, prevents calling for countless bunts, and also is willing to use his closer in a tie video game on the road. Just that’s no the entirety proverbial ballgame. Managers are tacticians, but an ext than the they’re managers.

A clubhouse is a workplace, and also like most employees, ballplayers commonly perform much better when they enjoy their work, or at least feel invested in it. The manager’s primary job responsibility — and the means he can add the most to winning — is come ensure the his players feel that investment. There space as plenty of ways come foster a unified, urged ballclub together there are ranges of carrot and stick. Also in the recent past, old-school supervisors such as Ned Yost, Dusty Baker, and Charlie Manuel have actually won not since they’re john McGraw, but due to the fact that they can get 25 guys to traction together. For that reason, if you can’t get the techniques right, you cursed well much better bring the finest out of her players.

Matheny was never ever able to carry out that. And also ironically for such a young manager, he committed an age-old sin: inflexibility. Phone call younger players “soft” is one insult, yet it’s likewise code. It means that modern players complain too much, the they’re no quick sufficient to resort to shouting and violence, and also that they nothing obey orders without question. I’d argue these space all renovations that do the sport far better and the the present generation of MLB players is thoughtful, self-confident, and generally respectful. Also if Matheny’s emotion plays well v baseball guys from the critical century, that’s not his audience — players are, and also they’ll always reject that message.

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Would girlfriend go over and beyond for a boss that badmouthed friend in the press? would certainly you look front to coming to work-related each job if her boss had actually empowered a coworker come bully you? ns wouldn’t, and neither, apparently, would the St. Louis Cardinals. Nor must they. The an excellent news is that now they don’t have actually to.