A quick post-mortem and look ahead on the Cardinals

As noted on my blog, Mike Matheny’s mismanagement helped cost the Cards Game 3 of the Division Series, and John Mozeliak’s general mismanagement arguably helped cost the Birds Game 3.

A shout-out to the Cubs, though. They still had to hit those gopher balls out of the park, and no mismanagement of any type was really involved in Game 4.

Looking ahead to 2016, if I can?

I see a few items on the needs and issues screen. 

  1. They need to figure out if Stephen Piscotty, a Piscotty/Matt Adams platoon, or whatever, fills the hole at 1B.
  2. Mo MUST get a better backup catcher. Tony Cruz isn’t even an MLB player, arguably. And, preferably, Mo finds one with the positional flexibility of playing 1B or 3B as well as catching. Stick a crowbar in that wallet, Mo. Get one good enough that Yadi can get more days off next year.
  3. He needs to figure out how much to spend — and for how many years — on Jason Heyward.
  4. He needs to figure out whether to resign Lackey or not, and for what price. I’d consider gambling on a QO if necessary, and hope his playoff experience, veteran status, etc., leads another team to bid higher. It’s a bit of a gamble, yes, but not huge.

The first two are the biggest, in my book. While I don’t want Heyward to walk, if the price is anywhere near right, the team could run Jon Jay out in center for one more year with Randal Grichuk in right, or vice versa on their positions, if the price is not right. Lackey is important, but lesser than any of the first three.

As for Matheny? He went to the World Series in his second year, and has taken the team to the playoffs in all four seasons. Unless Mo has a massive coronary or Matheny is caught peeing on the Musial statue, Birds fans are stuck with MLB’s alleged second-cutest manager.

7 thoughts on “A quick post-mortem and look ahead on the Cardinals

  1. Birds fans are STUCK with Mike Matheny? Really?

    Explain why you think he needs to go.

    No other manager can claim the success he can over the past four seasons. Not one. Sure, Bochy has managed the Giants to three championships in the past six seasons, but they’ve only made the postseason those three seasons, the off years the Giants have been complete non-factors. Matheny took a beat-up, injured club this year and coaxed 100 wins out of them to lead what is arguably baseball’s strongest division. So he didn’t win the World Series…. big deal. Only two teams since the 1978 Yankees have won 100 games or more AND the World Series, and the last one was 29 years ago.

    If you think Matheny needs to be replaced because he didn’t win the World Series with some damn good teams in four very successful seasons (one 2nd place and 3 1st place finishes with a combined W-L percentage of .579), keep in mind that there are quite a few damn good teams every year but only one wins it all. The Cardinals are the ONLY team to make the postseason every year of his tenure.

    To put it in perspective, Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa only made the postseason ONCE in his first four seasons as the Cards’ skipper, and it took him 11 years to win his first of two championships with the team and 5 more years to win his second.

    If you think, for some obscure reason, that your long-suffering fan base is unfortunate enough to be STUCK with Matheny, then explain exactly why, and more importantly, tell us who you would replace him with that has had more managerial success recently than he has.

    I think you Cards fans have become spoiled by success…. sort of the NL equivalent of the Yankees. Pardon me if I don’t feel any sympathy for your plight.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Well, if you would let me trade Matheny straight up for Maddon? I”m doing that!

      And, despite holes here and there, Mo’s built that team. Matheny’s not always managed it well.

      If Lions wanders around, he may weigh in more on the Matheny managerial non-genius, as he has before.


        1. Let me add that the arguable dean of St. Louis baseball pundits, Bernie Miklasz, thinks Matheny leaves things to be desired in the postseason:

          The Cardinals were out of gas by the time they staggered into the NLDS and were no match for the Cubs. And while I wasn’t a fan of Matheny’s managing in the series — or in other postseasons — I wish we could have seen the Cardinals play the Cubs with a healthy, viable roster but it wasn’t possible. …

          I wish Matheny was sharper in running postseason games. Mike has won a lot of postseason games (21), but he’s lost 22.

          And, on player freshness, Bernie dings both him and Mo:

          A good team must have enough fuel in the tank to be in solid form for the postseason. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for a longer-term outlook to keep the veterans fresher. Part of that is on GM John Mozeliak, who must factor this into his roster construction.



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