It is unfair to single out St. Louis Cardinals‘ manager Mike Matheny for the team’s NLCS loss at the hands of the San Francisco Giants. Despite his poor decision to insert Michael Wacha into the game Thursday evening, the Cardinals’ met their demise before that moment.
However, a few of these folks might disagree:
— Just Steve (@JustSteve2014) October 17, 2014
— Big Homie Train (@Train5829) October 17, 2014
That’s a bit extreme, wouldn’t you say? Sure, Matheny had no reason putting a cold Wacha into the game but that was hardly the defining factor in the series. In fact, you want to know the real reason the Cardinals aren’t going to the World Series? Here you go:
- Cardinals: .233
- Giants: .253
On Base Percentage
- Cardinals: .298
- Giants: .330
Runs Batted In
- Cardinals: 15
- Giants: 21
- Cardinals: 38
- Giants: 42
That is hardly Matheny’s fault. The blatant answer as to why the Cardinals lost the series lies within their failure to produce. However, perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised by that. After all, they were the 24th ranked offense in all of baseball during the regular season. During that time, much of the blame was being placed in the right direction – at the players themselves.
Believe it or not, some are even saying that Matheny is on the hot seat this offseason. That is the most asinine assumption you’ll hear all day. Matheny has been the St. Louis manager since 2012. Any idea the type of success he has had? A 275-211 record (.566 winning percentage) and two division titles. And how about this:
- 2012: played in the NLCS
- 2013: played in the NLCS
- 2014: played in the NLCS
If Matheny was managing a New York or Los Angeles team, we would be reading everywhere how he was likely to go down as one of the greatest young managers of our generation. Simply put, Matheny has been fantastic in his three seasons. Did he make mistakes this postseason? Of course he did. So did Ned Yost as many criticized his team’s approach to the playoffs – and how have things worked out for him?
Unfortunately for Matheny and the fans, his mishap will be what sticks in the minds of everyone until spring training arrives. Perhaps the hate of Matheny is just misplaced anger from St. Louis fans looking for a scapegoat. Fans need a figurehead to blame – simply getting outplayed is unacceptable these days. Fans want instant gratification, and in this case, they are apparently getting that from lambasting Matheny.
Just shut up about it already. If someone is willing to put the blame of the series on Matheny, then they obviously know nothing about the game of baseball. Ask the players in that clubhouse, they would be the first to tell you the series loss was hardly the fault of Matheny alone.
Matheny will be the manager of the Cardinals in 2015. In fact, there is a good chance Matheny will be the manager of the Cardinals even in 2020 – he isn’t going anywhere and nor should he. More years of great success lie ahead of St. Louis and they have Matheny to thank in part for that.
Cover Photo: Jerome Miron / USA TODAY Sports
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