The St. Louis Cardinals Have Hired Mike Matheny as Manager

According to multiple reports (and the Cardinals’ Twitter feed), today the St. Louis Cardinals selected former player Mike Matheny to replace Tony LaRussa as manager.

Matheny, 40, is a former catcher who retired in 2006. Since then, he’s been a minor league instructor with the Cardinals, and has no big league coaching or managerial experience.

The decision is notable not only because it’s the second time this Winter a Cubs’ rival has hired a manager without any big league experience (White Sox – Robin Ventura), but also because two other names of import were on the table for the Cardinals: Ryne Sandberg and Terry Francona. No one ’round here was particularly jazzed about the possibility of Sandberg donning Cardinal red, and rumors that Terry Francona remains under consideration by the Cubs persist. To the latter point, I’d like to reiterate that I don’t see it happening.

The Cardinals will have a press conference tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. CT to announce Matheny.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

64 responses to “The St. Louis Cardinals Have Hired Mike Matheny as Manager”

  1. Kansas Cubs Fan


  2. Cliffy

    “Jazzed and donning” used in one sentence. My Catholic English teacher would be proud.

  3. Katie

    Yep, big exhale over here. Still don’t think Francona gets the Cubs job. I don’t give a flaming rats ass that he allegedly “badly” wants the job. Doesn’t mean he will get it.

    1. BetterNews

      Katie—We finally agree on something! Love you

      1. BetterNews

        But I think Francona does get the job, and if he does, and I say if,
        I have no “problem” with it whatsoever.

  4. die hard

    Maybe Cards and other teams (Cubs) thinking managers dont matter? Computer programmers are the new managers which is too bad. Pretty soon they will eliminate players
    one at a time. Do we really need a catcher? A robot behind plate could do just as well given pitches and other signals called from dug out based on computers anyway.

    1. BetterNews


      1. BetterNews

        Earth to Die hard, you are losing us!

    2. Dougy D

      What are you trying to say here? Your post doesn’t make any sense at all.

      1. Montellew

        they often don’t LOL

    3. MichiganGoat

      newbies,die hard never makes sense his irrational comments are best to be ignored or enjoyed as extreme satire

      1. BetterNews

        O.K> MG

    4. Edwin

      Robots suck at baseball because they have poor fundamentals. Have you ever seen a robot hit a cut-off man? Me neither.

  5. BetterNews

    Great game Bears!!!!

  6. BetterNews

    Dougy–You speaking to me?

  7. ACS

    If its francona all of this makes sense amd it might mean there was tampering going on.

    1. MrCub73

      Agree totally with the potential tampering and it makes perfect sense – As much as I want to see Maddux as the manager or Alomar if not Maddux, I still have a feeling somehow this ends up being Francona.  That has been my thought since the Theo story broke and how Francona was dismissed just prior to Theo interviewing with the Cubs (There is no way Theo did not already have his mind set on Chicago and this would have clearly been communicated through back channels if not direct).  My heart says Maddux, my gut says Francona.  I clearly could be wrong, but I am almost betting the Red Sox extend and offer to Sveum and he takes the job, which takes him out of the running for the Cubs job.  Then Maddux could pull his name from the hat for family reason, then the Cubs turn to Francona who Theo has already said should be on the top of anyone’s list.  Theo said, first Francona has to decide if its the right fit for him, then the Cubs have to decide if its the right fit for them, from the reports it looks like 50% of that is already complete.

      1. BetterNews

        The “tampering” thing is out there in “far” right.

        Francona would be a great manager, and Theo considering him
        is nothing more than that.

    2. jr5

      How would it be tampering?

      Red Sox ownership declined to pick up Francona’s option before the Cubs even asked permission to talk to Theo. He’s a free agent.

  8. ACS

    How bout them bears!!!! Da Bears and watching history with Hester maybe thats what nostradamus was talking about.

  9. johnbres2

    I am pleased by the Metheny selection.  Although of course it could always work out–and the Cardinals always seem to know what they are doing–this looks like a very iffy call for a team that just won the WS and could be on a three-year ride at or near the top.  Why would you get a manager with NO experience for such a team?  As a Cub fan, I have to see this as good news.  Francona made WAY more sense for that team.  Again, though, the Cardinals have earned our respect as an organization so we cannot be too opinionated about this.

    1. BetterNews

      Because Francona is going to be a Cub!

  10. ACS

    Boston could explain there collapse if it was tampering it also would have to do with hold up on compensation.

  11. ACS

    We could lose Castro and Garza on this one.

    1. BetterNews

      ACS—Time for bed now(LOL)

    2. Larry

      You are forgetting that Theo, himself, said he was planning on staying Boston for one more year, had Francona been retained. If Theo was truly planning on staying, and there is no reason to think that he wasn’t, then there was no tampering.

      1. MrCub73

        Larry – That is a good point and all, but think about that a little deeper.  Theo said those were his plans/thoughts before the Cubs job became a possibility, as we can clearly see since Theo is in Chicago.  When did the Cubs job became a possibility in Theo’s mind?  Maybe he would have stayed in Boston has Francona been retained, but I suggest if Theo knew he was going to leave and he really wanted to take Francona with him, what kind of message if he going to portray to Boston ownership of Francona?  I am sure after the collapse, several guys would want out of Boston if they knew they had another gig like the Cubs.  I personally doubt it goes this deep, but just merely proposing the possibility.  These debates will be an irrelevant debate if anyone other than Francona is hired.

        Just playing Devil’s advocate here, I personally believe the job belongs to Maddux.


  12. CubFan Paul

    Randy Bush’s replacement when he finds a new gig or when his contract runs out? Shiraz Rehman. They snuck this one by us. I’m surprised Bush & Wilken weren’t just flat out fired, with the hiring of Rehman and Bohringer because they obviously aren’t “Epstein Guys” but they do have contracts and paying them to walk would ding Ricketts pockets but so does hiring their replacements while they’re still on the books

  13. MC2

    Tampering???? Sounds like a Boston excuse! Boston collapsed plain and simple, Lackey refused surgery, Owner who doesn’t support his players, a President in Larry L. who is more or less a figurehead and nothing more. The way they played the blame game with Tito, not to mention the big party that was hosted on the owners boat for the players only before the collapse. Who in their right mind would want to stay, or go there to manage? I’m sure Theo was checking his options already, he wasn’t going going to get the presidents job there any time soon. It almost has a Dallas Cowboys feel to it. A monkey could have done a better job managing the Cubs last year, maybe even Steve Stone! If it’s Maddux, Alomar, or Tito it’s better than what we had. There’s going to be some player turnover in B-Town next year and I would almost bet the Cubs and Boston end up with similar records… …

  14. die hard

    Going back to Francona has about as much a chance of success as going back to first wife after divorcing your second. The false sense of security will soon be overwhelmed by the feelings that led you to divorce her in first place. Walk away Theo, there is no going back.

  15. BetterNews

    Love it!!!! Now we can truely call them “deadbirds”.

  16. cubbiesfan18

    Is the new cardinals manager any good?

    1. BetterNews

      I would say not going to be a good manager.

    2. Cardfan

      He was, by far, the most suitable candidate to maintain as much of the current “chemistry” as possible. Well respected and appreciated – by players and coaches alike. Most will see it as a huge roll of the dice. After it was apparent that nobody was talking to Maddon, though, it looks like a nicely-hedged gamble. If he works out – big feel-good story. If not, we write-off the 2012 season and look to Big Joe once his contract is up. Go ahead and underestimate him, though, cause he will be a solid manager at some point in the future.

      1. BetterNews

        Oh ,ya,O.K.–Good luck deadbirds.

      2. CubFan Paul

        He was, by far, the “Cheapest” candidate to maintain as much of the current chemistry as possible

        ..pinching pennies for Albert

  17. BetterNews

    Hate to beat the Sandberg drum again, but I hope the Cubbies make him an
    offer for bench coach job!

    1. Montellew

      let the sandberg issue f’n die already! There isnt any manager that’s going to want him sitting over his shoulder daily. and he doesn’t have what they’re looking for as a manager. You’re not beating a drum – what’ your beating is a dead horse!

      1. BetterNews

        Mont—I totally disagree. Ryne has everything a team could want.
        I think it is a “personality issue” to tell you the truth.

        Ryno is too honest! He tells it like it is, and upper management cant
        handle it. I have seen this in action with employers all the time.

    2. MichiganGoat

      GET OVER IT! He’s not going to be on the bench next year. Stop beating the same horse over and over and over.

      1. BetterNews

        MG—Can’t get over it! I don’t understand it. I have heard all kinds of
        reasons why Ryne can’t be with the Cubs and nothing makes sense.

        1. MichiganGoat

          THEO DOESN’T WANT HIM, so get over it and stop pinning for what’s not going to happen.

          1. BetterNews

            MG–yes as manager! But for crying out loud, he could
            set Ryno up as a bench coach! I just don’t get it.

            If Ryno came out and said he would not take a bench coach job
            I, like so many others, would stop beating the Ryno drum.

            But he has not, and so the drum keeps taking a beating!

            1. hogie

              No team in the last 2-3 years since he has made it clear that he wants a big league managing gig has given him a shot, and many teams have had manager or coaching jobs open. Maybe there is a reason. I am a huge fan of his (his picture hangs over my son’s crib for cryin out loud!), but there has to be a reason that nobody has given him a chance in the bigs, and I kind of doubt it is his honesty.

              1. BetterNews

                Hogi— then what is the reason? I’ve heard plenty,
                believe me. Not enough experience, not bi-lingual,
                not funny, can’t deal with mlb vets, can’t park his car
                properly, etc.

                Give me a break! And Theo, you need to give him a
                break also!

            2. BetterNews

              I will even take 5 more paces toward the end of the plank
              and say it is “outrageous” the way Theo is handling
              the situation with Sandberg! Maybe Ryno can get this
              comment somehow(Brett) and put it all to rest with a

              Until I hear or see a statement from Ryne, the drum will
              keep pounding! People may get deaf.

              1. CubFan Paul

                …walk off the damn plank and drown already ..please

              2. MichiganGoat


                1. Sweetjamesjones

                  Okay. Where did all these other trolls come from? Just curious because some of the posts I have been reading are just ridiculous.

                  Anyways, I agree with you Michigan Goat, the calls for Ryne as a coach or bench coach are just that: tiresome. I love the guy but I have faith in the Cubs front office to make the right decision on who they want to lead this team.

                  Some people just need to get over their childish obsession with Sandburg already.


                2. Cheryl

                  I’m getting so tired of hearing about Sandberg. Is there any way his name could be banned from BN until he actually has a job?

              3. Sweetjamesjones

                Also, outrageous?!? How so?

                Theo went ahead and called Sandburg up and told him straight up that he wasn’t in the running! If anything he did the right thing by nipping any possible rumors in the bud already. Anyone that has been keeping up with this website knew this.

                1. BetterNews

                  sweet—get the name right at least. Its Sandberg(LOL)

                  1. BetterNews

                    Can’t tell me it is a typo either. E and U keys are
                    nowhere near each other!

                    1. Sweetjamesjones

                      Yes. It seems like I did misspell his last name.

                      Oh me oh my.

                      Anything else that you would like to troll about? I mean its obvious that you are just purposely being annoying just to be annoying.

                      Trying actually adding something more meaningful than, “Sandberg should be coach OMG” over and over and “You misspelled his name, snicker snicker.”

  18. cubbiesfan18

    That would be nice if he became the bench coach

  19. hogie

    On a totally unrelated note, Blue Jays are looking for a closer and quoted thier greatest resource as being prospects…anyone know who would be a possibility for Marmol? I am not familiar with the Jays system.

  20. TSB

    A manager loses control of his team almost at the end of a pennant race, they procede to accomplish a historic choke, and he gets fired. This is the Cubs’ savior?

    1. MrCub73

      Sure hope not!!!!!

  21. MrCub73

    I just realized I need to evaluate my thought process on whom the Cubs new manager will be.  Following the trend of the White Sox and the Cardinals, it has to be Alomar.  2011 seems to be the year of the “I lack experience” manager.  Alomar has the least coach experience, so its his job.  I know this logic holds no basis in fact and is not a true prediction of who the manager will be, but something seems to be in the air.  Looks like my hope of Maddux in the dugout just got wash away.

    Seriously, for those who think I was serious in the above paragraph, if the post interview press conferences are any indication of how the interviews went, how can it not be Maddux?

    1. Fishin Phil

      While Maddux is my hope as well, it is important to remember that the press conferences were just one piece of the interview.

      1. pfk

        True. I heard that in the interview he thought James Russell would be the ace of the staff. Actually, he called him, “Russy” and felt that he and “Cassie” would anchor the team. Had nicknames for everyone, including Eppy and Jeddy.

  22. Toosh

    Looks like the Jays think the asking prices of FA closers are too high. Time for the Cubs to talk with them about Marmol.

  23. rocky8263

    I wonder if Mark McGwire stays with the team? I admire how the scumbag kept a low profile this year.