This week, the Chicago Cubs celebrated their first World Series victory in over 100 years (I’m not going to not start off as many posts as I can that way), but the St. Louis Cardinals had some big news of their own.
The Cardinals and manager Mike Matheny have agreed to a three-year extension, which will extend their relationship through the 2020 season.
To be clear, Matheny’s previous deal wasn’t set to expire until the end of the 2017 season, so his new deal will begin in 2018 and run for three straight years after. Despite how you may feel (personally) about Matheny and/or the Cardinals, I think most Cardinal fans will be happy with the decision to keep their manager in the dugout.
Cardinals’ principal owner and CEO, Bill Dewitt, Jr., had some things to say about Matheny upon announcing the deal, specifically with his ability to continue the Cardinals’ tradition of winning. You can read some of his comments here at Cardinals.com.
To be certain, Matheny – now 46 years old – has won a heck of a lot of games in a Cardinals uniform. Since taking over in 2012, Matheny has led the Cardinals to a 461-349 record – good for .569 winning percentage and an average of 92 wins per year. He won three straight divisional titles with the Cardinals and only just missed the playoffs for the first time in his tenure there this year.
According to the Cardinals’ press release: “Matheny’s .569 winning percentage currently ranks 18th all-time in the history of Major League Baseball managers and he stands 5th on the Cardinals all-time managerial wins list.”
If Matheny hopes to continue continuing a tradition of success, however, he’ll have to find a way to beat the reigning World Series Champion Chicago Cubs – who have now made the postseason (and at least the NLCS) in back-to-back years.
In fact, the Cubs look as strong as they ever have for 2017. If they’re going to beat the Cardinals over the next 4 years, however, they’ll have to beat them with Matheny at the helm.