The St. Louis Cardinals and manager Mike Matheny agreed to exercise the 2014 option on his contract extending his stay with the Cardinals for another year. Now, Matheny is no Tony La Rusaa, but he got the job done in 2012 in his first year with the team. Matheny managed the Cardinals to the 2012 National League Championship Series before falling to the eventual world champion San Francisco Giants.
St. Louis’ decision to extend Matheny was a good one, being the fact that he is still a young manager at the age of 42-years old, and can relate with some of the kids on the Cardinals roster unlike a manager like Art Howe or Clint Hurdle would. Matheny’s early success shows why some major league teams are switching to the inexperienced manager.
Chicago White Sox did that after the 2011 season when they named Robin Ventura its next manager. Ventura guided the team to an 85-win season and finished second in the American League Central division to the American League champion Detroit Tigers. The Miami Marlins named former catcher Mike Redmond manager this season as well hoping it triggers some kind of parallel affect on the team.
Former Miami Marlins third baseman Mike Lowell and former Houston Astros catcher Brad Ausmus have also been given consideration in the managerial search setting off a new wave of how teams pick managers. You see some teams going to the smart baseball player to guide the team instead of the experienced, long-time manager.
Matheny has to continue to have success at his position to open up the door for other inexperienced guys to take the reigns of some teams.