The St. Louis Cardinals are having a disappointing season, and manager Mike Matheny has now paid the price.
After an 8-2 loss on Saturday, their second straight to the Cincinnati Reds (by a combined score of 17-3) and their fourth setback in their last five, the St. Louis Cardinals fired manager Mike Matheny.
Hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller were also relieved of their duties. Bench coach Mike Shildt will take over as interim manager.
The Cardinals are 47-46 this season, which has them in third place and seven games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central (pending the Cubs’ result against the San Diego Padres Saturday night). At four games back of the second Wild Card spot in the National League, the Cardinals seem to be in the playoff race. But it may have been time for a change.
Matheny became Cardinals manager in November of 2011. He’ll finish with a 591-474 regular season record and four playoff appearances (2012-2015), including a trip to the World Series in 2013. But St. Louis missed the postseason in 2016 and 2017, and a third straight year out of the playoffs would have put Matheny on the hot seat heading into 2019.
Here’s the Cardinals’ official announcement of the move.
Matheny’s ties to the Cardinals organization predate his tenure as manager. He spent five seasons of his playing career as a catcher in St. Louis (2000-2004), with two runs to the NLCS and a World Series in 2004. After two more seasons with the San Francisco Giants, persistent issues with concussions forced him to retire.
This is the first time the Cardinals have changed managers during a season since 1995, when Joe Torre was replaced by Mike Jorgensen. Tony La Russa took over the following year, and held the job through the 2011 season when he retired and Matheny took over.
Matheny is one of four managers in Cardinals history to manage over 1,000 games for the team, along with La Russa, Whitey Herzog and Red Schoendienst.