It’s not often that Kansas City and St. Louis baseball fans agree on anything — let alone console each other — but news on Friday afternoon that ex-Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was joining the Royals as a special advisor almost seemed to bring the two sides together.
And not necessarily in a good way.
It appears neither fanbase particularly likes Matheny and they haven’t been too quiet about the matter on social media, either.
Well, that's a step backwards for your organization.
— VirgilCT (@suttered11) November 23, 2018
— Brad Cygan (@BRAD_CYGAN) November 23, 2018
— Danny Penn (@mizzou2dp) November 23, 2018
You already lost 104 games you trying for 110?
— Quinn (@QuinnSTLCards) November 23, 2018
Well it looks like players aren’t getting developed
— Dom (@KStateDom) November 23, 2018
— Ryan Meczkowski (@evry1sfavUncle) November 23, 2018
Matheny’s rough ending in St. Louis
Part of the dismay over putting Matheny in a player development role comes from that area being one of his biggest downfalls in St. Louis.
After inheriting a perennial contender from manager Tony La Russa when he took over the Cardinals in 2012, Matheny won just one pennant and three division titles. The success quickly. Matheny’s clubs hadn’t made the playoffs since 2015. That especially doesn’t cut in St. Louis.
His final record with the Cardinals came out to 591-474, and despite never finishing a year below .500, Matheny was sacked during a rough first half of the season in 2018.
The end of Matheny’s time in St. Louis was marked by a clear disconnect between his coaching philosophies and the players in his clubhouse.
As I wrote for @TheAthleticSTL Friday, management uncomfortable with Matheny’s expressed zeal for old-school tough guy stuff and referring to today’s game as “soft” … felt (2/3)
— Bernie Miklasz (@miklasz) July 15, 2018
Matheny’s fit in Kansas City
In bringing in the former big league catcher, Royals general manager Dayton Moore stated that he’s “excited about the possibilities of what he’ll bring to our organization.”
That could lead to a lot of speculation about what happens to Matheny after current Royals manager Ned Yost finished out what’s supposed to be his final year with the club.
The Royals hired former Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as a special advisor for player development. Here’s Dayton Moore on the move: pic.twitter.com/023X1UPDjj
— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) November 23, 2018
Ned Yost is expected to retire after next season. The Royals may not love any manager in waiting talk, but it’s natural to wonder. https://t.co/12R6FmTZWZ
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 23, 2018
It’s far too early to tell what either side is planning on doing after the 2018 season, but as Jon Heyman points out, there will be a lot of fans wondering if Moore just hired his manager-in-waiting.
Given how Royals and Cardinals fans have responded to news of Matheny advising Kansas City, there’s a chance that Matheny taking over the club could end all animosity between the two sides of Missouri for good.
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