I was going to write a blog post with the exact same title (borrowed from the REO Speedwagon song) today, but outlining the reasons why manager Mike Matheny and hitting coaches John Mabry and Bill Mueller needed to be let go. However, the Cardinals beat me to it, firing the 3 M’s shortly after last night’s sloppy and twice rain-delayed game against the Reds. Twitter almost exploded with the many tweets from Cardinals fans and bloggers in shock, disbelief, and finally happiness. Bench coach Mike Shildt has been named the interim manager, and a press conference to be held this morning will probably name the interim hitting coach.
Matheny’s firing was not an unprecedented move – Joe Torre got fired mid-season in 1995, although it this was the first time that it has happened with the DeWitt ownership group. You may also recall that some coaching changes occurred around the time of the All-Star break last year. The 3 M’s probably should have been fired after last year, in my opinion. Last week’s article at The Athletic by Mark Saxon and the resulting media attention and fan outcry was probably the last straw, although Matheny’s lack of communication with Dexter Fowler didn’t help his cause either. Mike lost control of his team and for someone who’s supposed to be a leader of men, that was very bad.
On a personal level, I feel bad for Matheny – being fired is a shock. I’ve been fired/downsized from positions before and I can empathize. However, like in the real world, if you’re not doing your job to the best of your ability, your employer has the right to fire you. Matheny had many chances to right the ship and he did not.
The fans were also tired of very bad baseball. A comparison could be made to the Cards’ teams of the 1970’s, who besides the stellar talents of Ted Simmons, Lou Brock and Bob Gibson, were not very good. You may have noticed that I haven’t posted any blog posts here in a while, and I didn’t even do a post with this weekend’s homestand highlights – I was that disinterested. It became painful to even watch the games on TV.
I and Cardinals Nation have many questions now. Who will be the new manager? Will the Cards bring up Stubby Clapp (now there’s a great baseball name!) from Memphis? Or will the ownership team hire someone outside the Cards’ system, like Joe Girardi? Or will they promote Jose Oquendo? And who will be the new hitting coach? Will the Cards bring up Mark Budaska from Memphis, or will they hire someone like Matt Holliday or Carlos Beltran? And how soon will this all get done? Hopefully, a timetable for all this will be presented at today’s press conference.
A new era is dawning for the Cardinals, starting with today’s 1:15 PM game against the Reds, who have done quite well since they fired their manager. Will the Cardinals put the Matheny era behind them and start playing great baseball again? Cardinals Nation certainly hopes so, and I do too. It’s time for the Cardinals to play the great baseball they’re known for and not the hot mess we’ve seen so far this season. There may yet be time to right the SS. Cardinals and steam full speed ahead to the playoffs, but that starts today.
Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!