Matheny Found New Love For Baseball in Managing, Wants Another Chance

In a radio-exclusive conversation, Mike Matheny talked to our Tom Ackerman about regrets, memories and the new love he gained for managing a baseball team.

July 15, 2018 - 3:41 pm
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -  Sunday was the first time since 2011, Mike Matheny was not setting the lineup, giving pregame comments and fulfilling his role as manager of a St. Louis Cardinals. Instead, as the first pitch of the Cardinals vs Cincinnati Reds was happening, Matheny was in O'Fallon, at Catch 22 Miracle Field, a baseball field created with the help of Matheny's foundation.

Related story: Bill DeWitt Jr. Explains The Cardinals Decision to Fire Mike Matheny 

Matheny was with our Tom Ackerman for an exclusive radio interview, just more than 12 hours since he was informed of his termination, by Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and president of baseball operations John Mozeliak. You can hear Matheny and Ackerman's full conversation, which just aired during the KMOX Cardinals postgame show, here: 

Matheny: Tom, I'll start this the way it needs to be started. The majority of what's going around in my head is gratitude. I look at the fact that two times this organization stepped in and radically changed the course of my life, when my career was almost over ...  And then for Bill DeWitt and Mo and (general manager Mike Girsch) to stick their neck out like they did to give the most unlikely candidate an opportunity to come in here and then do a job that to be honest with you I never realized I could love something more than playing the game, it just comes back to being grateful for those opportunities and for people believing in me and giving me a chance."

Ackerman: How would you evaluate your success and failures in terms of on-field performance over the last six and a half years?

Matheny: There's objectives that come with the job description and those are to win and whatever we have to do to make that happen. And when that doesn't happen, managers certainly are part of that equation. I look at what we have this year and we have talent. And when we can't put talent together to the point where people are excelling and things are resulting how we want them to result, then that's not doing the job that I signed up to do. So I get it."

Ackerman: In terms of clubhouse of relations, do you have regrets there? 

Matheny: The idea of keeping a clubhouse or losing the clubhouse when you're always on a tight rope ... But that's truly one of the things that I enjoy doing the most is trying to get everybody into a positive place. But coming back to making sure that we're doing the right things for the right reasons, and when you do that you know there are going to be people that are unhappy at times and you just kind of try and work through it. 

Ackerman: Do you want to jump back into managing? 

Matheny: I'd love to. I don't know how soon that means, but yeah I truly enjoy it ...  I've already had a number of conversations with people within the game, other managers and coaches, and front office personnel and some really kind things said. So there may be that opportunity.