The St. Louis Cardinals have found their new head coach and he is a former Cardinal himself.
According to MLB's official Twitter page, The St. Louis Cardinals are going to officially unveil former catcher Mike Matheny as manager on Monday at Busch Stadium. A press conference is scheduled for Monday at 12 p.m., EST at Busch Stadium.
Matheny, 41, a former Cardinals catcher, emerged as the front-runner to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of long-time manager Tony La Russa. La Russa made the decision to walk away from the game just a few days after the Cardinals won their 11th World Series trophy in October, the first manager in history to do so after winning the title.
Matheny played for the Cardinals from 2000-2004 and won three of his four career Gold Glove Awards while with the team. He reportedly still has close ties with several players and coaches on the team, and, while he has no managerial experience, he has served as an advisor to the Cardinals organization in the past.
Matheny played for four teams over his 13-year career-the Milwaukee Brewers, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants. His career blossomed after he signed a one-year free-agent deal to be the backup catcher in St. Louis. A career .239 hitter, Matheny was also a very good defensive catcher at the tail-end of his career. However, his career was cut short on Feb. 1, 2007, when Matheny announced his retirement due to his on-going symptoms of post-concussion syndrome.
Besides Matheny, the Cardinals also considered Terry Francona, Ryne Sandberg, Joe McEwing, Chris Maloney, and current Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo for the managerial position. The move to hire Matheny might open the door for former Boston Red Sox manager Francona, the person on the aforementioned list with the most big-league managerial experience, to be more heavily considered for the Chicago Cubs skipper, which, if it becomes reality, would reunite him with former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein.