Mike Matheny right manager for Kansas City Royals – for now

Manager Mike Matheny #22 (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Manager Mike Matheny #22 (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals hired Mike Matheny to be the next manager of their organization. The hire wasn’t necessarily a popular one, but MLB.com says he could be the right man for the job.

After a decade in Kansas City that consisted of two World Series appearances and a World Series title, Ned Yost called it career and retired. That put the Kansas City Royals in a position they hadn’t been in in quite some time – They had to find a new manager.

There had been a lot of speculation basically from the minute Mike Matheny was brought in for another role that he’d be the eventual successor to Yost, and well – Here we are.

Will Leitch of MLB.com came up with a bold prediction for every team in this shortened 2020 season and for the Royals, he said it was that Mike Matheny was the right manager for them – for now, at least.

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"Matheny wore out his welcome in St. Louis after a while, but this is exactly the job that brings out his strengths (helping players deal with difficult exterior circumstances, making a good first impression) rather than his weaknesses (managing the bullpen, postseason decision-making)."

I’m one of the many who wasn’t crazy about the Royals hiring Matheny. While I don’t like the St. Louis Cardinals (mostly their fan base), that organization is a proud one and rarely do they look as lousy as they did through the back half of Matheny’s time there.

But, as Leitch mentioned, the Royals aren’t the Cardinals and aren’t anywhere close to being contenders anytime soon. That could be the difference for Matheny and might bring out his strengths more.

It wasn’t pretty for Matheny down the stretch in St. Louis. He took over in 2012 and things looked fine the first few years. He led the Cardinals to 100 wins in 2015, but they fizzled out in the Divisional Round against their hated foes the Cubs.

It was all downhill from there, as the Cardinals missed the postseason in each of the next three seasons. He was relieved midway through the 2018 season and joined the Royals organization shortly after.

This wasn’t a popular hire, but the Royals still have a few years to go before they’re ready for contention. If during those big games, Matheny is still around and makes the same mistakes he made before, then the Royals will hopefully ditch him and not keep him around and potentially waste their next wave of talent.

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What are your thoughts on Mike Matheny? Do you think he’s the right man for the job in Kansas City?