St. Louis Cardinals to Hire Mike Matheny as Tony La Russa’s Replacement

The St. Louis Cardinals hired former catcher Mike Matheny to succeed Tony La Russa, who retired as manager two weeks ago after guiding the franchise to its 11th World Series championship.

Of the six candidates the Cardinals interviewed, only Matheny, 41, had no previous managerial or coaching experience in Major League Baseball or in the minor leagues. He’ll be introduced at a news conference today in St. Louis, the team said on its website.

Matheny, who played with the Cardinals from 2000-2004 during a 13-year MLB career, spent this past season as a special assistant to General Manager John Mozeliak and has also worked as a catching instructor for the organization. The Cardinals’ three previous managers: La Russa, Joe Torre and Whitey Herzog, all took a team to the postseason before coming to St. Louis.

The last Cardinals manager without previous experience was Ken Boyer, who spent 11 years as a third baseman in St. Louis, and then guided the team to a 166-190 record from 1978-80.

La Russa, who had the third-most wins as a major league manager, retired Oct. 31, three days after the Cardinals won the World Series with a Game 7 victory over the Texas Rangers.

Among those who Matheny beat out for the job are former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who won two World Series titles in Boston, and Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo.

Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg, who managed in the minor leagues for the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies, was also interviewed along with Joe McEwing and Chris Maloney. McEwing has been coaching in the minors for the Chicago White Sox organization, while Maloney spent the past five seasons managing the Cardinals’ Triple-A team.

Matheny won three of his four Gold Glove awards for defense with the Cardinals. A career .239 hitter, he retired as a player in 2006 while he was with the San Francisco Giants because of the effects of a concussion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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