Sports

Cardinals Abruptly Fire Manager Mike Matheny

Cardinals Abruptly Fire Manager Mike Matheny

The Cardinals on Saturday fired manager Mike Matheny and replaced him on an interim basis with bench coach Mike Shildt.

Matheny, who was dismissed Saturday in his seventh season with the club, told the newspaper that discussions about his future began in 2017, as the Cardinals missed the playoffs for the second straight season after reaching the postseason in each of Matheny's first four years as manager.

The Cardinals made the playoffs in Matheny's first four seasons before missing the past two postseasons.

Hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller have also been let go.

It's unclear whether this played even a small role in Matheny's dismissal, but it does raise further questions about his performance as manager, at the very least.

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A press conference is scheduled for 11 am Sunday in St. Louis.

"Mike Matheny has served the St. Louis Cardinals organization with tremendous dedication and pride and I am thankful for his service to the Cardinals over the past six and a half seasons", Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement.

"I would like to thank Mike for his exceptional commitment and devotion to the Cardinals organisation, including many fond memories of our years working together". The Cardinals have underperformed on offence and struggled in recent weeks amid reports of locker room discontent, primarily between struggling outfielder Dexter Fowler and Matheny.

Since then, the squad has cooled significantly, and has been up and down this season. The moves were announced after the Cards lost to the Reds at home. Tony La Russa took over the following year, and held the job through the 2011 season when he retired and Matheny took over.

Girardi is similar to Matheny in that he was a catcher for the team he later managed.