New Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny hasn't gone gray in his first professional managerial job yet, or at least as far as anyone can tell. The Cardinals have had plenty of ups and downs to start the 2012 campaign, and yet Matheny still has the Cardinals in first place in the NL Central.
Matheny has huge shoes to fill replacing Tony LaRussa, who finished his career with the third most wins in MLB history. Add to that the legacy of Whitey Herzog and Red Schoendienst, and the bar is set high. Each of those skippers had multiple appearances in the Fall Classic and brought at least one World Series Championship to St. Louis.
Despite all the expectations, Matheny is a cool customer, and that has reflected in the way his team has performed to start this season. Here are a three subtle ways Matheny has improved the Cardinals.