The 2013 World Series features one of the top managerial matchups in baseball with Boston’s John Farrell and Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny. Although both don’t have much experience with their current teams (Farrell is in his first season in Boston, Matheny is in his second year in St. Louis), they are both good managers and should be well prepared for the challenge they will be faced with for the next four to seven games.
In a series that is this evenly matched, each team could use an edge over the opponent. The question is, who has the advantage in this managerial showdown?
Before signing with Boston, Farrell managed the Toronto Blue Jays for two seasons. While with Toronto, Farrell experienced a moderate amount of success, posting an 81-81 record in his first season and 73-89 record in 2012. Farrell, according to this quote from the team's official Twitter account, is still a little shocked at the accomplishment in his first season.
Farrell on reaching #WorldSeries: "I don't know that's it's fully set in yet. This team has been so good at taking care of today."— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) October 21, 2013
Farrell has quickly rebuilt the Red Sox into one of the top teams in the American League. Just one year ago, the organization was seemingly falling apart under the watch of Bobby Valentine.
Farrell, who was the Red Sox pitching coach before leaving for the managerial spot in Toronto, has built the Red Sox offense into one of the best in baseball.
The Red Sox ranked second in baseball with a team batting average of .277 and also were second in team hits with 1,566. Boston also led all of baseball in multiple offensive categories including on-base percentage (.349), slugging percentage (.446) and RBI (819).
This increase in offensive production has provided the Red Sox with a huge edge over opponents all year.
Matheny, in his second season as the manager of the Cardinals, is the youngest manager in the MLB at the age of 41.
In his first year with St. Louis, Matheny led the Cardinals to the NLCS before the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants eliminated them.
Matheny has built an offensive lineup, but perhaps his best accomplishment while with the Cardinals has been the continued development with their pitching staff.
The Cardinals had three pitchers win 15-plus games this season in Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn and Shelby Miller.
The Cardinals’ pitching rotation hasn’t been the only part of the their staff that has been playing lights out this year. Closer Trevor Rosenthal, has done well, maintaining an ERA of 2.63 and Edward Mujica—who was the closer for most of the season before being demoted in late September—has a 2.78 ERA and accumulated 37 saves on just 41 save opportunities.
It appears to me as if Matheny has his club more prepared than Farrell does. Matheny has the team ready to win, and with the veteran presence throughout the team, the Cardinals have been in this position before.
"We're not out there to make friends. We're not out there to do anything except win.”- Mike Matheny, on his club’s demeanor— Cliff Godwin (@cgodwin23) October 21, 2013
Matheny has made deep playoff runs in both of his seasons as a manager, which gives him an edge over Farrell. After all, it is very hard to win a championship in your first season with a team, which Farrell will likely come to terms with in the near future.