A World Series appearance in Mike Matheny's second season as a manager was enough for the St. Louis Cardinals to know that he was there man for the foreseeable future.
The two sides agreed on a three-year contract extension on Wednesday that will keep the 43-year-old in St. Louis' dugout until at least 2017, per the team's official Twitter feed:
Matheny, who played five seasons with the Cardinals as a player, made clear his elation regarding his current job:
"I do love what I do, but to do it here in a place I call home is extremely special... I'm very grateful." - Mike Matheny— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) November 20, 2013
Matheny joined the Cardinals in November of 2011 following the team's World Series title a few weeks earlier. Burdened with the unenviable task of not only replicating that success with superstar Albert Pujols gone to Los Angeles, but also with the job of filling legend Tony LaRussa's large shoes, Matheny has thrived.
In 2012, he took the Cardinals to within one game of the World Series, and this season, he led the team to 97 wins, an NL Central title and a spot in the Fall Classic before eventually falling to the Boston Red Sox.
Good move by the Cardinals?
He finished fifth in Manager of the Year voting in 2012, and fourth in 2013.
There have been some bumps along the way for Matheny. Most notably, his propensity to make a slow hook in the postseason hurt the Cardinals on multiple occasions.
Still, though, this is a really good, young manager who is still learning the job. His players respect him, prospects have developed rapidly underneath him and the fans in St. Louis adore him.
Matheny is a stoic leader who looks and feels and sounds like he was made for his current position.
The Cardinals—as clearly evidenced by the past two years—are in good hands for the future.