The Giants announced the retirement of Mike Matheny today. As most of you know, he suffered from post-concussion syndrome, so he really did not have much of a choice. Nothing more than a journeyman catcher until he joined the Cardinals, he became known as one of the most solid defenders in baseball after arriving in St. Louis. He went on to win four gold gloves (three in St. Louis and one in SF) and provided immeasurable influence to a pitching staff that won four division titles in his five years as a Redbird. I’ve heard it said before, if Matheny would not have missed the division series against the Braves, who knows, maybe Ankiel would not have had his meltdown.
I really believe that we will see Matheny again. He probably stays around San Francisco this year as it is rumored that he will probably get paid anyway. After that I could see him possibly back with the Cardinal organization as I believe he still lives in St. Louis. I can definitely see him as a manager one day. Like I mentioned earlier, he was such a leader for the Cardinals pitching staff, especially after the death of Darryl Kile. He helped develop Yadier Molina who might be the best defensive catcher in the National League. Who knows, maybe one day he is back on the bench for the Cardinals, but this time as their manager.
The Pirates signed Tony Armas, a guy I was hoping the Cardinals might take a shot at. He will get $3.5 million this year with a $5 million mutual option for 2008. His numbers do not reflect his stuff, which can be very good at times. He made 30 starts last season and 65 over the last three.
Viva El Birdos has an interesting article on who was most clutch on the Cardinals in 2006. Pujols being number one was not surprising, who came in second certainly is.
I have neglected to give credit to my wife for the picture at the top of the page. That’s it for now, try and stay warm.