Found March 16, 2012 on Players View:

Oh St. Louis, I have good news, bad news and awful news. The good news is: St. Louis will be raising the World Championship banner over Busch Stadium Opening Day. The Bad News is: you’re going to be raising it without Tony La Russa and Albert Pujols.

The awful news: Rafael Furcal is your shortstop for the next two seasons. We’ll get into how bad he is later, but really it’s an era of change in St. Louis. The greatest first baseman in team, if not baseball, history has headed for the coast and left you with little in the way of able bodied replacements.

Say what you will about Tony La Russa, and believe me I have, but the man is a winner (minus Chicago). He took St. Louis to three World Series, won two. I think he makes ridiculous coaching decisions, but he wins and that’s what matters. So naturally, John Mozeliak and the Cardinals hierarchy decided to hire former catcher, never manager Mike Matheny.

Mike Matheny has never managed and has only been retired for five seasons. This is one of those moves that made experts scratch their heads. To go from one of the most successful managers in baseball history to Mike Matheny is a huge leap or fall whichever way you look at it.

Was there any doubt in Pujols’ mind that he needed that strong, veteran managerial presence to trust in the clubhouse? To go from La Russa to Mike Scioscia is a lot easier than the alternative with Matheny.

Please click the link to read the rest of the story that features positional breakdowns and videos.

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