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The Kansas City Royals will be looking for a new manager ahead of the 2023 season.
Kansas City general manager and executive vice president J.J. Picollo announced the team will not bring back manager Mike Matheny or pitching coach Cal Eldred after finishing in last place in the American League Central at 65-97.
The Royals hired Matheny ahead of the 2020 season after Ned Yost, who led them to the 2015 World Series crown, retired. The team had not enjoyed a winning season since that championship, so expectations were not exactly sky-high at the start of the new manager’s tenure.
Yet he didn’t lead a turnaround, going 26-34 during his first season, which was shortened because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 74-88 in his second. Things went even worse in his third, which is why the franchise is now looking elsewhere after Wednesday’s decision.
Matheny was a four-time Gold Glover during his 13-year career as a catcher, but he is likely best known among baseball fans from his time as the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.
He led the Cardinals from 2012 until they fired him after 93 games in the 2018 campaign, finishing 591-474 with four postseason appearances. However, things trended in the wrong direction during his time as manager for St. Louis considering the team won the World Series the year before he took over the role.
The Cardinals reached three straight National League Championship Series during his first three years as manager and advanced to the World Series once in that span, losing to the Boston Red Sox in 2013.
They then missed the playoffs in three straight seasons for the first time since 1997-99, prompting the front office to fire him in the middle of that third campaign.
Matheny never enjoyed the early success from his St. Louis tenure with Kansas City and will now be looking for a new job after he was fired.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan suggested it was the “first move in what’s expected to be a giant managerial carousel this winter,” so he likely won’t be the only one in that position this offseason.
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