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#pounditSaturday, June 19, 2021

Cardinals ace: Mike Matheny firing was ‘transformational moment’

If the St. Louis Cardinals were trying to send a message by firing manager Mike Matheny, it appears to have been received.

Longtime Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright even went so far as to compare Matheny’s firing to Albert Pujols’s decision to leave the organization after the 2011 season.

“It was like an organizational transformational moment,” Wainwright said, via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The wakeup call to the team arrived today.”

There are several reasons why the Matheny firing was so jarring. The Cardinals are notoriously reluctant to make major changes like this, especially in the middle of the season. Plus, Matheny was a game over .500 this season — certainly below the Cardinals’ usual standards, but not the sort of disastrous record that usually gets managers fired during the middle of a season. There have also been some clubhouse issues that raised eyebrows.

Ultimately, firing a manager in the middle of the season is a big deal, but it’s way more jarring than usual when it’s the Cardinals doing.

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