Tracy Ringolsby

Matheny deserves more recognition

Often absent from Manager of the Year talk, Cards skipper's record speaks for itself

Matheny deserves more recognition

The St. Louis Cardinals have clinched their fourth postseason appearance in Mike Matheny's four years as manager, and are also in position to win the National League Central for the third year in a row.

The Cardinals have managed to stay atop a division that is often referred to as the best in baseball even though rotation ace Adam Wainwright has been on the disabled list for most of the season. Injuries have also limited left fielder Matt Holliday, center fielder Jon Jay and first baseman Matt Adams to fewer than 70 starts each.

For some reason, however, Matheny seems to be under the radar in terms of recognition for a job well done.

• 2015 regular-season standings

Listen to the talk about the NL Manager of the Year Award and it's Terry Collins of the Mets, Joe Maddon of the Cubs and Clint Hurdle of the Pirates who are the focal point of the conversations. Matheny is seemingly an afterthought -- again.

Yes, the Mets are on the verge of clinching the NL East over a Washington Nationals team that was the preseason favorite to dominate the NL. The Cubs are the feel-good story, having rebounded from five consecutive fifth-place finishes to clinch the second NL Wild Card spot on Friday night. And the Pirates are a postseason team for the third year in a row after a stretch of 20 consecutive losing seasons.

It is St. Louis, however, that sits atop the NL Central with the best record in baseball, ahead of the Pirates, who have the second-best record in baseball, and the Cubs, who share the third-best record in the big leagues with the AL Central champion Kansas City Royals.

For all the Cardinals' success, Matheny seems the forgotten manager. It's nothing new, however.

In guiding the Cardinals to the postseason each of the last three seasons Matheny finished fifth in the NL Manager of the Year voting in 2012, receiving one third-place vote. He finished fourth each of the last two seasons.

Matheny went into Saturday with a .581 career managerial winning percentage (372-268), eighth best among the men who spent the bulk of their managerial career after formation of Major League Baseball in 1901.

The seven men ahead of him are all in the Hall of Fame -- Joe McCarthy (.615), Billy Southworth (.597), Frank Chance (.593), John McGraw (.586), Al Lopez (.584), Earl Weaver (.583) and Mickey Cochrane (.582).

Among current managers, Joe Girardi of the Yankees (.559), who has the second-best winning percentage, ranks 16th among managers since 1901, and Don Mattingly of the Dodgers (.551) is third currently and 25th overall.

Century mark

The Cardinals go into Saturday three victories shy of becoming the 93rd team in the World Series era to win 100 games. Winning 100 regular-season games, however, comes with no postseason guarantee, particularly since the advent of divisional play in 1969.

Excluding the 106-win 1904 New York Giants -- because there was no World Series that year -- 35 teams with at least 100 victories went on to win a World Series championship. Since 1969, there have been 46 teams to win at least 100 games, only 10 of which won a World Series. And two of those were in the first two years of the LCS -- the Mets in 1969 and Orioles in 1970.

Mets win 1969 World Series

There were six matchups of 100-game winners, including the 1969 Mets knocking off the Orioles, and the 1970 Orioles beat the Reds.

There have been eight teams to win 100 or more regular-season games that failed to advance to the postseason, but only two since 1969 -- the Giants, who won 103 games in 1993, prompting the addition of the Division Series in 1995, and the 1980 Orioles.

The six other 100-game winners who were left out of the postseason were the 1942 Dodgers, 1909 Cubs, 1954 Yankees, 1962 Dodgers, 1961 Tigers and 1915 Tigers. The 1962 Dodgers lost a best-of-three playoff for the NL championship to the Giants.

The 1906 Cubs and 2001 Mariners share the regular-season record of 116 wins, but neither won a World Series championship. The Cubs lost to 1906 White Sox, who won 93 regular-season games. The Mariners were eliminated by the Yankees, who won 95 regular-season games, in five games in the best-of-seven ALCS. The Yankees then lost the World Series in seven games to the D-backs.

There have been 12 teams with 100 wins that lost in the LCS, and 10 that lost in a Division Series.

The Yankees have won 100 games in a record 19 seasons, during which they have 12 world championships. The Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland A's have won 100 games 10 times, resulting in four world championships. The Cardinals have won 100 games an NL-best eight times, winning four World Series.

Seven teams have never won 100 games in a regular-season -- Toronto, Miami, Colorado, Tampa Bay, Washington/Texas, Montreal/Washington and Seattle/Milwaukee.

Happy anniversary

It was 95 years ago Monday that a federal grand jury indicted eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox for gambling on the 1918 World Series, which led to MLB creating the office of Commissioner.

It was 20 years ago Monday that Montreal reliever Greg Harris became the first pitcher to pitch both right-handed and left-handed in the same game. Harris got groundouts from Reggie Sanders to open the inning and Bret Boone to end it. In between, facing left-handed hitters, he walked Hal Morris, and got Eddie Taubensee on a ground out. It was the 702nd appearance of the Harris' 703 career appearances


The Cubs have not won a World Series since back-to-back titles in 1907-08, but they have qualified for the postseason for the 17th time and the seventh time in 33 years. They are 1-6 in postseason series in the last 33 years, winning the 2003 NL Division Series against the Braves in five games, but then losing to the Marlins in a seven-game NLCS. They are 9-22 in 31 games during their six most recent postseasons.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.