Fire Mike Matheny Movement Picks Up Steam
After a 20-11 start that saw his team take a commanding early lead on the NL Central Division, Mike Matheny’s Cardinals came crashing back to Earth in the latter part of May. They currently stand at 28-27, three games behind Cincinnati and tied with…the Pirates.
Now, as you might imagine, this sort of downfall might inspire at least one crazy obsessed crank out there in Goofball Land to start one of those “fire the coach” campaigns.
But you’d be wrong. That’s because the Fire Mike Matheny movement was already well underway – long before he ever managed a single game. Don’t believe me? Then check out firematheny.com, which apparently took great umbrage with Matheny’s 16-9-2 record during his first spring training.
What the site’s argument lacks in rationality (and appearance) it makes up for in conciseness. We already knew Matheny was handsome and charming, as previously noted here and also here. But what we didn’t know is that he was incompetent, which as far as we can tell is based primarily on his proclivity for batting the pitcher ninth.
Maybe Matheny could extend the old Tony La Russa trick and try batting the pitcher seventh in order to jumpstart the Cardinals nonexistent offense. Think about it: What’s better than two leadoff hitters? That’s right, three! In fact, just bat the pitcher first and then you have eight leadoff hitters, which is the ideal scenario. But I digress…
The Fire Matheny site is accompanied by a Twitter account, @FireMatheny, which is full of legitimate arguments against Matheny’s managing, like:
We here at JSF are going to assume this so-called Fire Matheny movement is a joke (we hope). Nobody would seriously want to fire his rookie manager in spring training. Maybe George Steinbrenner. But that’s it.
Of course, Matheny is far from alone in this area. Former Fighting Illini football coach Ron Zook was the inspiration for the grandfather of all “fire the coach” sites – the now defunct fireronzook.com – when he was a Florida Gator.
The Zooker might also be a pioneer with regard to inspiring such campaigns with multiple teams. Another Fire Ron Zook site popped up during his time in Champaign. In order to not confuse its readers, the site’s header displayed the words “Illinois Edition” in big bold letters. It’s pretty bad when the site demanding you be fired has to clarify from which team it’s talking about. But if you’ve ever seen the man go for two with his team up 13-0 in the first quarter and later lose the game by one point, you understand.
Sometimes though, the “fire the coach” campaign can backfire, as with this Facebook page dedicated to Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith. After a very successful first season (final game notwithstanding), it now inspires more hatred for its creator than the once-embattled coach.
Let’s hope at the end of one season we can say the same for the Fire Mike Matheny movement.