JUPITER, FL (BaseballStL) – Mike Matheny has a message for the rest of the National League. Expect a motivated bunch in St. Louis.
The pain of coming up one win short of a return trip to the World Series apparently didn’t sit too well with many Cardinals players this offseason. And Matheny has already noticed.
“I haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to what the experts are saying but its fun to listen to these guys talk,” Matheny said. “I don’t know exactly what happened this winter, but we had some guys come back with a serious edge. I guess maybe you get one game away from the World Series and you get that close, that could go in a lot of different directions, guys could still be complacent about, ‘hey we did this or that,’ but it’s like this team is more motivated then it’s ever been.
“It’s fun to watch. You take that kind of excitement and mix it with the talent that I know we have, and it could make for a fun season.”
The Cardinals, who held their first full-squad workout Friday at their spring training complex at Roger Dean Stadium, finished nine games behind the Central Division winning Cincinnati Reds last year but clinched the second Wild Card spot on the eve of the final day of the regular season.
After advancing to the NLCS and taking a 3-1 lead on the Giants, the Cardinals lost three consecutive games and were eliminated just one win short of the Fall Classic.
They hope for a different ending this time around.