Manager Tony La Russa stands on the field prior to Game Three of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. By Brendan Marks
ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 30: Manager Tony LaRussa of the St. Louis Cardinals excites the Busch Stadium crowd during his victory parade speech on October 30, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Szczepanski/Getty Images) By Ed Szczepanski
St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa looks over his lineup card in the ninth inning of the Colorado Rockies' 8-7 victory over the Cardinals in a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, July 7, 2010. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) By David Zalubowski
La Russa, who now works for Major League Baseball, was in town with umpire Ed Rapuano to discuss rules changes for the 2013 season with the Cardinals coaching staff.
“It was good seeing him, it always is,” Matheny said. “He always keeps his door open so I can get an opportunity to catch up with him and pick his brain.”
Among the rules changing this year is the elimination of pitchers faking a pickoff throw to third before looking or throwing the ball to first. The tactic, which rarely worked anyway, will now be considered a balk.
Matheny was asked about having to replace a legend in La Russa, who retired just days after leading the Cardinals to the 2011 World Series Championship.
“It’s a lot like these guys coming in as players, they don’t really need to set their bar on what something else has done in their position,” Matheny said. “Come in and do what you do. Be true to yourself. I’m more interested on these other guys and figure out how to take care of them the best you know how and with that comes the responsibility to learn more and to know.
“I’m still trying to put myself around people like Tony and others that can teach me more and the more I know the better I can serve these guys.”
La Russa will also be visiting with the Florida Marlins while in town.
The Cardinals and Marlins share the Roger Dean Stadium complex each spring.