St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Cardinals introduced former catcher Mike Matheny as their new manager at a Monday press conference.
La Russa had been the Cardinals skipper since 1996 and served 33 years as a manager in the majors, finishing with the third-most wins in major league history.
"Today we begin a new chapter in the history of the St. Louis Cardinals and trust the managerial duties to Mike Matheny," general manager John Mozeliak said. "His leadership, his passion, his intelligence and his work ethic, all of these traits will add to his success at the major league level."
Matheny played in the majors for Milwaukee, Toronto, St. Louis and San Francisco from 1994 through the 2006 season. A four-time Gold Glove winner, he was a career .239 hitter with 67 home runs and 443 RBI in 1,305 games.
He has no prior managing experience, but had been a minor league instructor with the Cardinals.
"I can't tell [Cardinals fans] how excited I am about this opportunity," Matheny said. "I know there is a high level of expectation, a high level of what has been known as the Cardinal way, and I plan to carry through with it."
The Cardinals chose Matheny after also interviewing a host of candidates that included current third base coach Jose Oquendo, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona and Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg.