Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Matheny Weary of 'Cardinal Way' Slogan

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Matheny Weary of 'Cardinal Way' Slogan

Article excerpt

CINCINNATI * In a conversation about the spirited rivalries within the NL Central division, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny detoured into a discussion of the so-called "Cardinal Way." And he believes the misused phrase is working against his team.

"I don't even want to use the term Cardinal Way anymore," Matheny said Thursday in the visiting-team's manager's office at Great American Ball Park.

Matheny said teams are "gunning" for the Cardinals at least in part because they resent the frequent mentions of the Cardinal Way and what the term conveys. Namely: a perceived expression of superiority over other baseball franchises.

Matheny clearly wants to put an end to it.

"It's a compliment to us that there's a lot of teams that are gunning for us," Matheny said. "And some of it's accidentally self imposed with some of this Cardinal Way stuff, and this 'holier than thou' (reputation) which is not what (we are). I think you've heard a whole lot less of that coming from inside of here because this is a topic that we've thought about a lot lately."

Indeed, the Cardinal Way has been misappropriated as coin of the realm in describing the Cardinals. The title actually reflects the organizational philosophy of teaching baseball fundamentals and instilling core principles on being a good teammate. It's about cultivating a winning environment. It is literally an instruction manual.

And it's definitely been blown out of proportion by proponents and critics alike. The Cardinal Way never has been about this organization smugly touting its system as being above all others. But that perception sticks.

"I don't even want to use (it) anymore," Matheny said. "That whole idea is really something to be inside this clubhouse and inside, more importantly, the minor league clubhouse. About what it's supposed to look like and not really for commercialization or for promotion. …

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