It’s only spring training, but that hasn’t stopped Mike Matheny from bringing a high level of energy and intensity to the KC Royals’ dugout.
Matheny’s promotion to skipper was met with mixed reviews. Plenty of Royals fans questioned the move and brought up how the former Cardinals manager’s tenure ended in St. Louis. That was a fair point. They weren’t sure if he had changed, anxious when thinking about him ushering the next era of Kansas City Royals. Again, fair.
Matheny’s press conferences to this point have been fantastic. He seems to be a man who’s taken responsibility for his past mistakes and thus far, he’s made a concerted effort to learn from them and be better. During Danny Duffy‘s excellent start on Saturday, the 49-year-old exerted quite the amount of high-level energy and excitement:
I already know what you’re going to say. Relax, it’s just spring training. Yet again, fair. But nevertheless, there’s never a bad time for your manager to be excited for and proud of his players. Duffy having a dominant four-inning, six-strikeout start is terrific. For Matheny to clearly be happy for him and amped up overall is the icing on the cake.
This will be something to keep an eye on as spring training progresses and the regular season arrives. No one is expecting this year’s team to win a ton of games, so how Matheny manages (likely) losing more games than he loses in 2020 will be interesting, to say the least. If he keeps this recent behavior up, though, the 2020 campaign will be filled with optimism.
Cautious optimism, but optimism nonetheless.