The KC Royals haven’t accomplished much under Mike Matheny. Named to succeed Ned Yost when the only manager other than Dick Howser to bring a World Series title to Kansas City retired after the 2019 season, Matheny was at the helm in 2021 when the club avoided 100 full-season losses for the first time since 2017.
That’s it. Blunt as it sounds, Matheny’s greatest contribution to the franchise is that he’s lost less frequently than Yost did in his final two years with the team.
To be fair, Matheny’s Royals improved a bit in 2020, but that season was 102 games short and little reason exists to believe KC would have finished with anything but a losing record had the campaign not ben pandemic-truncated.
Might the KC Royals fire Mike Matheny? If so, who might take his place?
Now, and despite incrementally-improved play—the Royals scratched their way to a .500 record with three straight road series wins in the 16 games immediately preceding Monday’s walk-off loss to Houston—perusal of digital media outlets reveals increasing suggestions that Matheny might be, or should be, on the hot seat.
Considering the organization’s historic hesitancy to remove managers during even those skippers’ worst of times (Tony Muser and Trey Hillman, for example, even though they were fired eventually), it’s unlikely the collective sentiment of principal owner John Sherman, President of Baseball Operations Dayton Moore, and General Manager J.J. Picollo is to replace Matheny this season.
But what if they did decide to make a change? Who might they choose to succeed Matheny?
Here are some possibilities. Not all of them, mind you, but some.