New Cardinals manager Mike Matheny lost his dreamhouse, faces lawsuit

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As it turns out, Mike Matheny needed the Cardinals managerial job a lot more than Terry Francona did.

St. Louis’s new hire lost his 17-room house in Missouri and may yet owe more than $4 million due to bad real estate deals, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Saturday.

Jack Wagman presents a very well researched and detailed account of how Matheny and his business partners suffered during the real estate downturn, costing Matheny both of his homes. Matheny currently lists his in-laws’ home as his address.

Matheny is expected to be one of the game’s lowest-paid managers, at something less than $750,000 annually, after replacing Tony La Russa, so he may remain in debt for the foreseeable future, depending on how the lawsuit goes. The Cardinals, though, knew all about these dealing when they hired him and still believed he was the right man for the job.

As for Matheny’s home, it’s currently listed online with a $2 million asking price. It has seven bedrooms, 10 baths, a practice baseball field and an indoor batting cage on 11 acres.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?