The Cardinals have added former utility player John Mabry to their major league coaching staff, naming him the assistant hitting coach to replace the promoted Mike Aldrete.
I like Mabry. In much the same way I like manager Mike Matheny. He's a popular former Cardinal who is known as a big time overachiever. But, like Mabry, he has absolutely no experience as a full-time professional coach.
Someone has to take a chance on everyone who makes it to the ranks of major league coaches. But do the Cardinals have to try to break in so many coaching virgins at once? Half the staff is comprised of guys who either are completely new to coaching or who are trying to adapt to a job that they've never done before.
Matheny and Mabry are both 41 and only a few years removed from being players. While they're respected by the Cardinals players, they aren't far enough past their playing days in my opinion. It's one thing to like someone and to be pals with them. But that might change fast when the person in question starts telling you how to do your job. Especially when there are millions of dollars on the line.
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I'm rooting for Mabry -- just like I am rooting for Matheny. But I can't deny that I am more than a little afraid to watch.