(Busch Stadium) St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny has a Twitter account, but he likely isn’t spending much time on social media these days. After a 12-13 start–in particular with just one win combined against the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Washington Nationals, he’s not getting caught up in the firestorm and hopes that his players also avoid the trap.

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“It’s just something that was taught to me a long time ago,” explained Matheny before Monday’s game. “I had a veteran player catch me when I was a young player and I had a good game–all we had was the paper at that point and he saw me reading it. He grabbed it and gave me a tongue lashing like I’d never had, if he ever sees me doing that again what he was going to do. He said you’re never doing as good as they say you are when you’re doing good and the opposite when you’re struggling.

“The problem is that they’ll get on social media and see some fun things or interesting things when they’re going well and then they naturally gravitate towards it when they’re struggling. Man, it’s a dangerous routine to get into. The answer is trust what you see. You know when you’re doing your job, you don’t need somebody else to tell ya. And you know when you’re not, you don’t need anybody to tell you then either. Trust the fact that we’re going to be honest evaluators around here and we’ve got their best in mind.”

MLB: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis CardinalsIt’s not just younger players that may be tempted or give in to the proverbial rabbit ears as earlier this season even Adam Wainwright responded to some critics on social media.

“There’s some angry people out there that sometimes just want to get something off their chest,” continued Matheny. “It does not help our guys. It can’t. We can tell them that–we can’t monitor it and babysit everything they’re doing online, but continue to help them sort through and start doing some things that are going to help you get better and help you be consistent.”

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The Cardinals lead the Major Leagues with 143 runs scored. They’ve also committed the most errors with 24 miscues already on the season. That’s just a pair of examples as to the cause for optimism and at the same time frustration of the season thus far.

“We got a long way to go,” pointed out Matheny. “You break it down into the pieces–what we’re doing well, what we need to improve on and I think we’ve seen enough of the really good pieces to be excited about what this club has. Plenty of room to improve on a lot of areas–a lot of things that I think are naturally going to improve on.

“It’s just staying the course. Same old answer when you lose a few games in a row, everybody wants to make a bigger deal than what it is–same thing when you win a few in a row. You’ve just got to keep going about your business, keep figuring out how to get better, and overall, I think our team is doing a nice job of trying to make those adjustments.”

PHAM CLOSE TO ASSIGNMENT

–Tommy Pham took part in batting practice on the field Monday and if there are no setbacks, he is likely to begin a rehab assignment on Wednesday. Pham has missed 24 games since suffering a left oblique strain on Opening Day, April 4th.

photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

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