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Cards expect coaching staff to remain intact

ST. LOUIS -- Unless other organizations begin courting any of the Cardinals' coaches over the next few weeks, general manager John Mozeliak said he expects to retain manager Mike Matheny's full coaching staff for 2014. For those coaches whose contracts expired at the end of this season, the Cardinals will offer extensions.

"I think it's a great team that Mike has assembled," Mozeliak said. "I think those guys get along, they work well. Their dedication, their passion to their job is frankly just amazing to me. They're here early. They stay late. They really care about what they're doing. They're always looking to learn. And I think all of them contributed in a very positive way.

"Mike being a young manager, I think he relies on his staff more than some managers may. It's been a very impressive group to work with."

A complete rollover of coaches was not something Matheny had coming into his second managerial season. Mark McGwire's departure last fall initiated John Mabry's move to hitting coach and Bengie Molina's hire as an assistant. It became a staff, Matheny said, that exceeded his expectations in terms of preparation and work.

"For the most part, I couldn't have been any happier with how our staff worked together and the way they care," Matheny said. "I know it's something that Bengie Molina said at the end of our meeting here the other day. He just noted [that] it jumped off the page to him and it did to me as well all throughout the season, just how much our staff cares about the players and the guys individually, not as a group. You do fall into traps sometimes of having guys just come in and put their time in. I think that's not what we have here. I think that showed in the way the players trusted the coaches, and kind of the way the whole group came together."

With other teams still assembling Major League staffs -- and two clubs still searching for a manager -- the Cardinals could end up having one of their coaches plucked away later this month.

"I believe that part of my responsibility is to figure out what these guys have kind of in their sights, their goals, and to try and help them achieve those," Matheny said. "We have some very talented people around here. and I made it very clear that their roles are different. They've done quite a bit in preparing our club and preparing me and the way we adjust every day. They deserve to be recognized. They deserve an opportunity to achieve whatever high goals they've set for themselves."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB.
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