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Cardinals extend Matheny's contract through 2017

In two years at helm, manager has guided St. Louis to NLCS, World Series

Citing the on-field success manager Mike Matheny has helped provide the Cardinals in his two seasons and the continuity he has brought the team since his playing days, the Cards announced on Wednesday that they have signed him to a three-year contract extension.

With Matheny already under contract for next season, this new deal keeps him in a Cardinals uniform through 2017.

"I've always taken the position that the best way to operate a franchise and maintain continuity is to maintain the core personnel responsible for our success," Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said at a news conference at Busch Stadium. "Whether it's on-field, front office, elsewhere, we've tried to do that through the years and this is another example of that."

Matheny was joined at the dais by DeWitt and general manager John Mozeliak, who also announced Wednesday that veteran ace Chris Carpenter is retiring. The right-hander has pitched just three times in the last two years because of injuries, but Mozeliak said Wednesday that the team hopes Carpenter will remain with the franchise in some capacity.

Five of Matheny's 13 big league seasons came in St. Louis, where he won three of his four Gold Gloves. When Tony La Russa retired following the 2011 season, Matheny took over and led the Cards to the National League Championship Series in his first year.

"You come in and try to do your job and want to try to represent the organization as a whole the best you can," Matheny said. "Fortunately, we've had a group of guys who've played extremely well in the two years I've been here. … I just can't imagine doing anything that I enjoy more than what I'm doing right now."

In his second season, Matheny helped lead the Cardinals to the 2013 World Series, where they fell to the Red Sox in six games. Considering the success in such a short period of time and the smooth transition, Mozeliak said he was eager to take care of the extension sooner rather than later.

"I just didn't want this to get into late Spring Training and being asked about it all the time," Mozeliak said. "I just think it would have ended up being a distraction. Our hope was trying to resolve this quickly, feeling he was deserving of this."

The 43-year-old Matheny, who finished fifth in the 2012 NL Manager of the Year Award voting and fourth this season, has a career managerial record of 185-139.

"The opportunity that I've been given is sometimes hard for me to get my head around," he said. "I'm very grateful, and I think that's an extreme understatement."

Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.
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