I wonder if Mike Matheny considers himself a master psychologist…and father figure.
It could explain why he doesn’t always play the statistical matchups. His fatherly gut tells him "my son really needs to learn a lesson". A spanking. Think Pham, Tavares, Grichuk. By constant demotions, could he simply be trying to build their psychological character and moral muscle-fiber?
Perhaps Matheny thinks of himself as a papa. A dad. A father figure. And these are his boys. It can explain the fierce loyalty of the older players who "have earned their right as eldest sons". It can also explain the "teaching lessons" to the younger "children", lest they become spolied: "Spare the rod, spoil the child".
I like Mike Matheny and suspect he's a great dad who "forges men like iron tested in fire."
Though a fatherly type of love -and immediate discipline- can be an asset, the skills to be manager, I believe, require more than a loving, disciplining father figure. Without proper balance, "you gotta love your guys" can also mean a substantial lack of objectivity. In other words, playing favorties. All humans do it. And probably all coaches, assuming they are human.