Photo: John Bazemore/AP

The St. Louis Cardinals, who were 38-43 at home last season, are 6-0 at home for spring training. (That’s swell. Almost means as much as those 81 games.) Manager Mike Matheny was asked a light question about the team’s preseason performance, and I think he tried to be funny and peck at the Cubs?

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch seemed to understand what Matheny was trying to say. Here’s the joke:

So when the media asked about the 6-0 spring record and whether this was practice to win at home, Matheny was ready.

“I think we have T-shirts somewhere that say something about winning at home,” Matheny said in his office after the win.

The “T-shirts” part is comprehensible. Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs do those fun team-bonding activities and have wacky T-shirts, like “Try Not To Suck,” which the Cardinals briefly banned from their stadium, presumably because they couldn’t follow the rule. All of the words in Matheny’s quip are real, but together, they make about as much sense as his lineup decisions.

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After reading Goold’s article a few times, without distractions, I still don’t understand Matheny’s joke beyond, “The Cubs ... shirt.” Is that it? Were my expectations too high? The article ends with the reporter trying to get Matheny to clarify his quote. Instead, the manager chose to mimic his in-game behavior by smirking and not actually doing anything:

I pointed out to Matheny that it was a double poke and gave him a chance to walk back either prongs of it. The media was there, obviously, but the Cubs — maybe he didn’t mean the them. He’s got a few players selling T-shirts this season, so maybe it was just a statement on a T-shirt culture.

He just grinned.

Mike Matheny: The second coming of Andy Kaufman, or a moron?

[St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

H/t to @thebrunomv