Phillies Extend Pete Mackanin Through 2016

News from the Phillies:

This is not particularly surprising. The team played much better under Pete Mackanin‘s leadership than they did under Ryne Sandberg. Players responded to him better and seemed to enjoy playing for him.

The length of the contract is crucial as well. Mackanin has never been a full-time manager; all three times he’s managed, he’s taken over for a manager who was fired or quit (Lloyd McClendon and Jerry Narron previously). He’ll have a full year to prove his chops as a manager as opposed to a stopgap. The Phillies will hopefully be ready to compete in 2017. If the new front office likes the way he handles the team, then they’ll either pick up that option or extend him again. If Mackanin stumbles, then the Phillies are under no obligation to keep him around beyond next season.

Mackanin has shown some tactical issues, as explained here recently. His non-application of Ken Giles, both in general and specifically when a road game is tied late, could prove to be a detriment if and when he handles a competitive Phillies team. He’s a fan of bunting, and he’s shown deference to veteran players at the expense of the team in initially refusing to pinch-hit for Ryan Howard against left-handed relievers. To his credit, Mackanin changed his mind, which is reason for optimism on the other issues.

This is a solid move for the Phillies and it ticks one of their major off-season tasks off the list. Incoming president Andy MacPhail will still need to find a general manager, as well as a president of baseball operations if he so chooses. The coming months will bring a lot of intrigue around the Phillies.

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9 comments

  1. Bob

    September 22, 2015 03:44 PM

    I hadn’t heard of the Phillies interviewing anyone else. Maybe it was done behind the scenes or maybe there was a market for Mackanin developing. I hope that due diligence was conducted, multiple candidates interviewed, information gleaned, and the result was that Mackanin was the best choice. I certainly hope that MacPhail thought good enough or did not conduct a far-reaching coaching search.

    I hope MacPhail conducted a comprehensive coaching search by interviewing a broad spectrum of candidates with different backgrounds and experiences. He might’ve gained some insight into the how managing has changed since he left the game and been presented with some new or dynamic ideas. I get the feeling this wasn’t done, though, otherwise we would’ve heard something about other candidates. Disappointing if true.

      • Bob

        September 22, 2015 04:19 PM

        That’s surprising to me that MacPhail puts such a value on managers that it doesn’t rate a little higher on the priority list.

      • Ryan

        September 22, 2015 10:45 PM

        It’s a stopgap manager at best right now. Give the rebuild another year or two to start to show some results, then you’ll have a much better pick of who you want to manage.

  2. Larry Bowa

    September 22, 2015 04:39 PM

    Kind of makes sense – there’s been so much change around the team, might as well keep Pete to provide a small sense of stability for the next couple years until the way forward becomes a bit more settled.

    • Michael Jack

      September 22, 2015 06:09 PM

      Agree Larry.
      I assume you will be back as bench coach in 2016.

  3. smittyboy

    September 22, 2015 06:14 PM

    While there appear to be merits to keeping Pete for the sake of “some” form of continuity considering his demeanor, success with media and younger players, does it also signal, perhaps, in the eyes of those who might interview for the GM job , that McPhail may have a heavier hand on the tiller than some more independent GM interviewees would like ???? Does this also take us back to a discussion of how are the analytics going to be put into play if Pete is still an adherent of doing things by the “baseball instinct book.” I am not attempting to rain on any parade, but rather to say – are there implications in this decision that may have something more to do with rewarding a “company man” who did do a good job (or did he just do a competent job when his predecessor was not fit for that job ) ??? Perhaps the ultimate answer is the length of Pete’s contract.

    • Eddie

      September 22, 2015 09:42 PM

      I think your last sentence nails it. They’re giving him a year, in what will be another noncontending season, but no more. The new GM won’t have to do a manager search as his first thing, but neither is he tied down if Mac isn’t to his liking.

      • adam

        September 22, 2015 10:31 PM

        I heard Ruben wanted to give him extrs options one last time before they showed him the door.

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