Major League Baseball will have one more managerial opening for 2018. The Philadelphia Phillies, in a somewhat surprising move, announced Friday that they won’t be bringing back skipper Pete Mackanin for 2018.
Mackanin, who was hired by the Phillies midway through the 2015 season, had a 172-237 record at the helm. But that came as the Phillies entered a massive rebuild, trading away veterans and depending on young talent that wasn’t ready to compete with the likes of the New York Mets and Washington Nationals in the NL East.
It’s a curious move because the Phillies gave Mackanin a contract extension through 2018 back in May. But we know those votes of confidence for coaches don’t always work out. The Phillies are 64-95 entering play Friday. But they’re 35-37 since the All-Star break, which is at least encouraging for Phillies fans.
At the time of the extension, general manager Matt Klentak said:
“Pete is the manager. There’s no time frame on that. This is not a temporary thing. Pete is the manager. And I have every hope and every confidence that as we turn this around and the wins start coming, he’s going to be right here.”
According to the Phillies’ announcement, Mackanin will stay on as a special assistant to Klentak, which makes sense since they’ll be paying him:
#Phillies announce Pete Mackanin will not manage club in '18.
Mackanin has agreed to an extension to serve as Special Assistant to the GM. pic.twitter.com/RP2mCnRIIR
— Phillies (@Phillies) September 29, 2017
Mackanin, 66, has been with the Phillies in various positions since 2009. He was a coach on Charlie Manuel’s staff. He was on Ryne Sandberg’s staff too, then took over for Sandberg when he quit mid-season.
The Detroit Tigers have already announced that Brad Ausmus won’t be back as their manager in 2018. It’s been reported that Terry Collins of the New York Mets will retire after the 2017 season. The Atlanta Braves are another team that could be in for a managerial change after the season.
It’s beginning to look like MLB’s version of “Black Monday” may not be very busy.
According to CSN Philly, a few of the candidates to get the Phillies manager job include Ausmus, Phillies coach Juan Samuel, current White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing and Phillies Triple-A manager Dusty Wathan.
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