Pete Mackanin's winning percentage isn't much better than that of Ryne Sandberg, but his managerial style has opened the eyes of the Phillies transitioning front office enough to give him a contract for the 2016 season, removing the interim tag from his title. Under Mackanin, the Phillies are 30-46 (.395), while they were 26-49 (.347) under Sandberg this season.
The big difference in the team is in how Mackanin has been able to relate to his players. Sandberg was considered non-communicative, while Mackanin has become known for reaching out to his players and is even fluent in Spanish, allowing him to speak to many players in their native tongue. While Mackanin has come to be known as a player's manager, he isn't afraid to issue discipline when needed. On Sunday, he benched center fielder Odubel Herrera for what he termed "pouting" after Herrera popped-out in a game against the Braves.
Sandberg stepped down as manager back on June 26th, opening the door for Mackanin, who had served as Sandberg's third base coach, to step into his third stint as an interim manager. Mackanin had also served on an interim basis with the Pirates in 2005 and the Reds in 2007. Prior to that, he was a coach with the Montreal Expos from 1997-2000 and the Pirates from 2003-2005. This is Mackanin's first chance to manage without the interim tag.
Soon-to-be team president, Andy MacPhail issued a statement on the hiring, stating: "The Phillies are pleased that Pete has accepted the position of manager for the 2016 season. We believe that Pete is the best fit for the role. Since assuming the interim manager position in June, Pete has developed an excellent rapport with our players and has also connected well with the media and our fans. Equally as important is his eagerness to take on the challenge of rebuilding the team and further developing our players. We look forward to his contributions."
Mackanin played for the Phillies, Expos and Twins during his major league career. He was initially drafted by the Washington Senators in 1969. Mackanin rejoined the Phillies organization as a bench coach for Charlie Manuel from 2009 through 2012. He spent the 2013 season as a scout for the Yankees before returning to serve as the third base coach for the Phillies in 2014 under Sandberg.
There was no immediate announcement on which current Phillies coaches may be retained for the 2016 season.