Meet the Cubs Managerial Candidates: Pete Mackanin
It appears at the moment that the Cubs are focused on three names to take over for Q-Ball, shockingly three names that the Red Sox are also interested in.
Let's do a little vetting starting with Pete Mackanin.
Mackanin (pronounced muh-CAN-in) started his playing career with the Texas Rangers, well technically the Washington Senators before they moved. A 4th round pick in 1969 out of Brother Rice Catholic High School in Chicago. He ended up playing for four organziations as a utility infielder and accumulating a 226/263/339 career slash line. He played under such notables as Whitey Herzog, Billy Martin, Gene Mauch, Bobby Cox and Dallas Green, among others. He then went into minor league coaching as so many players do, his first gig with the Peoria Chiefs in 1985 leading them to the Finals twice, but losing. I can't find anything for 1987 (update - appears he was the minor league coordinator for the Cubs that season), but by 1988 he got bumped to Iowa for two more seasons before moving on to the Reds organization. Ultimately he managed 9 winning seasons out of 14, making the playoffs 7 of those times and taking the league championship twice while in the minors. He also led a Venezuelan team to the 1989 Caribbean World Series championship and won.
He earned his first major league gig as third base coach of the 1997 Montreal Expos under Felipe Alou. By 2001 he was back in the minors with the Pittsburgh Pirates, getting his first crack at managing the big league club in 2005 when the Pirates fired Lloyd McClendon. The Pirates went 12-14 to finish the season and Jim Tracy was hired for 2006. He took the demotion in stride and managed their Gulf Coast League in 2006 before moving on to a new organization.
He joined the Reds as an advance scout that year and then took over for for Jerry Narron after the team went 31-51 in 2007. The Reds went 41-39 the rest of the way and then hired Dusty Baker for 2008. He served as pro socut for the Yankees in 2008 and then joined the Phillies coaching staff in 2009 as their bench coach.
He said he "loved" statistical analysis, a tool he said he used extensively as a scout, and when asked if he considered himself a "players' manager" or a "disciplinarian," the stock descriptions thrown out about a job too complicated to define by such broad terms, he answered, "Both."
By all accounts, Mackanin has been a steady hand. Known for his intelligence and dry sense of humor...
"I think you have to have an element of both sides of that in order to be a good motivator," he said. "I think there's a juggling act that's involved in that, where you have to have enough discipline but at the same time let the players play easy. You don't want them tense.
(From Ben Cherington): "He can see the game from different perspectives, which I think is a benefit. He's got, as you saw, a good way about him, a good sense of humor, mature, and a good reputation from every clubhouse that he has been a part of.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.