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.

Pete MackaninMackanin (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.

Some  quotables...

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.

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Peter Gammons tweets that one team that asked for permission to speak to Oquendo was denied and that he was next in line...doesn't sound like Sandberg has much of a shot.

at least he'll get good at interviews....

Mackanin interviews tomorrow, then Mike Maddux, no word on Sveum.

Sullivan says Sveum expected to be interviewed later, Francona may not get formal interview but "remains a possibility".

Sandy Alomar Jr. thrown into the mix by Muskat

After a little reading up on the candidates, I am convinced that Mike Maddux has the best chance of being hired among the three.

His brother was such a loser though!

Definitely not an "Ace"

it's not his fault he didn't have koyie hill as his personal catcher to speed up his fastball.

Nice job, ROB G! Like the "Meet the Manager" series, and can't wait for the Maddux-Brothers (you ARE planning a Maddux Bros. episode, right?).

Anyway, I knew nothing about Mac, except he replaced McClendon, who I actually liked as a Cub player.

appears he was minor league coordinator for the Cubs in 1987

Mackanin in '85 talking about some 2B prospect named Bryan House

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1985-08-05...

House rings a very distant bell. I remember reading about Walton after the '88 season where someone had done some MLEs and figured that his hitting .333 in Pittsfield was like .310 in the majors.

That Pittsfield team was pretty good.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/team...

I'm having a hard time imagining Hector Villanueva pitching, even if for just one inning.

he was part of the 1990 crew of miracle kids that was supposed to lead the cubs to many years of awesomeness...sigh.

Ron Santo is on the hall of fame "golden years" ballot. Needs 12 of 16 votes to get in.

http://www.csnchicago.com/blog/cubs-talk/post...

I will celebrate like the Cubs won the pennant if he gets those 12 votes.

I will think even less of the hall of fame voters, if that is possible.

It is bad enough that they didn’t vote him in while he was living, so to vote him in for dying seems like another slap in the face.

Hold on now, this is a new committee. Members of the Golden Era Committee are Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson, Don Sutton and Williams; Major League executives Paul Beeston, Bill DeWitt, Roland Hemond, Gene Michael, and Al Rosen; and veteran media members Dick Kaegel, Jack O'Connell and Dave Van Dyck.

Golden Era Committee -
This 16-member committee will conduct its first vote at the 2011 winter meetings as part of the 2012 voting process. It will meet Dec 4 and announce their decision the next day.

I know I am wrong to blame current current committee for the failures of prior committees, but it still seems pointless to me to vote him in after his death when they had years to vote him in while he was still living.

http://www.csnchicago.com/blog/cubs-talk/post...

Cubs current bench coach Pat Listach and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo are both under contract for 2012 and have been told by Theo the organization wants them back but the new manager will have the final say.

rudy is sunk money...might as well keep him around.

pat...*shrug*

and hopefully if either goes they can be replaced without using the farm system as currency...which is pretty popular right now...

wonder if m.maddux is going to require compensation...moving up to a higher position usually gives a guy a respect-release, but we're talking about the current top pitching coach in the game.

I have been thouroughly unimpressed with Rudy.

Maybe we can get McGuire now that TLR is gone?

Cue Crunch "do steroids and be rewarded with a job in baseball" rant in 3...2...1....

The Cardinals lead the league in OBP and were last in strike outs. Obviously there was some talent on that roster, but that's pretty damned impressive.

I wonder if McGuire would get along with Kerry Woods.

"I have been thouroughly unimpressed with Rudy."

There's a code of silence that is imposed on Cub coaches that frustrates me.

Either that or the beat reporters just don't ask the right questions of the right people, but I suspect that the coaches are discouraged from responding.

For example, I don't recall Larry Rothschild ever being asked, What happened to Rich Hill? It was certainly on Rothschild's watch that Hill's promising one-season career came tumbling down.

And by the way, Rudy, what happened to Tyler Colvin?

Von Joshua had a refreshing candor but it got him into trouble with Bradley and ultimately with the bosses.

also on his watch that he had his only good season.

Not true at all, he was pretty good in the minors.

rich hill happened to rich hill...he lost control of his fastball and changeup and people quit offering at his curve because he couldn't get anything else over the plate. it didn't help he was throwing 88-90 rather than 90-92 by his late 20s.

his 2011 "comeback" showed some promise with his control...took 4+ years...

Wasn't the story that Rothschild started tinkering with his delivery to speed his time to home?

he only had like 3 years or so in his career he could even harness his arm.

he sucked, found his control in his mid/late 20s, lost it and some velocity coming back from his 1 good cubs pro season.

roths didn't cause his issues...and if he somehow did, it's taken r.hill 4+ years to do something about it.

I also remember AZ Phil talking a bit about how Rich seemed to need a mentor wherever he went, and that Michael Barrett seemed to be that (unlikely) guy until his trade mid-2007.

I don't actually believe that Rothschild had much to do with Hill's downfall, I just think it odd that he never had to answer questions about Hill in public, just like I've never seen Colvin's and Jaramillo's names in the same sentence (unless I wrote it). Is the Teflon coating part of the job description?

Brewers writer says Cubs haven't asked Brewers for permission yet.

Theo says a bunch of stuff about the manager search, mostly about Tito

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

also spoke to Greg Maddux recently who is dealing with a family issue.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

Interesting that the Cubs have scheduled a news conference for Mackanin after his interview on Friday, and promise to do the same with the other candidates. (See Rob's Tito-related Trib link above.) Managers talk to the media after every game, so this is a clever sort of tryout.

If Theo intends to improve the fan experience, it's working already.

kirk gibson re-up'd in ARZ til 2014...maybe the cubs can trade for him. k.towers also up'd til 2014.

In a perfect world I'd trade for Girardi...

Well done Rob G on the "meet the cubs managerial candidates." It should be noted that with hair like that, Pete could always join the Blackhawks organization if it doesn't work out with the Cubs.

that is great hair...him and Soto can trade secrets.

Junior Lake hit a walkoff double this afternoon in Mesa.

Too bad the game ended, he could have stolen another base.

Thu, 11/03/2011 - 5:17pm — VirginiaPhilNew
Re: Meet the Cubs Managerial Candidates: Pete Mackanin

Junior Lake hit a walkoff double this afternoon in Mesa.

Too bad the game ended, he could have stolen another base.

=======================================

VA PHIL: Junior Lake's triple was lined into the right-center alley, the walk-off double was lined into the left-center alley, and the single was lined to CF. He also flied out to CF and grounded out 4-3 (close play at 1st), and he stole a base, too.

After Lake hit his walk-off double, he was mobbed by his Solar Sox teammates at the pitcher's mound, and they played "Go Cubs Go" over the P A.

BTW, Lake is now tied for 4th in the AFL in triples, is 5th in HR, is tied for 6th in doubles, is 8th in SLG %, and is 10th in RBI. He also has 16 SB (0 CS) which leads the AFL by a wide margin over D. J. LeMahieu (who is 2nd).

On the negative side, Lake is 7th in the AFL in strikeouts.

Lake is now tied for 4th in the AFL in triples, is 5th in HR, is tied for 6th in doubles, is 8th in SLG %

That's a pretty impressive feat to have all those XBH's and only rank 8th in slugging.

Is there a required PAs qualification for these rankings in a one-month league?

5. LOL.

The S-Sox players were excited because they had blown a 5-run lead in the final three innings. No Cub pitchers involved in the meltdown.

From the embedded tweets:

BruceMiles2112 #Cubs will interview managerial candidates and then have them do interviews with the media. This is a departure from the past.

Why stop there? If they really want to see what someone is made of, send them to Parachat.

If the candidate can spend an hour interview with Phil Rogers and Carrie Muskat without swallowing his tongue, he's hired.

Doug Glanville on the Sandberg conundrum

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7185093/ryn...

Reading Glanville makes me think I need to get resmarted.

Glanville reads more like a stream of thought private diary than a public blog post

He is eloquent, though. My diary reads like" "Today was bad. I'm mad. Ate food. Pooped. Read a book. Time for bed."

Short and to the point. I like it.

Thanks.

Read a book.

Combine that with "played a sport professionally at one point," and you are as qualified as Glanville.

Does fantasy baseball champion count?

stop grandstanding

The way in which Glanville is sometimes heralded as the genius king of athlete scholars reminds me that the standards in that department are very low. He's just a smart guy, not a notably smart guy, and not a particularly great writer--of course, the writing aspect of it may come with more time.

That's true. When I read an eloquent (I do think he is a good writer) sports article it seems much better because of the moronothon going on with all the other 'writers' out there...I'm looking at you Jeff Passan.

I dont agree with all of Theo Epstein's moves so far but from what I have seen in the brief 2 weeks he has been Cubs president, I am very excited for the future of this team:

1) The man has a plan
Such a refreshing departure from the fly-off-the-seat-of-his-pants style of Hendry. The guy is deliberate, thinks things through well and executes his moves boldly. Who else would write a manual on "The Cubs Way" and distribute it to the entire organization like they did in Boston?

2) The guy is a team player
He knows how to bring in good people and he listens to them as equals. So instead of one smart young exec, Ricketts was able to bag a 3-in-1. GO Team Theo!

3) He thinks out of the box
And not just for the sake of being different, but he tries to find better ways of accomplishing the same goal. I like this idea of including press conferences as part of the manager interviews.

4) He communicates with class
Every leadership guru will tell you how essential it is to communicate well (especially your vision) with the people around you. So far he's acquitted himself well w/ the Chicago media w/o ass-kissing and that phone call to Sandberg was pretty classy.

Theo is obviously not flawless (no one is) but it's impressive to see that he's learned to be an effective leader at a relatively young age.

i say we make Dec. 25th about Theo rather than that other dude from now on.

...or at least name a few airports, libraries, and streets after him.

I'd go for the street, since they can always change the name back after he leaves.

How 'bout the Chicago river? With a Latin flare..."Rio Theo"...

Theo is the reason for the season.

I thought a young wife who cheated on her husband with a ghost was the reason for the season?

3) He thinks out of the box

He hasn't illustrated that yet. So far he hires his buddies and chases the same managerial targets as his old organization. He's perfectly in the middle of the box.

Yeah, he hires extremely well-qualified "buddies", including those who have assisted in demonstrated success, and those that buy in to the plan he subscribes to which he laid out, in detail, to the fan-base and employees in the organization.

That really sucks.

I am sure the CEOs of successful Fortune 500 companies would never do that.

Yeah, he hires extremely well-qualified "buddies", including those who have assisted in demonstrated success, and those that buy in to the plan he subscribes to which he laid out, in detail, to the fan-base and employees in the organization.

I'd have to disagree that he's laid on his plan in detail to the fan base. If you take that phrase out, he's done nothing different than Jim Hendry.

Hey, I am excited too, but let's call a spade a spade. So far he's done what every other person in his position would have done, namely bring in "his guys" and fire or demote his predecessor's guys. That's not outside of the box thinking, that's what everyone does.

I get that NEAL, and your concern is noted. Bringing in people who are of like mind is not specifically "thinking outside the box", but if they are very qualified, you would have to agree - based on excellent track records and philosophical alignment and comfort zone - that this is sound business practice.

Until proven otherwise, I find this approach refreshing due to the caliber of people, and when compared to the predecessors, having three people of high caliber making reasoned, thouroughly evaluated decisions, more "thinking outside the box" than has been demonstrated on the North Side.

I don't think it matters much how out of the box he thinks. In Hendry's later years, I would have been completely content with someone who thought within the box of improved scouting, and a bigger and better staff, with a substantial investment in computer resources and stats. These are all the makings of a modern organization, and if Theo simply gets us into the box of a modern ballclub, we at least have a fighting chance to compete.

So it's all good. I'm impressed that Ricketts has committed not only to boosting the resources needed to do the things Theo has done in the past, but in his approach to the draft and international amateur free agent signings.

Overall these are all great trends.

They may seem out of the box because it's so non-Cubs-like. But it's really just a template for running a major league ballclub in the 21st century.

That was what I was trying to articulate. Agreed.

It was one of the reasons it was so hard for me to get too involved as a fan last year. It finally got to the point of, hey, I really have better things to do, than follow a team that has buried itself into some really stone age thinking. I look at how Theo is doing things -- building a large staff of high-level personnel, and look at how it was just a few months ago - it was all really just on Wilken and one guy with a an old PC that was probably using Windows 98. Wilken may be very good at his job - but it sounds like he was doing the job that several do in a Theoregime. Last year, I had no hope that things would get better. We were saddled with these horrific contracts, and a GM who, although he did have a few decent years, had really fallen behind the times.

It'll be interesting to see how Wilken fits into all this. Either way, I'm looking forward to my annual spring training visit, and maybe I'll even catch a few games this year.

That's pretty much how I see it. I'm not a big fan of cronyism, because it's not getting the best guy for the job, and that's what the Cubs should be looking for - but it may very well be that these guys are the best guys for the job.

There's plenty of good people in the Cubs organization now. Hopefully some of them will be able to acclimate to the new system and become useful cogs.

I thought this was an interesting discussion and I've tried to figure out which people Epstein associated with but didn't actually bring in. It looks like Lucchino was the real talent scout, responsible for hirings of Hoyer and McLeod and also Epstein. Like Epstein, Lucchino was at SD before Boston.

Epstein is very much Lucchino's protege and benefits from the good people that Lucchino surrounded him with.

When Epstein needed a manager, he had to go "outside the box" and came up with two pretty good finalists, Francona and Maddon.

He is eloquent, though. My diary reads like" "Today was bad. I'm mad. Ate food. Pooped. Read a book. Time for bed."
---
My kind of Blog. The world needs more of "The Joe Blog" too.

Now that you mention it, maybe I should start a blog with one line posts of mundacity (I wordified that)...or would that just be a collection of tweets? Finally the world can know whether I'm an Edward or a Jacob. What're my totally uneducated opinions about the government? What did I eat for lunch today? All important things that the world (i.e. no one) wants to read about.

You inspired me to start blogging. It looks easy. My first entry...

"What day is it? I'm confused. Ate something. Can't poop. Found a new book I should read someday. I need rest."

Mundacity: mundane lies?

I was going for mundaneness, but I I've always thought it sounded too boring and needed something a little less mundande.

What's wrong with Pete Mackin's head?

I have a pretty large mellon, but something is off with that guy's head.

it's an optical illusion...his hair is moving 60mph faster than his head.

It's called Hair. Another one of the unlisted qualifications apparently.

The musical?

latest Z crap...

"PWSullivan Paul Sullivan
Theo says Cubs' scout monitoring Big Z in Venezuela. Z telling friends he wants to return. Theo-Z to talk next week."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

Theo's been pretty clear from the get go that he thinks the Cubs badly botched the Z thing. I bet if someone could get him to answer candidly he'd say the same about Sosa and Bradley.

Muskat blogs on Mackanin...

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2011/11/04/114-mack...

“They put me through the grinder last night and I couldn’t enjoy my dinner,” Mackanin said. “They covered an awful lot of ground in regards to strategy, type of philosophy, things like that.”

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