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.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)