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.
Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).
Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.
Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.
In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?
Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.
Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.
Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.
I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.
peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.
unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.
they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.
Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester
damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice
Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.
Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.
Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.
Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.
"Pitching prospects not looking so hot"
That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.
Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.
Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:
"Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
"No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"
How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.
Ian Happ is hitting.733 after 5 games at Tennessee. He went into tonight's game hitting .667 -- and went 3-for-3 to raise his average.
2-for-3, including a bomb, for LaStella at Iowa. Pierce Johnson very bad -- 2IP, 5ER. Pitching prospects not looking so hot -- Underwood has been awful.
Did Jiminez get hurt? I noticed he came out early yesterday.