Pete Mackanin Gets First Crack At Cubs’ Managerial Position


Fresh off the unveiling of their new-look front office, the Cubs’ front office has submerged themselves into another search process. This time, the Cubs’ front office is looking for a manager that can hold the position for the long-term. It is still my belief that President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer have already decided on a manager, but nonetheless, the two are doing their due diligence on prospective managerial candidates. The interview process may already be underway.

ESPN Chicago reports that Philadelphia Phillies’ bench coach Pete Mackanin may be the first candidate to receive an interview from Epstein and Hoyer. The report mentioned that the interview could take place as soon as today. There have been no two teams this off-season that have been more tied together than the Cubs and the Boston Red Sox, and it would appear that many of the same candidates that are scheduled to interview for the Red Sox position, will also interview for the Cubs’ position. Though this should come as no surprise, considering Epstein set up the parameters of the Red Sox managerial search before he joined the Cubs’ organization. Mackanin has already spoke to the Red Sox about their vacant managerial position.

Ironically, Mackanin began his coaching career with the Cub’ organization in the 1980s, but has yet to be a full-time major league manager. However, Mackanin did serve as an interim manager for the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates at two different points in his coaching career. Mackanin has served under current Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel for the past three seasons, and appears to be ready to make the transition to being a full-time major league manager.

Here is a video about Mackanin talking about what type of manager he would be, note that this conference was after Mackanin interviewed for the Red Sox managerial position.

(Source: Comcast Sportsnet New England)

Even though Mackanin was talking about the Red Sox managerial position, much of the same reasoning can be applied to the Cubs’ position. Especially now because of the additions of Epstein and Hoyer to the Cubs’ front office. I am curious to see how Mackanin plans to differentiate between being a player’s manager and a disciplinarian. Interestingly enough, the Cubs’ have had a sour taste with both those styles of managing. Dusty Baker was a notorious player’s manager, and let his fondness for said players interfere with the Cubs’ being able to produce on the field. Meanwhile, Lou Piniella came in as a disciplinarian, but as time passed by, Piniella was looking more and more like a player’s manager.

One thing I took out of that address from Mackanin was the positions that he has held over the course of his career. From that aspect, Mackanin would certainly have the experience that the Cubs’ are looking for out of their next manager. Though, I also wonder whether or not Mackanin is a perfect fit for what Epstein and Hoyer are looking for. Mackanin is 60 years old, and I get the sense that the Cubs brain-trust may be looking for a younger manager.

Nonetheless, Mackanin  will get the first chance–if he hasn’t already–to sell Epstein and Hoyer that he is the perfect candidate for the Cubs going forward.