It looks like the Chicago Cubs are moving fast in their managerial search, and are already bringing in Phillies’ bench coach, Pete Mackanin, for an interview, according to Buster Olney.

Mackanin, 60, had a nine-year career in the bigs before becoming a coach. He’s been all around, both in the minors and the majors as a coach, and was the interim manager for the Pirates in September 2005. He was also the Reds’ interim manager for the second half of 2007 when Jerry Narron was fired (and he had a slightly winning record during that time), but was replaced by Dusty Baker in the offseason. He thereafter became a bench coach with the Phillies.

Mackanin is a Chicago native, so the connection is obvious. His broad base of experience is doubtlessly attractive to Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, though I can’t say too much is known about his managerial proclivities.

For what it’s worth, the Red Sox brought Mackanin in to interview for their opening on Monday, and, afterward, he did a bit of selling to reporters.

“My qualities are my versatility, the fact I have a rounded-out career,” said Mackanin on Monday at Fenway Park. “I’ve been a scout, I’ve been an advanced scout, I’ve done Major League coverage, I’ve been a Major League player, a Minor League player, a third-base coach, a bench coach, an outfield instructor, infield instructor, Minor League coordinator – just about anything but manager. As a matter of fact, I did manage in the big leagues. I forgot about that.

“I feel like I have leadership qualities and I feel like I can help this franchise get back to where it once was. Not that it was ever gone from anything, but I guess there was a little hiccup here last year. We’re going to put it behind us and move on.”

On whether he was a players’ manager or a disciplinarian, he said, “I think you have to have an element of both sides of that in order to be a good motivator. 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.”

UPDATE: Now Jon Heyman reports the Cubs have asked for permission to interview Mike Maddux. You’ve got to believe permission will be granted (Maddux is the Rangers’ pitching coach, and these kind of permissions aren’t nearly as sticky as the Epstein stuff was), and that the Cubs will be all too happy to interview Maddux.

If and when an interview with Maddux is scheduled, I’ll have more on that.

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    I see this as a interview to show their doing their diligence, I suspect that Theo and Jed have already decided who they want but you have to do multiple interviews.

    • Cliffy

      I totally agree, remember Theo’s past indicates that he works and looks 10 moves ahead. He’s got his man already targeted he will finish doing his due diligence then the interview wil follow IMHO.

  • Spencer

    Do not want.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Want explanation.

      • Spencer

        Just kind of based on that big blurb up there where he’s talking about his accomplishments…nothing that he listed makes me convinced that he knows how to manage a big league ball club. Seems like he’s been everywhere EXCEPT in the manager’s seat for an extended period of time, so there is probably a reason for that. Oh, and he pointed out he played Major League baseball AND Minor League baseball. I’d be more impressed if he only played in the Majors.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett


          • mac

            And he forgot that he actually managed for a time. We don’t need another forgetful manager.

  • DRock

    I HOPE this is just a due diligence interview. I think we can do better.

    • Lou

      I have problems with his age. May very well be solid. I just want someone younger.

      • DRock

        Agreed. I think there are better candidates out there such as Maddon, Tito, Maddux, Alomar, etc.

  • Mike F

    This one scares the hell out of me. A guy who knows the vernacular, is a lifer, comes across as nice guy? Sound familiar? Chia pet version of the Q-ball in the side pocket.

    I understand the argument for Sveum, Maddux and even Alomar, but I like a little steak. This is a big job with need to know what you are doing, it’s not an OJT market. It will be fascinating.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I would agree with you … if the Red Sox weren’t interviewing him also. Oh, and if Jed and Theo weren’t in charge. They know what kind of guy they want, and it ain’t Quade.

      • Lou

        Even Theo can make mistakes, though, Brett. So, I wouldn’t line up to give him a free pass. Seem to recall the reason how he got here in the first place.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I just don’t think I’m in a better position to evaluate candidates than Theo and Jed. Until I have more information – and I’ll never have half as much as Theo and Jed – I can’t say I’d oppose this guy.

          • packman711

            Is that early faith in our new front office I hear?

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I’m a sucker for handsome blokes.

  • Eddie

    Too bad Joe Girardi isn’t available! Can we steal him and compensate the yankeea for him? Lol!

  • die hard

    snooze value tho has all the right experience….would prefer someone who speaks Spanish

    • montellew

      You want someone who can speak spanish? ozzie already has a job! LOL

      • JulioZuleta

        *Someone who can speak Spanish AND English.

  • johnbres2

    “just about anything but manager. As a matter of fact, I did manage in the big leagues. I forgot about that.”

    “I feel like I have leadership qualities and I feel like I can help this franchise get back to where it once was. Not that it was ever gone from anything, but I guess there was a little hiccup here last year.”

    These quotes do not inspire. He forgot he managed in the big leagues? Agree with other comments. This guy is Q-ball cloned, and he is too old. Next.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Keep in mind, and this may be controversial to say, but … it’s possible Theo and Jed are looking for a manager who will be … accommodating to their requests.

      • die hard

        dont apologize Brett…too many lemmings here drinking the kool-aid as I have pointed out over and over….need a critical eye…..give us more and not less to get to the truth …..as through pin point cross examination…

      • hansman1982

        accomodating to their requests?  How so?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          If they have thoughts on lineup order, reliever usage, etc., in-game, I could see some managers bristling at being told what to do in certain situations. I’m just saying, it’s plausible – though not necessarily likely – that Theo and Jed want someone who will be totally open to being told what to do when they decide they want to make an in-game strategy decision. Again: not saying that’s the case.

          • hansman1982

            I see your point, I dont agree with the “extreme” that you are taking it…

            I just dont see them as micro-managers.  I think they want a manager who will be “told what to do” in terms of approaching managing the game using statistical analysis along side gut feelings.

            1 thing I heard that the Rays do is use a radar gun to get ball speed off the bat, I would LOVE the Cubs to use that so that you can see if a guy is “squaring up on a ball” even if he is in a 2-20 slump.  Then again I would also love it if the Cubs hired 10 stats guys whose sole job was to watch 1 player while on the field and tape that player to determine positioning, reaction, route, fielding, etc…

            • die hard

              well, Theo met with Francona every day before and after each game in addition to phone calls in between and during game…if this is not micro managing then what is?…..Guillen, LaRussa, Girardi et al would have punched him out before kow towing to this……Brett may have uncovered manager search motive here and this needs to be vetted

  • Deer

    Why are current and former Red Sox people high on Mackanin? Just curious, because I don’t recall his name in other managerial searches in the past. Wondering what his connection to them is.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      They’ve probably heard of his role in the Phillies’ management behind the scenes, if I had to guess. Must like what they hear.

  • Brian

    People in Tampa said Joe Maddon was too old and inexperienced… You just never know.

    • hansman1982

      well then people in Tampa just need to stick to yelling at kids to stay off their lawn…he was 52 when he was hired, or about half the median age of Floridians

  • BD

    I was just thinking- could a Sveum hiring be a precursor to the pursuit of a certain Brewers free agent??

    Not that it has to be. Just that if you are going after a big bopper who has FOUR prime years coming up, they may want his hitting coach to be here to help keep him bopping.

    • DRock

      Hmmm…BD, I think you are on to something. I will jump on the Sveum bandwagon if it brings us Prince. Hopefully he can manage too. That might be helpful!

      • Jeff

        I was actually pretty impressed with Svuem when he was the Brewers interim manager. I always wondered why he didn’t get a shot at managing full time after that.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Apparently he’s a stat geek, too.

        • Fishin Phil

          Agreed.  I thought he did very well stepping into a weird situation.  I would be fine with him, but I secretly hope for Maddux.

  • Lou

    Oh, I almost forgot. Wasn’t it you, Brett, who had a thing for Zooey Deschannel? Well, she’s on the market again. Just saying 😉

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I wondered why my wife suddenly made me sign a post-nuptial agreement…

      • Lou

        HAHA. Awesome 😉

      • montellew

        Dude…Zooey is hot!

    • hansman1982

      Zooey is sooooo hot, want to touch the heiney…he twin Katy Perry isnt bad stuff either…

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Updated to note the Cubs’ request of permission to interview Mike Maddux.

    • DRock

      I would not be opposed to seeing the Maddux bros. running the Cubs dugout.

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        It’d just be Mike for awhile. Greg has shown no interest in taking a day-to-day job with any team. But we could easily see Mike in the dugout with Greg in the front office in a similar capacity to what he has been.

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    Machanin doesn’t seem to fit their efforts at a new culture in Chicago. He shouldn’t have talked with the Boston press about his qualifications like he did. He needs to do his selling during an interview, not later. Also, he may be too much like Quade for my taste. Maddux may be more to their liking. I would also think they would be careful about getting people that are too much related to Boston. Someone will bring up cronyism, even though they are probably more familiar with those who worked within Boston.

  • JP

    Not wanting to be Debbie Downer here with the dream team assembled in the front office but… How can they not consider Ryno… ESPECIALLY since the Cards are looking at him for their gig, would that not be a complete nightmare seeing him come to Wrigley umpteen times a year with the reigning world champion Cards behind him? I would argue that being a winning manager at every stop he’s been to in the minors is more creditable than being someone’s bench coach on a successful team in the bigs. Why will nobody give him a crack in the majors or even worse why is it the Cards and not the organization that he carried on his back to for years. Next year if he lands the Cards gig and they win the NL Central I would argue it would be a more painful season to watch than this one…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “I would argue that being a winning manager at every stop he’s been to in the minors is more creditable than being someone’s bench coach on a successful team in the bigs.”

      I would like to hear that argument, because I’m not sure how any of us can know that, with certainty, in every situation. I could see it *sometimes* being more creditable, and *sometimes* less.

      • hansman1982

        To put it into business perspective – while it is valuable being the CEO of Bleacher Nation it wouldn’t always trump being the right hand man to the CEO of ESPN’s website.

  • JP

    Brett I agree with you it’s not by any stretch of the imagination a guarantee he would win in Chicago but what does he have to do to have a chance? He’s road the bus for 5 seasons in the minors, he’s paid his dues when nobody would’ve expected a HOF to. I just wonder why or if we just don’t know something about his coaching style that turns the Ricketts off? Being the manager on successful minor league teams in my opinion (doesn’t mean much I realize) than being a 3rd base coach and hitting fungos for the infielders for a big league club. How was Q-ball qualified where Ryno wasn’t? Sure he was in the profession longer, that worked out well seeing he seemed like he didn’t know what he was doing at times.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Reports last winter were that Ricketts wanted Sandberg, but Hendry wanted Quade. Hendry won.

      I don’t think many Cub fans realize how good Quade’s minor league managerial resume really was. His managerial resume clobbered Sandberg’s, and it isn’t close. Two Manager of the Years, two league championships (one of them in AAA), and a Caribbean League championship is nothing to brush off. Tack about four years working on the major league staff in Oakland and Chicago, and he really did have the better resume.

      Unfortunately, he was a terrible manager, but there was no sign of that in his track record.

      But it is easy to see how he got the job over Sandberg; he had the better resume by a mile. That’s not a shot at Sandberg; I think Sandberg will be a major league manager and will probably be a good one, but I cannot fathom an argument that says that Quade had lesser qualifications than Sandberg. Being a Hall of Fame player is a great accomplishment, but it has nothing to do with managerial ability.

  • JP

    Luke that is a great point, I think you’re right on though I still think the worst thing I could watch is for the Cardinals giving him a shot. I remember the Cubs passing on another manager that was an up and comer who didn’t have the track record of Q-ball. Joe Girardi, passed on him only to see him go on the the Yanks and have a World Series title to his credit as well. I’m just saying that if I’m in Sandberg’s shoes and I get the Cards gig and have success I don’t care how much money the Cubbies through my way there is no way I take their job after being a bunch of Johnny come lately’ s. Tell me we all don’t look back and go “dang we should’ve hired Ryno”?

  • Fishin Phil
  • EQ76

    Is is me or does Pete Mackanin look like Ron White (the comedian) ?

    • chris margetis

      I hope he’s funnier.

  • Fishin Phil

    It’s gonna be a good day Tater.

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