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.