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Today, the Chicago Cubs interviewed their first managerial candidate, Phillies’ bench coach, Pete Mackanin.

After a grueling, intense, long interview with top Cubs’ officials (which started at dinner last night), Mackanin was tasked with meeting with the Chicago media – another part of the interview process. And, if the quotes are any indication, the media took pity on Mackanin after his hard day.

“They didn’t let me up for air,” Mackanin said. “They keep pounding questions at you, and it’s very interesting. It’s fun. It’s great getting to know these guys, seeing what’s on their mind, and it’s just a nice process to go through …. They put me through the grinder [Thursday] night. I couldn’t enjoy my dinner.” Mackanin reportedly offered that last line with a smile.

While it is nice to hear about the process, I’m sure most of us were hoping the media session would involve actual questions about Mackanin’s qualifications, interests, predilections, and plans if he were to get the job.

But, as I said, based on the early quotes, the media took it relatively easy on him, prompting him only to offer generalities about the above issues.

“I’ve managed almost 3,000 games, including in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic,” Mackanin said. “I’ve been to Perth, Australia, and it’s been exciting. It gives me a different perspective. My Spanish is pretty good. I have a pretty full resume, and I think that experience should help.”

On the subject of managing players today, versus his time in the Majors (perhaps a question designed to touch on his age – 60), Mackanin recognized the difference.

“Times have changed, players are different,” he said. “They make more money that we used to, and the egos might be a little bigger at times.”

After noting that he grew up a White Sox fan, as well as a Cubs fan, Mackanin added, “Obviously, now I’m a big Cubs fan. It would be really exciting to be part of the Cubs going all the way, to be able to contribute to that and be able to participate in that would be really exciting.”

I’d love to offer a little more substance – and it’s possible further write-ups with substance from those in attendance at the press conference are forthcoming – but those are the quotes that have been reported. And, as I am not a credentialed member of the press, I don’t know what was asked or said other than what Carrie Muskat and Paul Sullivan (whose efforts are appreciated) have offered so far. Unfortunately, it’s nothing that we couldn’t have learned by reading Mackanin’s interviews with the Boston media after he interviewed with the Red Sox earlier this week (and which I posted yesterday).

  • John

    How do you become credentialed without working for the newspaper or ESPN?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m pretty sure there’s a vetting process after you contact the right media relations person with the Cubs. Because I’m not a Chicago native (in Columbus, Ohio, actually), and because I don’t (yet?) have a dedicated writer in Chicago, I’ve not really pursued it. I suspect the Cubs are suspicious of blogs getting credentialed. Even deeply awesome and influential blogs like this one.

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    From what I’ve read about Mackanin he look’s like he would be a good fit for Epstein and Hoyer because he’s into the statistical side of the game and he has a ton of experience as a coach, manager, and scouting.

  • Ron

    For some reason I don’t like him, maybe its the doughey picture of him but he strikes me as Quade part two.

    • Internet Random

      It’s his glasses; you can’t stand them.

      • CubFan Paul

        that style of eye wear is a complete turn off and screams: Douche ..any grown men that wears that style has verrry questionable judgement (..i’ve worn glasses for 21years)

        • Internet Random

          Ron totally hates them.

    • MrCubs73

      I can’t nail it down, but there is something that don’t give me confidence Mackanin is the right guy. He may be a great baseball guy, but I my first choice is Maddux. The Cubs really need someone with an eye for pitching that might actually know the best way to handle a staff.

      Maybe it is just me, but if I said in an interview I grew up a Cubs and White Sox fan and Theo said, jokingly said don’t mention the Sox again, even if he is joking, I don’t bring it up in my meet the press. That’s just me!

  • Mike F

    It’s fascinating, he’s far less jovial and flippant than he was after Boston. They used to do this type of thing a lot in college and graduate school for oral finals, lock you in room with a number of profs and grill you until they found weakness, subject after subject. Pretty damn grueling.

    As to the idea of a two day 7-10 hour process, it’s more likely than most processes to shake out things. Interviews and separating out the wheat from the chaff is harder than most think. I’ve done this for a living. In their case, it’s a great job, it’s a great market, and it’s a great opportunity. I would guess, a lot of managers, sitting that is wouldn’t put themselves through this. They wouldn’t have to, but in their position, honestly, so version of this is really a positive thing. You get a limited bite at the apple whether 8, 12, whatever, so the more intense, the more pressure packed and the more disciplined the better.

    It doesn’t guarantee anything, but in interviewing, if you can have a structure, have a process and put everyone through the same process to get as objective an evaluation as you can, that’s all you can do. Just a guess, but the odds on favorite has to be Sveum and Maddux. The Maddux boys are pretty intelligent, it shouldn’t be a big problem for Mike Maddux and Sveum has a big advantage having worked with them before. Is someone interviewing over the weekend?

  • Alou and Vinegar

    Agree with you on Maddux and Sveum.  One will be with the Cubs, the other with Boston.  Francona or Jose No Comprendo will be hired by Cards

  • die hard

    He emphasized he speaks Spanish which noted yesterday will be one of their requirements.

  • Oswego Chris

    This can’t be the guy can it? Although I did hear something funny on the Score this morning…Pete was managing the AAA Iowa Cubs in 1989 when Frey and Zimmer came to see a game…there was a dartboard in the clubhouse with Frey and Zimmers picture on it…Mackanin was fired shortly after…

  • die hard

    Mac would be great bench coach for whoever is hired…hope they intvw Listach

  • BetterNews

    Ryno is the perfect fit for Cubs. Theo is making his first and biggest
    mistake.

    • hansman1982

      How was not interviewing or hiring Ryno a mistake?  Please explain.

  • Toosh

    He’s been passed up at least 3 times. Enough said. Also, he’s walked away not once, but twice, when things aren’t going well. He was a great player. Maybe he’ll manage the Cubs someday.

  • BetterNews

    Ryno has played in MLB to an extent very few players @ 2nd base have reached. He did
    what the Cubs orginization asked him to do, took a step down the ladder at minor league
    baseball management, did one hell of a job, and Theo says no thank you! Theo
    is showing faults. Now I know why the Cubs are not going anywhere soon again.

    Mathematics does not make a baseball team, an certainly does not make a
    dream team!

    • hansman1982

      I agree that Ryno might be a great MLB manager someday based on his track record in the minors but unless he was a near lock to get the job, no way in hell do you want to interview him and have to have the Cubs turn him down, especially after the disaster that was Quade.  Terrible PR for the Cubs and terrible for Ryno’s career.  Plus Ryno has 0 MLB experience…

      Ask the Rays, Red Sox, early 2000 A’s, Rangers, Cardinals and others about how mathematics works to play the odds…

  • BetterNews

    Ryno being passed up for a management job(even 3 times) is not even a debate.
    The debate is whether he “can” be a effective manager! Of course he can,
    he has proven it.

    As far as walking away, that is a joke! I never saw Ryno walk away from anything!

    This is starting to look like(Theo and boys city) and I am getting ready to puke.

    • Brian Peters

      BetterNews: Let’s see. You are so wrapped up in the ideas that Sandberg is the ONLY choice for the manager slot that you can’t see the forest for the trees. Yes, Sandberg has been fairly successful as a MINOR LEAGUE MANAGER (i.e., manager of teams largely consisting of teenagers and very young men who will do ANYTHING their manager tells them to do so that they might get a crack in The Show). There’s nothing in his make up, that I have ever seen, that says he could deal with the various egos present on the professional level. People like LaRussa, Piniella, Torre, Guillen, etc., etc. have that ability. I don’t see it in Ryno. Does it mean I dislike the man? No. Does it mean he won’t/can’t surprise me and turn out to be a great MLB manager? Of course not. The point is, Sandberg is in the past, and all your complaining and doubting the new management isn’t gonna put him on the bench in the spring.

      • BetterNews

        Brian—Never said Ryno should be manager at this time. What I said
        was I think he has the “potential” to be a good manager. I also stated
        he should take the position of a bench coach with the Cubs if it was
        offered and work his way up.

  • Toosh

    Quitters never win and winners never quit.

  • BetterNews

    What were the odds of Bartman reaching out for a flyball and costing
    the Cubs a World Series Hansman?

    • hansman1982

      Astronomical, but I am not sure where you are going with this.  I am very confused…when did I mention that Ryno walked away?  He did walk away from the Cubs last year (very understandable) but I never mentioned him quitting or anything of the like…I personally think he will be a very good manager in the right system

    • Ol’CharlieBrown

      The odds of a common fan reaching out and trying to catch a foul ball? Pretty high. The odds of a fan reaching out for a flyball and costing the Cubs a World Series were nonexistent in my opinion. Yes, while Bartman did reach out for a flyball, he most certainly didn’t cost the Cubs a World Series. Why isn’t it Alex Gonzalez who has had to live in hiding and was called an asshole by some 40,000 people when he dropped a routine grounder that could have been a double play to get the Cubs out of the inning while maintaining a 2 run lead. Lets be honest. If the Cubs whole season and post season was riding on that one play, then thats a pretty shaky house of cards. To me that is just a garbage excuse for the Cubs finally making it to the playoffs and giving everyone so much hope that we just had to find an excuse as to why the curse still existed and why we didn’t win. According to that theory, Steve Bartman was the reason the Cubs didn’t make it to the World Series in 2003 just as much as it was Mike Quades fault that the Cubs didn’t make it to the World Series this year. I’m not implying I want Quade around for next year, but we all knew that no matter who was managing our team we weren’t seeing the World Series this past season. I can be as superstitious as the next guy but anyone out there who still holds ANYTHING against Steve Bartman is simply just looking for an excuse, a reason, an explanation as to why the Cubs didn’t and haven’t won yet. If we all take a look at the way Theo has come in and handled business thus far, it becomes fairly obvious that Steve Bartman was never the issue, but instead almost everything else about the Cubs has been the issue. Someone has to be held accountable when you’re not winning, right? I suppose Steve was the best us Cubs fans could come up with. I just watched Catching Hell the other night and was already wanting to say something about that whole incidient after watching it. This isn’t a shot at you personally, BetterNews. You just happened to bring up Bartman, so I felt it was a perfect time to express myself.

      • BetterNews

        Ol CharlieBrown—You indeed make some very good points, however I
        disagree in the fact that Bartman’s indiscretion at that point in the game,
        to his own team, and not being aware of the circumstances, certainly
        did change the tide in that series, eventually costing the Cubs dearly!

        Did, and does Bartman deserve what he has been through? Absolutely NOT!

        My only point was his action was the turning point in the series, and his action was responsible for “initiating” the outcome. Had he not grabbed that ball, in all
        likelihood the Cubs would have been there.

  • BetterNews

    Toosh—-Winners are often fired, the fired often become winners!

  • BetterNews

    hansman—-Very sorry, it was “Toosh” that said Sandberg walked away, not
    once but twice.

    • hansman1982

      I guess at the end of the day the Cubs Brain Trust has my “non-traditional” vote of confidence and if they didnt want Sandberg then hopefully Maddux or Sveum are great managers and I think their interview process will cull the herd appropriately

  • BFM

    I don’t know that much about Mackanin.
    I am leaning towards Maddux.
    I really like his baseball intelligence and maybe if they hire him, we can get rid of Riggins and he can manage and be a pitching coach….lol.

  • BetterNews

    When did management become more important than the players?

    About 1976!

  • Cubbie Blues

    Sounds to me that he would much rather be a cub than a than sox manager. I didn’t hear him say he was a sox fan. A little worriesom about being a white sox fan though. I don’t know much about him other than that. In Theo we Trust. Sorry if typos on my phone now. Couldn’t see the top line.

  • BetterNews

    In Theo will are trying to adjust! Kids in Chicago Management might be a bust!

    But we will listen. For now.

  • LouCub

    Cubs just hired Joe Boeringer from the D’Backs to be the Director of Pro Scouting per MLB Trade Rumors..another good hire by Theo and Company and after Theo’s comments at the Hoyer/MacLeod presser i’d bet the new manager gets hired really soon.

    • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

      Their moves are really impressive so far. I bet you’re right about the new manager and I’m thinking Maddux at this point.

  • Dumpman

    Better.. its really simple why they dont hire Ryno. First, he bunts with the middle of the lineup. Second, hes a living legend. If he does terrible its a PR Nightmare to try to fire him. I also have to believe Theo and Ryno wouldn’t be on the same page. Hes clearly targeting guys he thinks will mesh well with his long term plan.

  • Pingback: The Cubs Have Two More Interviews on the Way and Other Bullets | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

  • Goatbusters

    Anyone think mackanin looks like a fat version of Ted danson?

  • Brian Peters

    Better: I did a quick search for the word “potential Cub manager” in your posts, and I couldn’t find it. I DID find the following: “Ryno IS (not WOULD BE) the perfect fit for the Cubs.” Last time I checked (and I did teach English composition for twelve years on the collegiate level), “is” is the third-person, present-tense form of the verb “be”. That’s neither here nor there, though, I suppose. Let’s move on to your next point: Theo should make Ryno the Cubs’ bench coach. Hmmmmm. Let’s say Theo puts Ryno on the bench. Once Theo picks his guy–and it IS his guy to pick because Theo is a Yale graduate and is therefore smarter than all of us combined, I would presume–how many games could Dale Sveum, Pete Mackanin, Mike Maddux or whoever else lose before Cub fans, seeing Ryno on the bench, call for that manager’s job? I can answer that…..probably around mid-season. And if Theo DIDN’T put Ryno in the manager’s spot, what do you think would happen? I can answer that, too…..he would be persecuted. That’s all.

    • BetterNews

      Brian—Again, when I said Ryan was a perfect fit for the Cubs I certainly
      did not imply as a “manager” at this time. I specifically stated that he should
      take the bench coach job if it were offered and work up.(Please check all
      posts next time to get your facts straight)

      Next point. Epstein does not equate to Einstein! Your comment that Theo
      is smarter than all us combined is ridiculous. Yale graduate yes, baseball
      Guru, maybe, but smater than everyone combined, give me a break!

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