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).