Hoskins sounds off in sup­port of his former skip­per Wathan

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Rob Par­ent rpar­ent@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Reluc­tan­tSE on Twit­ter

PHILADEL­PHIA » Rhys Hoskins will end this season as the player most likely to be the Phillies’ star gate at­trac­tion for a decade to come.

Nick Wil­liams and J.P. Craw­ford, like Hoskins rook­ies who helped pick a mori­bund team up and actually turn it into a com­pet­i­tive club after the All-Star break, are also baseball celebri­ties in the mak­ing. What they and other Phillies like catch­ers An­drew Knapp and Jorge Al­faro, and pitch­ers Nick Pivetta and Ben Lively and oth­ers share is an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for a man­ager they all say pos­i­tively im­pacted their ca­reers.

Dusty Wathan has the ut­most re­spect of these young guns. So should there be any doubt that Wathan en­ters baseball’s off­sea­son as an ob­vi­ous choice to re­place Pete Mack­anin as man­ager?

The man mak­ing the de­ci­sion wasn’t of­fer­ing any fast nom­i­na­tions Fri­day.

“We have not iden­ti­fied the full can­di­date pool yet, but I sus­pect when we get to the in­ter­view phase we will in­ter­view a va­ri­ety of can­di­dates,” GM Matt Klen­tak said. “Some with man­age­rial ex­pe­ri­ence, some with coach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, some in­side can­di­dates and some out­side can­di­dates. I ex­pect that we will look at a long list. We have to determine who is the right fit for this ros­ter and this Phillies team.”

There are still quiet ar­gu­ments that Mack­anin is the right fit, even if he is al­most 30 years older than his boss named Matt and doesn’t share Klen­tak’s pro­cliv­ity for all things an­a­lytic.

“He’s a great baseball guy,” Hoskins said of Mack­anin. “He’s been around the game for a long time and I think that ex­pe­ri­ence he has is pretty in­valu­able. He was able to pass that off to some of us young guys.”

While Hoskins and his youth­ful Phillies col­leagues shared their praise for Mack­anin, they also had no hes­i­ta­tion in­tro­duc­ing Wathan to the dis­cus­sion.

At 44, Wathan had a lengthy ca­reer as a mi­nor league player with a one-week Septem­ber call in 2002 with Kansas City. The son of long­time ma­jor lea­guer John Wathan, Dusty was on the ros­ter of the Read­ing Fightin’ Phils in 2007 be­fore call­ing it a ca­reer and start­ing a new one.

He stayed with the Phillies when he started man­ag­ing the next season, first at short-season Sin­gle-A Wil­liamsport, then climb­ing the lad­der to Lake­wood and Clear­wa­ter be­fore re­ally mak­ing his name dur­ing a four-year stint as Read­ing’s man­ager, then earn­ing pro­mo­tion to Triple-A this season.

Com­ing off a suc­cess­ful season with the IronPigs, Wathan is help­ing out as part of Mack­anin’s staff this final week­end.

“Dusty’s been great for the cou­ple years that I’ve played with him,” Hoskins said. “He played 14, 15 years in baseball. He gets what we’re going through as play­ers. I think that adds to his style as a man­ager. You hear a lot of guys say that this guy is a player’s man­ager. Well, Dusty is that to a T. I felt very com­fort­able going to him with baseball stuff and non-baseball stuff. To have that in your man­ager’s of­fice is pretty spe­cial and just adds to the bond that he has with his play­ers.”

“A lot of peo­ple like him,” Craw­ford added about Wathan. “He was my fa­vorite man­ager com­ing up. I think it will be fun if he comes up here and gets the job. I don’t see why not.

“He got along with the play­ers re­ally well. He loved to win just as much as we did. He brought that win­ning at­ti­tude into the dugout.”

Craw­ford, however, said he was stunned to walk in Fri­day and learn Mack­anin was on his way out and up­stairs.

“Def­i­nitely shock­ing, espe­cially since he signed an ex­ten­sion deal (in May),” Craw­ford said. “I’m sad to see him go. I re­ally liked him a lot as a man­ager.”

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS — MATT SLOCUM

Slug­ger Rhys Hoskins is one of many young Phillies that counts Triple-A man­ager Dusty Wathan as a sig­nif­i­cant coach­ing in­flu­ence. Might that be enough to el­e­vate Wathan into the con­ver­sa­tion to re­place Pete Mack­anin as man­ager next season?

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