Mack­anin out as Phillies man­ager

Skip­per to be­come as­sis­tant to GM


PHILADEL­PHIA — Pete Mack­anin got a con­tract ex­ten­sion when the Philadel­phia Phillies were scuf­fling and lost his job af­ter they turned it around.

Mack­anin is out as man­ager af­ter 2½ sea­sons but will re­main in the dugout for the fi­nal three games this week­end and re­turn as a spe­cial as­sis­tant to gen­eral man­ager Matt Klen­tak in 2018.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed, surely,” Mack­anin said Fri­day. “But I un­der­stand it and I’m happy to be part of it down the road. I be­lieve in Matt Klen­tak and I be­lieve in what he’s do­ing and the fact that he wants me to con­tinue in this (new) ca­pac­ity is the most im­por­tant thing.”

The Phillies are 64-95 this sea­son, last in the NL East and with the sec­ond-worst record in the league. Philadel­phia has not been to the post­sea­son since 2011.

The 66-year-old Mack­anin suc­ceeded Hall of Famer Ryne Sand­berg on June 26, 2015. His record with Philadel­phia is 172-237.

“Pete is a trusted ally, a part­ner in this re­build and a friend,” Klen­tak said. “I’m very happy he’s agreed to stay with us. I trust Pete and his opin­ion. I want to make sure that when we spill cham­pagne over each other’s head that Pete is proudly wear­ing the P.”

Mack­anin re­ceived a con­tract ex­ten­sion through next sea­son on May 11 af­ter the Phillies had lost nine of 11 games. They went 4-16 in 20 games af­ter­ward.

But Philadel­phia has im­proved since the All-Star break, go­ing 35-37. That wasn’t enough to se­cure Mack­anin’s re­turn. Klen­tak said mem­bers of the coach­ing staff will be de­ter­mined by the new man­ager.

“The way the re­build is evolv­ing, a new voice in the dugout and a new style is nec­es­sary,” Klen­tak said.

The Phillies have a solid group of young play­ers to build around, in­clud­ing sev­eral rookie hit­ters who sig­nif­i­cantly bol­stered the of­fense. First base­man/left fielder Rhys Hoskins, out­fielder Nick Wil­liams and in­fielder J.P. Crawford have been im­pres­sive since their de­buts.

“We’ve reached a turn­ing point in this re­build,” Klen­tak said. “We see our ros­ter lit­tered with young play­ers who have a very bright fu­ture. It’s time to look for­ward.”

Pitch­ing has been Philadel­phia’s big­gest prob­lem and Mack­anin re­cently said the team needs to add an ace to join Aaron Nola in the ro­ta­tion.

Klen­tak has been Mack­anin’s big­gest fan since he ar­rived as GM in Oc­to­ber 2015. It’s pos­si­ble the Phillies will seek a younger, an­a­lyt­ics-minded man­ager and coach­ing staff to lead the team out of its re­build.

“Pete was an ex­cel­lent man­ager for the time he was here,” Klen­tak said. “I was a rookie gen­eral man­ager and I learned a ton from Pete and will con­tinue to do so.”

It’s no sur­prise play­ers were taken aback by the de­ci­sion. Mack­anin was pop­u­lar in the club­house.

“Ob­vi­ously it’s tough,” out­fielder Aaron Altherr said. “Wish we could’ve played bet­ter for him to stay. Ev­ery­body is shocked. I thought he’d be around for next year af­ter he got the ex­ten­sion.”

Hoskins, who came up in Au­gust, thrived un­der Mack­anin.

“I re­ally en­joyed hav­ing him around,” Hoskins said. “He’s a great base­ball mind. To have that in your cor­ner is some­thing that will stick with me.”

Klen­tak said he’ll im­me­di­ately be­gin iden­ti­fy­ing can­di­dates to re­place Mack­anin. He said guys with a va­ri­ety of back­grounds will be con­sid­ered and they don’t need to have man­age­rial ex­pe­ri­ence.

Dusty Wathan, who man­aged sev­eral of Philadel­phia’s young play­ers in the mi­nor leagues at Dou­ble-A and Triple-A, likely will be a top in­ter­nal can­di­date. Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez and White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing also could be on the list.


The Philadel­phia Phillies an­nounced Fri­day that Pete Mack­anin will not man­age the team next sea­son.

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