The Phillies looked like a dead team walking when the 2015 started and that could be blamed on a number of things like lack of quality players on the roster or still having Ruben Amaro Jr. as general manager. Those two things mentioned are valid reasons, but the lack of fight and energy we saw in most of the first half of the season was due to manager Ryne Sandberg. Ryne Sandberg took over for the Phillies after the club fired the beloved Charlie Manuel and the team hasn’t seen a winning record in a long time.
Ryne Sandberg unexpectedly stepped down as manager a couple of weeks before the All-Star Break. Sandberg said he couldn’t handle the losing and to be honest, he never seemed like he had a good relationship with the players and he was unable to handle some decisions. In steps Pete Mackanin and all of the sudden there is new life in the team. And around the same time, a lot of the young players were starting to get their chances to play and something just clicked. Out of the gate in the second half, the Phillies had one of the best records since the All-Star Break and the type of energy they were playing with was like nothing fans have seen when Ryne Sandberg was running team. An argument can be made that the more competitive effort happened because a change of power forced the players to prove themselves to the new person at the helm, but that’s not case. Pete Mackanin has been able to connect with the players on the Phillies and it has shown in the way they’ve played in the second half of the season. Even though the Phillies are still a bad team, Mackanin has made a difference this year and Andy MacPhail should take notice of that when he comes into power soon.
Mackanin as everyone knows is only managing on an interim basis, but the Phillies and MacPhail should think about making him the permanent manager for 2016. The reason being is the Phillies will not be going anywhere in 2016 and a lot of our young players will be in crucial phases of their development so it would make sense to keep Mackanin who has worked with a lot of those players already instead sticking a new guy in there. Also Pete Mackinan is bilingual, which is great because the Phillies have had as many as eleven Latin American players on their 25-man roster and a lot of them are still getting comfortable with English. To take it even further, a lot of the Phillies young promising players are Latin American and it would be easier to get through to them speaking Spanish. The Latin American players enjoy Mackanin speaking Spanish and they say he can pretty much understand everything they say, but they just need to speak slowly.
Pete Mackanin has done a great job stepping in as manager of the Phillies and if the Phillies are smart, they will bring Mackanin back for 2016.