When Ryne Sandberg stepped down as manager of the Phillies, and Pete Mackanin was installed as his replacement, many assumed that he was simply a stop gap. With Andy MacPhail set to take over as the new president, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that he'd want to hire his own manager to lead the club, however that is not the case.
Phillies have extended the contract of Pete Mackanin as manager through the 2016 season. The extension includes a club option for 2017.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) September 22, 2015
MacPhail issued a statement about Mackanin after the announcement:
"The Phillies are pleased that Pete has accepted the position of manager for the 2016 season. We believe that Pete is the best fit for the role. Since assuming the interim manager position in June, Pete has developed an excellent rapport with our players and has also connected with with the media and our fans. Equally as important is his eagerness to take on the challenge of rebuilding the team and further developing our players. We look forward to his contributions."
Since taking over as manager on June 26 of this year, the Phillies have gone 30-46, however that's hardly an indication on his skillset as the team he inherited was not built to compete. They also traded away Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon, which left Mackanin without two of his best players for the remainder of the season.
This will be the first time in Mackanin's career that he's been appointed as the full-time manager, despite having two previous stints in an interim capacity. In 2005, he went 12-14 with the Pirates after they fired Lloyd McClendon (the current manager of the Mariners), and in 2007 he led the Reds to a record of 41-39 after Jerry Narron was let go.
Mackanin and the Phillies will likely have to endure another difficult season in 2016, as they have fully embraced the rebuilding process. While MacPhail has committed to Mackanin, a one-year contract with an option for 2017 isn't a huge sign of faith. For now, Mackanin figures to be a part of their future, but he'll need to prove to the Phillies that he can lead a team for an entire season, and not just pick up the pieces of someone else's failed tenure.