4.) Is Pete MacKanin a long-term solution?
In the span of three seasons, the Phillies have seen three different managers run things. Charlie Manuel ran the ship from 2005-2013, a span that included 5 straight NL East crowns, a pair of NL pennants, and a World Series championship. However, the team’s decline led to Manuel eventually being let go in 2013. Following the 2008 World Series win, the Phillies lost in the ’09 World Series, ’10 NLCS, and ’11 NLDS. A pair of losing seasons followed that, and that was the end of “Uncle Charlie.”
Following the departure of Manuel, the organization promoted Ryne Sandberg. Fans initially loved the move, and expected successful results. However, things didn’t turn out that way. In about two-and-a-half seasons under “Ryno”, the Phillies recorded a porous .428 winning percentage. The hiring never really seemed to work, as there were a number of occasions, where there was a lack of respect shown towards Sandberg. Specifically, instances by pitchers Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, A.J. Burnett, and David Buchanan. Those instances were one of the breaking points, that led to Sandberg resigning back in June.
Sandberg’s departure paved the way for Pete Mackanin‘s arrival. Upon Sandberg’s resignation, Mackanin inherited a team that was 26-49. Under the new skipper’s guidance, the Phillies began to play better, recording a 37-50 record over the remainder of the season. The season was already deemed over, so the remaining half of the season was viewed as Mackanin’s tryout. The organization obviously felt comfortable with Pete at the helm, as they named him the full-time manager for the 2016 season.
There’s only one true question to answer this season. Is Pete Mackanin a long-term solution, as the manager? Can he be the one that leads the Phillies back to the postseason? Will he be the man to bring the Commissioner’s Trophy back to Philadelphia? While these questions won’t be directly answered this season, the team will get a much better idea of what to expect in 2016, and going forward….