Phillies

Pete Mackanin can pursue managerial jobs in new role with Phillies

Pete Mackanin can pursue managerial jobs in new role with Phillies

Pete Mackanin’s new job with the Phillies will allow him to be based in Arizona and pursue other managerial jobs. 

A day after general manager Matt Klentak announced Mackanin would be kicked upstairs and the team would hire a new manager for the 2018 season, Mackanin explained in more detail what he’ll be doing as a special assistant to the GM. 

“I’m fine with what I’ve agreed to,” Mackanin said before Saturday night’s game against the New York Mets. “Matt has given me the option to do something else that might come up, if I so choose. But I’d really like to be here when this team wins.”

The 66-year-old Mackanin said he’ll live in the Phoenix area, where he has lived in the offseason, and said there will “hopefully not be a lot of travel” involved in his new advisory role.  

“Looking at players. Evaluating players on other teams for potential trade situations,” said Mackanin, who figures to attend many games at Arizona’s Chase Field. “Giving input on whatever he wants me to give input on. Advise in many different aspects of the game.”

Mackanin went about his normal duties Saturday at Citizens Bank Park, as he agreed to finish the season as manager. After taking over following Ryne Sandberg’s resignation in June 2015, Mackanin has been the caretaker of a difficult rebuild and was 173-237 before Saturday’s game. 

But just as the Phillies appear poised to be competitive in 2018 thanks to an influx of young talent, Mackanin was shown the door. 

“I’ve looked back at my career and I feel like this is the best thing I could have done in my life,” Mackanin said. “But if you’re not tough enough to go through the ups and downs, it can be tough and it can be very miserable. You’ve just got to be a fighter and keep pushing.” 

While Mackanin has a job for next season, his coaches face uncertainty. It will be up to the new manager whether to retain any of his staff. 

“At least I have a contract for the next few years. I feel bad for them,” Mackanin said. “I’ve been there before. It’s not a good feeling. You have to start making connections. You try to make connections as quickly as possible because a lot of teams are in their decision-making times of the season. There’s going to be openings and you want to get your name out there.”

Mackanin said he went over with Klentak what he’d like to do in 2018. A Phillies spokesman said Mackanin could also make promotional appearances for the team. 

“I don’t have a schedule right now. He’s been great about that,” Mackanin said of Klentak. “I told him what I’d like to do and he’s going to try to accommodate me. But I’m at his beck and call. Whatever he wants me to do, I’ll do it.”

MLB Playoffs: Javier Baez snaps out of funk to help Cubs avoid sweep

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MLB Playoffs: Javier Baez snaps out of funk to help Cubs avoid sweep

CHICAGO -- Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Chicago Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

Jake Arrieta pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning to held the defending World Series champion Cubs close their deficit to 3-1. Manager Joe Maddon got ejected for the second time in this series in the eighth, and a packed Wrigley Field crowd watched Davis get Cody Bellinger to ground into a game-ending double play.

Maddon was heavily criticized for not using Davis during a 4-1 loss in Game 2. This time, the Cubs closer threw 48 pitches to finish the job.

Willson Contreras also homered for the Cubs. Bellinger and Justin Turner connected for the Dodgers, who had won a team-record six straight playoff games.

Game 5 is Thursday, with Jose Quintana pitching for Chicago against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (see full recap).

Tanaka, Yankees blank Astros to take ALCS lead
NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and the New York Yankees finally solved Houston Astros nemesis Dallas Keuchel, beating the ace lefty 5-0 on Wednesday for a 3-2 lead in the AL Championship Series.

Gary Sanchez hit an RBI single off Keuchel and later homered to help the wild-card Yankees win for the third straight day at home and move within one victory of their first trip to the World Series since 2009.

The teams head back to Houston for Game 6 on Friday night, when Justin Verlander and the reeling Astros will try to regain their footing following an off day and force a decisive Game 7. Luis Severino is scheduled to start for New York.

Just days ago, Houston was up two games to none and appeared to be closing in on its second World Series appearance. But the Astros, like defending AL champion Cleveland before them, have been unable to put away these poised Yankees, who improved to 6-0 at home in this postseason in front of their cheering, chanting fans (see full recap).

MLB Playoffs: Yankees storm back for win over Astros to even ALCS

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MLB Playoffs: Yankees storm back for win over Astros to even ALCS

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge ignited a rousing rally with a home run, then doubled during a four-run eighth inning to spur the New York Yankees over the Houston Astros 6-4 Tuesday night and level the AL Championship Series 2-2.

The Yankees trailed 4-0 against starter Lance McCullers Jr. until Judge homered leading off the seventh. He tied it with a line drive that nearly left the park in the eighth and scored on Gary Sanchez's go-ahead two-run double off loser Ken Giles.

The Yankees have rallied from a second straight 0-2 series deficit -- they beat Cleveland in the Division Series by winning three in a row to take that best-of-five matchup.

Aroldis Chapman struck out two in a perfect ninth, and New York improved to 5-0 at home in the playoffs.

Masahiro Tanaka pitches for New York against Dallas Keuchel in Game 5 Wednesday and rematch of the opener, won by the Astros 2-1 (see full recap).

Dodgers on brink of World Series after shutout
CHICAGO -- Yu Darvish pitched sparkling ball into the seventh inning, Chris Taylor homered again and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night to open a commanding 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.

Andre Ethier also went deep and Taylor added an RBI triple in the fifth as Los Angeles set a franchise record with its sixth consecutive playoff win. Yasiel Puig had two more hits in another entertaining performance that included an impressive bat flip -- on a long foul ball in the first inning.

Looking for a four-game sweep and their 22nd NL pennant, the Dodgers will send Alex Wood to the mound Wednesday night at Wrigley Field with a chance to reach the World Series for the first time since their last championship in 1988. Jake Arrieta, eligible for free agency after the season, pitches for the Cubs in what could be his final start with the team.

Los Angeles was eliminated by Chicago in the NLCS last year, but this is a different group of Dodgers. The lineup is patient and pesky and the pitching staff is much deeper, especially since Darvish was acquired in a trade with Texas in the final minutes before the July 31 deadline (see full recap).