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.”