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Thread: The Mackanin factor...

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    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    The Mackanin factor...

    Permanent fixture?
    Former Brother Rice star Mackanin hopes to shed 'interim' tag with Reds

    July 29, 2007
    By Jeff Vorva Staff writer

    CINCINNATI -- Pete Mackanin will turn 56 on Wednesday, and the perfect birthday gift for him is not something he would receive.

    It would be something that would be taken away from him.

    The former Brother Rice High School baseball standout is the Cincinnati Reds' interim manager, which is a pretty impressive accomplishment. However, it's just a shade shy of his ultimate goal.

    But what if on Wednesday, under the craziest of circumstances, Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky woke up and decided to take away the "interim" tag and let Mackanin run the show for the next couple of years?

    "Without a question and without a doubt that would be a great birthday present," Mackanin said. "But I can honestly say I don't think about it and I don't worry about it, because it doesn't do me any good to project that far. I just need to concentrate as much as I can on the daily grind."

    It hasn't been much of a grind around the Reds lately. Under Jerry Narron, the club hoped to be a contender this season. But on July 1, the team fell to 31-51 and was 16 games out of first place in the National League Central. Narron was fired as manager the next day.

    Enter Mackanin, who'd managed 1,766 minor league games over the years and 26 games with Pittsburgh as an "interim" skipper in 2005 after Lloyd McClendon was fired.

    Mackanin played in the majors from 1973-81, and while the infielder didn't have a Hall of Fame career -- .226, 30 homers and 141 RBI in 548 games with Texas, Montreal, Philadelphia and Minnesota -- he learned some of his managing skills from some of the best in the business.

    Ted Williams. Dick Williams. Gene Mauch. Whitey Herzog. Dallas Green. Just to name a few.

    And before the Bronx was burning, Billy Martin managed Mackanin when Mackanin was a 21-year-old rookie with the Texas Rangers in 1973.

    Mackanin said he learned from all of his managers and has thrown in his own style in what has turned out to be a pretty good mixture so far. Heading into the series vs. the Cubs, the Reds were 13-8 and had won four of six series since Mackanin took over.

    He had some tough-guy mentors in Martin, Mauch and Co. Lock those guys in a room full of angry snakes and bears and someone better call for help -- for the snakes and bears.

    Mackanin, too, has brought some much-needed fun into the Reds clubhouse.

    "He goes out of his way to be humorous," first baseman Scott Hatteberg said. "He tries to keep things light when things are going bad. It's his personality. It's more relaxed here."

    "He lets us play," star outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. added. "He lets us do our thing."

    Mackanin hasn't lost sight of his roots. The 1969 Brother Rice graduate was proud to receive, from a Crusader supporter, a "Final Four" baseball jersey, commemorating Brother Rice's successful 2007 baseball season. The Crusaders were Class AA state semifinalists this year.

    While national icons such as Ted Williams and Martin helped shape Mackanin's baseball life, the Reds manager still has fond memories of his high school coaches, George Sedlacek and Cliff Petrak.

    "They were just good, solid people," Mackanin said. "When I was 15, 16, 17 years old, I didn't evaluate my coaches. But looking back on those years, I realize how well-intentioned both of them were and how much I enjoyed playing for them and how lucky I was to play for them. Some guys were taskmasters and had their thumb on you. These guys were great to play for."

    So now the big question: Will "Mack" ever get that darned "interim" tag removed? He has through the end of the season to prove himself. And recent Reds trends favor a nice finish, according to Griffey.

    "We obviously played bad enough to get a manager fired," Griffey said. "But if you look over the last four years, we've been a second-half team for some strange reason."

    "I don't think of him as 'interim,' " Hatteberg said. "I know he is, but that's not how I look at it. He's been aggressive. That breeds confidence in a team. More importantly, he's been positive in what's been a gloomy clubhouse all year."

    There are rumors the Reds are seeking a big-name manager. Former Arizona manager Bob Brenly (who's the Cubs' TV analyst), former Florida skipper Joe Girardi and even current St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa have been mentioned.

    "When I managed the Pirates, there wasn't a day that went by when there were three or four new names and the same old names conjectured about who would get the job," Mackanin said. "Fortunately, now, I haven't heard anything. It's not rampant in the paper, which is nice because I don't like to read that kind of thing. If people want to speculate, that's fine. I don't think it's appropriate for anybody who wants the job to express that to the media because I'm sitting here."

    Mackanin said he's not sure what's going to play out in the next couple of months.

    But after the initial "Pete who?" from some segments of the media, he's gaining a few friends with each victory.

    Cincinnati Post columnist Lonnie Wheeler wrote recently that Mackanin could be the guy the Reds are looking for.

    "Maybe the interim's on to something. ... Maybe the guy's as good a fit as the Reds are likely to find. But still, doggone it, there's the name thing. A big one seems to be in order. Nearly everyone agrees on that point. And so, in deference to it, may we offer a suggestion to Mr. Mackanin? Flaunt the first name. Around here, it doesn't get any bigger than Pete."

    Wheeler was referring to Pete Rose.

    So it appears that come Wednesday, Mackanin will not receive the ultimate birthday gift in the form of a multiyear contract to manage the club.

    But if the Reds keep playing .619 ball under his watch, he may be receiving a pretty sweet belated birthday gift come October.

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    Kmac5 KoryMac5's Avatar
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    Re: The Mackanin factor...

    I do like Mack for the full time gig, I love his style and the way he communicates with the players. With Narron you never knew he had a heartbeat in that dugout. With Pete you know he has a certain way he wants things done and he gets the message accross to his players.
    If you have a losing record at Reds games, please stop going.

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    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: The Mackanin factor...

    Quote Originally Posted by KoryMac5 View Post
    I do like Mack for the full time gig, I love his style and the way he communicates with the players. With Narron you never knew he had a heartbeat in that dugout. With Pete you know he has a certain way he wants things done and he gets the message accross to his players.
    This team played well under Narron and Miley to start as well....

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: The Mackanin factor...

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt700wlw View Post
    This team played well under Narron and Miley to start as well....
    Yep, no more long term plans based on short term results
    Go Gators!

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    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: The Mackanin factor...

    Its simple. If he keeps this team on its current pace then you have to consider a one year deal. I've never bought the "big name" manager - I think its mostly BS and its no different for Mac - if he has the players he can win over the long haul - if he doesn't it aint gonna matter if his name is John McGraw. I don't believe managers win pennants - but the wrong manager can lose it.

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    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: The Mackanin factor...

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    Its simple. If he keeps this team on its current pace then you have to consider a one year deal. I've never bought the "big name" manager - I think its mostly BS and its no different for Mac - if he has the players he can win over the long haul - if he doesn't it aint gonna matter if his name is John McGraw. I don't believe managers win pennants - but the wrong manager can lose it.
    1 year deal can work, if the team plays like this the rest of the year...that way they can see if there's carry over into next season.

    If not, there's no obligation to keep him around longer than they have to.

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    Will post for food BuckeyeRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: The Mackanin factor...

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    Its simple. If he keeps this team on its current pace then you have to consider a one year deal. I've never bought the "big name" manager - I think its mostly BS and its no different for Mac - if he has the players he can win over the long haul - if he doesn't it aint gonna matter if his name is John McGraw. I don't believe managers win pennants - but the wrong manager can lose it.
    I totally agree with this.

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    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: The Mackanin factor...

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    Its simple. If he keeps this team on its current pace then you have to consider a one year deal. I've never bought the "big name" manager - I think its mostly BS and its no different for Mac - if he has the players he can win over the long haul - if he doesn't it aint gonna matter if his name is John McGraw. I don't believe managers win pennants - but the wrong manager can lose it.
    And thus you get trapped into the destructive behavior we faced over the last several years. Examples:

    Dave Miley finished out the 2003 season for Bob Boone and went 22-35 (.386). Somehow, someone decided Miley needed to take over the club. The result was 76-86 (.469) in 2004 and 27-43 (.386) when he was fired. Big mistake.

    Jerry Narron replaced Miley and went 46-46 (.500) in 2005. That warranted him the job and he got an extension in 2007. In 2006, he managed a lucky, late-season faltering team to 80-82 (.494) and in 2007, he was 31-51 (.378).

    If we're going to follow the same pattern, why yes, go ahead and give Pete the job. Today. Then we can replace him either next year or the next when the club is faltering. The intelligent thing to do is to find a winning manager. You know, one who has a track record of winning, something these three gentleman do not have.

    If we do not study history, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over and over...

  10. #9
    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: The Mackanin factor...

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    And thus you get trapped into the destructive behavior we faced over the last several years. Examples:

    Dave Miley finished out the 2003 season for Bob Boone and went 22-35 (.386). Somehow, someone decided Miley needed to take over the club. The result was 76-86 (.469) in 2004 and 27-43 (.386) when he was fired. Big mistake.

    Jerry Narron replaced Miley and went 46-46 (.500) in 2005. That warranted him the job and he got an extension in 2007. In 2006, he managed a lucky, late-season faltering team to 80-82 (.494) and in 2007, he was 31-51 (.378).

    If we're going to follow the same pattern, why yes, go ahead and give Pete the job. Today. Then we can replace him either next year or the next when the club is faltering. The intelligent thing to do is to find a winning manager. You know, one who has a track record of winning, something these three gentleman do not have.

    If we do not study history, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over and over...

    My preference is an outside voice, a "name" manager with credentials....

    If they choose not to go that route, and give Pete the job, I only want a 1 year deal

  11. #10
    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: The Mackanin factor...

    I repeat...

    Any consideration of giving the permanent job to Macklanin is unacceptable unless to want to repeat the last 3+ seasons.

    And I like Pete a lot, but it's time to go with a proven winner at the Major League Level.

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: The Mackanin factor...

    I had no idea that Mackanin grew up in Cincinnati. That really tips the scales in his favor in the court of public opinion. I wonder how many Brother Rice alumni are twisting Bob Castellini's arm at the country club or at charity fundraisers? Every time that happens, it offsets about 1,000 letters or phone calls from fans who want a big-name manager.
    Last edited by Unassisted; 07-29-2007 at 01:43 PM.

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    Member VR's Avatar
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    Re: The Mackanin factor...

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt700wlw View Post
    This team played well under Narron and Miley to start as well....

    I think they were 11-13 in Narron's first 24.

    Miley was 22-35 to finish out 2003.
    Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand

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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: The Mackanin factor...

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    And thus you get trapped into the destructive behavior we faced over the last several years. Examples:

    Dave Miley finished out the 2003 season for Bob Boone and went 22-35 (.386). Somehow, someone decided Miley needed to take over the club. The result was 76-86 (.469) in 2004 and 27-43 (.386) when he was fired. Big mistake.

    Jerry Narron replaced Miley and went 46-46 (.500) in 2005. That warranted him the job and he got an extension in 2007. In 2006, he managed a lucky, late-season faltering team to 80-82 (.494) and in 2007, he was 31-51 (.378).

    If we're going to follow the same pattern, why yes, go ahead and give Pete the job. Today. Then we can replace him either next year or the next when the club is faltering. The intelligent thing to do is to find a winning manager. You know, one who has a track record of winning, something these three gentleman do not have.

    If we do not study history, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over and over...
    That the 3 previous managers came from the organization has about as much to do with their lack of success as the fact that they all have two-syllable last names.

    Choose the manager that gets the best results out of the team, regardless of his pedigree.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

  15. #14
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: The Mackanin factor...

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    I had no idea that Mackanin grew up in Cincinnati. That really tips the scales in his favor in the court of public opinion. I wonder how many Brother Rice alumni are twisting Bob Castellini's arm at the country club or at charity fundraisers? Every time that happens, it offsets about 1,000 letters or phone calls from fans who want a big-name manager.
    Pete did not grow up in Cincinnati.

    I think the Brother Rice HS that Pete Mackanin went to is in Chicago, where he was born.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Mackanin

    There is also another Brother Rice HS that I know of, in Michigan. I think they played Moeller in football a time or two?

  16. #15
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: The Mackanin factor...

    Quote Originally Posted by Always Red View Post
    Pete did not grow up in Cincinnati.

    I think the Brother Rice HS that Pete Mackanin went to is in Chicago, where he was born.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Mackanin

    There is also another Brother Rice HS that I know of, in Michigan. I think they played Moeller in football a time or two?
    The article is poorly written, then. It certainly gives the impression that the high school is there in Cincinnati. Thanks for setting the record straight.


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