When Ryne Sandberg stepped down as manager of the Phillies last Friday, it was Pete Mackanin that was given the role, albeit with the interim tag. Mackanin has experience with this sort of situation, as he's been an interim manager twice before in his career (2005 with the Pirates and 2007 with the Reds). Since he was brought in to be a coach and not the manager, Mackanin's new role as the team leader is set to be short-lived. But, just how long will it be until a permanent decision is made?
Initial reports pointed to the idea that Mackanin would remain on for the rest of the season, and for the new leadership group to make the final decision in the offseason. During today's press conference to introduce Andy MacPhail as team president, current president Pat Gillick may have thrown a wrench into that idea.
When asked about Mackanin's role, Gillick said that a decision would be announced within the next week. Very likely, this means the team will formally announce the "interim" tag becoming a "rest of season" tag instead. Very often, the hiring of long-term managers comes in the offseason, when leadership groups have time to evaluate not only their own staff, but the available personnel around the league. As it stand now, though, there are a plethora of names available with previous major league managing experience. A couple of those names include:
Bud Black - Hired in 2006, Black was let go from his role as manager of the Padres earlier this season. Black is well-respected around the league in this position, and has had some past success (World Championship as a player and pitching coach, 2010 National League Manager of the Year). Plus, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN and Baseball America tweeted about Black's perception around the league.
"Bud Black would be perfect there,'' said an MLB scout. Well-regarded, has experience and personality to manage in Philly.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) June 29, 2015
Ron Gardenhire - Ron Gardenhire's managerial career has taken a similar path to Black's. Over a thirteen year period, Gardenhire was the manager of the Minnesota Twins. Coincidentally, he won the American League's version of the Manager of the Year award in the same season as Black, 2010. Gardenhire has not managed since being let go at the end of the 2014 season, but he is one of only 60 managers with 1,000 wins or more. Crasnick also sees Gardenhire as a good fit.
Ron Gardenhire another interesting name, obviously. He also has experience and people skills to handle Philly.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) June 29, 2015
Eric Wedge - With ten years of managerial experience, Wedge certainly has the ability to bring some expertise to the role. Though he hasn't been in the league since 2013, Wedge has led both the Cleveland Indians and the Seattle Mariners, and was the recipient of the 2007 American League Manager of the Year award.
Raul Ibañez - Recently retired from the game, Raul Ibañez is plenty familiar with both the game itself and the city of Philadelphia, having played here from 2009 to 2011. Despite his lack of experience, Ibañez was one of the final candidates for the role of the manager of the Rays, with the position eventually being filled by Kevin Cash.
Other candidates include, but are not limited to, Dusty Baker, Ron Washington, Mickey Morandini, and Manny Acta.
These names are obviously interesting to think about, but first, we will need to find out the final decision of Pete Mackanin. Expect an announcement within the next week or so.
Andrew Gillen, Managing Editor of Philliedelphia.com