Bowa and Mackanin Return to Phillies Coaching Ranks – Phillies Nation

Bowa and Mackanin Return to Phillies Coaching Ranks news today coming from the Phillies as the team announced that Larry Bowa will return to the coaching staff for the 2014 season as Ryne Sandberg‘s bench coach while Pete Mackanin returns to the team as Sandberg’s third base coach. The three men, Bowa, Mackanin, and Sandberg, couldn’t possibly be more intertwined. Bowa and Sandberg were traded on January 27, 1982 in a deal that may wrightly stake claim to the title of “worst trade in Phillies history”.

The Phillies sent the pair  to Chicago for Ivan De Jesus. Bowa would spend three-and-a-half seasons with Chicago before wrapping up his career with the Mets in 1985 while Sandberg went on to be a Hall of Fame second baseman. DeJesus would hit just .249/.319/.319 in three seasons with the Phillies. Meanwhile, Macknanin was a coach in the Cubs minor league system while Sandberg was with the Cubs.

Bowa managed the Phillies from 2001 through Game 160 of the 2004 season, posting a 337-308 record with the club, while Macknanin was Charlie Manuel‘s bench coach from 2009 through 2012. Both Bowa and Mackanin, of course, were also players with the Phillies: Bowa a five-time NL All-Star and two-time NL Gold Glove-winning shortstop and Macknanin a .176 hitter in 18 games with the Phillies between 1978 and 1979.

It was also announced today that Steve Henderson will return as the Phillies hitting coach but that Wally Joyner has decided to pursue different opportunities.

Analysis: The big fear here is that the Phillies are not bringing in fresh faces to motivate the clubhouse. That idea is not necessarily true, however. Of the current roster, Bowa’s tenure as manager overlaps with just three players: Jimmy Rollins (622 games), Chase Utley (135 games), and Ryan Howard (17 games). Bowa’s energy could be a positive to jump start a rebuilding team, much like he did as manager of the over-achieving 2001 Phillies.

Mackanin’s presence, however, is not so new. Of the active 40-man roster, including potential free agents, Mackanin’s time in Philadelphia overlapped with 23 of the 40 players.



  1. SW

    October 8, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    What about Juan Samuel? Will he be back?

    • Hogey's Role

      October 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      Juan Samuel is the man!!

    • Paul

      October 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      They better keep him!

  2. Mary Lou J

    October 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    How about bringing Milt Thompson back!!

  3. lisa alvey

    October 8, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    we need to go forward with this team so bringing back ex-bench is out of the question…we need fresh talent…bowa is a difinate and i knew pete and charlie had their bouts so i’m glad he is back too we need a good pitching coach….any ideas??

    • Ryne Duren

      October 8, 2013 at 11:28 pm

      Lisa the person that immediately jumps out at me is Jamie Moyer. I think he has what it takes. He also played on the Cubs with Sandberg so ….you never know! But my guess would be Rod Nichols who was Sandberg’s pitching coach at LHV. But then what the heck do I know? lol

  4. wbramh

    October 9, 2013 at 2:11 am

    Anybody know anything about Bryan Price and his availability now that Dusty is gone?
    I’ve read good things about him but dunno.

  5. BetaSigmaDeltaShag

    October 9, 2013 at 3:48 am

    I like the idea of Bowa as bench coach. I think his no holds barred approach and sometimes in your face personality will work well with this team. I thought his tenure as the manager brought out the best in some players

  6. Greg Young

    October 9, 2013 at 4:32 am

    Personally, I would love to see Davey Lopes back!! He was an AWESOME 1st Base Coach!!

    • Dave

      October 9, 2013 at 7:48 am

      Yes, Lopes was awesome. He was sorely missed as the team looked lost running the bases. Letting him go to save money reminded me of all those cheap spending Phillies teams of the 80’s and 90’s.

      • Hogey's Role

        October 9, 2013 at 8:30 am

        I agree bring lopes back

      • G7

        October 9, 2013 at 9:10 am

        I don’t think the Dodgers will let Lopes go, and they have plenty of cash.

  7. Danny

    October 9, 2013 at 10:52 am

    This team needs more players like Bowa! Guys who give 110% every time they take the field and not players going through the motions! Rollins and Utley looked genuinely disinterested and Howard is just miserable. Asche seems like he’s got the fire, Ruff not do much….

  8. Ken Bland

    October 9, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Probably not worth anything, but Andy Martino writes this…

    Here’s another small tidbit: The Phillies re-hired franchise icon Larry Bowa as bench coach yesterday. Cano was extremely close with Bowa when both were with the Yankees. Ruben Amaro Jr. seems ready to be his swashbuckling offseason self again (and you have to figure Chase Utley would move somewhere for Robinson Freaking Cano). Does this add up to anything? Probably not, because it’s all about the money. But if the money is there, maybe Bowa becomes a secondary factor in a complicated decision..

    • Dave

      October 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Ken…let’s say that there was something to it and we did get Cano. Where would you put Utley, in leftfield?

      • loupossehl

        October 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm

        Around the horn with Asche, Rollins, Cano and … Utley. That looks good!!!

        Oh, I forgot …

      • Ken Bland

        October 9, 2013 at 6:17 pm

        Ya have to live with others thoughts on the “possibility”. Personally, I think it’s horribly unlikely, but Martino’s a credible enough former Phils beat guy, and Bowa did have Cano, so it wasn’t completely wild beyomd sharing it. But I have no earthly clue where Utley would be moved to. Oh, well, I do, but I don’t think first base is too likely. .

  9. bacardipr

    October 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I envision Utley making a throw from left field….His throwing motion is so awkward.

  10. artemis

    October 10, 2013 at 2:51 am

    Ugh! Whatever were they thinking of? Bowa got fired for being a rotten manager who demoralized the team by his obnoxious personality.

    • wbramh

      October 15, 2013 at 4:19 am

      Obnoxious AND rotten are not the safest traits for longevity as a manager, but obnoxiousness is sometimes tempered with age and experience; the same with competence.
      Not every obnoxious, incendiary manager can boast Earl Weaver’s record (or Billy Matin’s) but obnoxious obviously does not automatically make for a bad manager or necessarily get you fired.

      Some people might say (perhaps a few ex-players included) that the Phillies won their first World Series in part out of their intense hatred for Dallas Green. I find that a bit hard to believe but it’s a popular old rumor. I’m not qualified to say whether Dallas was a good tactician or not but he did inherit a pretty darn good Phils team to begin with, then went on to manage under .500 Yankees and Mets teams. Still, I think most fans have fond memories of Dallas and 1980 no matter his personality and of course, he’s back consulting the team to few critical complaints. Perhaps Bowa is/was a lousy manager but makes a superb bench coach. Having been hired for the latter job I’m inclined to give him a chance. One thing that no one can deny about Larry Bowa – he’s a first -rate competitor who doesn’t accept losing easily. It’s hard to imagine that attitude not being a good one in any clubhouse. Let’s hope he can channel it well these days.

      Personally, I like seeing him back in Phillies red.

      • Lefty

        October 15, 2013 at 2:04 pm

        I agree with this comment. In fact I think Bowa was one of those that said things about hatred for Dallas Green, it’s no wonder he’d take that approach himself. But I agree it’s really just his persona.

        The other important point IMO is that he will not be the manager, just an assistant. He can be just as obnoxious as he wants, he’s not the final say. In fact, maybe Ryne was looking for someone to play “bad cop” for him.

        Personally I like Bowa’s – let’s call it- enthusiasm.

  11. Nick

    October 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Bo will do fine as he won’t put up with any B.S. bfrom prima donnas. Bring back Greg Gross and fire Rueben.

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