Whatever your opinion is on Pete Mackanin, come Monday, he’s not the Phillies manager anymore. And the franchise now has to figure out who will be the next manager in what we all hope is going to be the next golden era of Phillies baseball.
So let’s break this down with a few of the possibilities and odds on who might be the next Phillies manager in a few different categories:
UNDER CONTRACT ELSEWHERE
These are guys we’d probably love to have. But they’re under contract with their current teams at least through next year.
BUCK SHOWALTER: Let’s just turn Philadelphia into Baltimore North, shall we? Team president Andy McPhail, General Manager Matt Klentak and assistant GM Ned Rice all have Orioles roots, so why not just add another? Showalter is one of the best managers in baseball, and has proven it with playoff appearances in three different spots (Yankees, Diamondbacks, Orioles). Here’s a bonus: he may have an in with Manny Machado, who is up for free agency after the 2018 season and would be a Jim Thome-like signing for the franchise. He seems to have worn out his welcome in Charm City, so he may not be under contract for that long. For the Phillies to dump Mackanin, there must have been a Plan B ready. Showalter seems like Plan B. ODDS: Even.
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Upper Darby boy who took Penn State classes (thanks Wikipedia!) and has proven to be totally cool with the analytic philosophy the Phillies want. He’s been to a World Series and took what was essentially a pretty patchwork Angels team to the cusp of the playoffs this year. He may have the bigger “in” than Showalter — Mike Effing Trout. If you’re telling me there is anything more than a 15 percent chance that Trout comes to Philly in 2021 by backing up a dump truck full of money onto Scioscia’s front yard and giving up a tampering draft pick to get Scioscia here … I do it. Every day of the week and twice on Sunday. But he seems like a West Coast guy now. ODDS: 3-1
IN THE ORGANIZATION
You always want to promote from within. But the choices aren’t thrilling.
DUSTY WATHAN: No. Just, no. You’re going to hear a lot about Wathan because the kids coming up love him, and he’s done a great job with them in Reading in 2016 and this year in Allentown. And that’s great. Good job, Dusty! Dusty, would you like to be the bench coach? Cool, pull up a chair! But the Phillies just spent three years with an inexperienced manager who couldn’t seem to figure out the whole big-league thing. And same for Ryne Sandberg before that. Let’s move on. ODDS: Sadly, 5-1
JUAN SAMUEL: It’s surprising that his name is even out there since he’s been pretty maligned for his work as a third base coach. “We know you can’t get Odubel to hold up on a seeing eye single, but by all means, run our team!” However, one thing everyone seemed to love about Mackanin was his Spanish fluency, and obviously, Samuel has that. Not that it’ll be the reason he gets a job … ODDS: 50-1
LARRY BOWA: No. But thought we should mention him. ODDS: Just stop. Fine. Like, 7 trillion to 1.
They couldn’t cut it with their teams. So why would the Phillies think of these choices?
BRAD AUSMUS: Why is anyone even talking about him for this job? He made the playoffs in his first year with Jim Leyland’s team, then missed the next three years and found himself out of a job. Again, just no. ODDS: He’ll get an interview, that’s all. 100-1
TERRY COLLINS: Technically he’s still employed, but you know … Anyway, he’s not a good fit. ODDS: 200-1
UP AND COMER
JOE MCEWING: Philly guy (Levittown) who is going to be the hottest name on the market this offseason for the limited jobs that will be available. He’s already being talked about for the Mets job after serving as bench coach for the White Sox since 2012 and managing triple-A before that. He’s going to get an interview, unless the Mets lock him up before the Phillies get a chance. But he may want to hold out and wait to see what the Phillies do if he wants to come home. ODDS: 10-1
WE’VE SCORNED HIM BEFORE
JIM LEYLAND: One of baseball’s best modern-era managers, he famously – infamously? – interviewed for the job before Charlie Manuel got the position. He told Phillies execs they needed to completely break down the team and start over, including getting rid of Bobby Abreu (in his prime) for whatever anyone wanted to offer. He got the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” treatment even though he was right (sort of). He managed the USA World Baseball Classic team to a championship this year. But this is a long-term job that won’t come to fruition until 2020, at least. Do the Phillies really want to deal with an “I’m burned out” press conference on Memorial Day 2019? ODDS: 50-1