Why Is Mackanin A Better Manager For Phillies Than Sandberg?
As a player Ryne Sandberg had a career that led him to the Baseball Hall of Fame while Pete Mackanin's playing career was nine years of what some may quantify as a "Utility Player". But as a Manager Sandberg was 40 games below .500 while Mackanin is only ten games under .500 for his managerial career.
NBC Sports Lead Baseball Writer Craig Calcaterra says that Mackanin deserves credit for Phillies early season success because he is different from Sandberg:
"If you wanna talk credit though, let's talk Pete Mackanin. How toxic was Ryne Sandberg to that team in hindsight; Mackanin's a wonderful guy I think for a young team, for a rebuilding team. None of the sort of issues that you heard when Sandberg was running stuff has come to the fore(front) and I don't just mean players publicly complaining, you talk to media people who are around the Phillies there was just this sour feeling there that even went unspoken sometimes. None of that's happened with Mackanin, I think he's a great teacher, a great caretaker."
Describing Sandberg's time as manager as "toxic" and that "there was a sour feeling" around the Phillies is eye opening. During the 278 games he was at the helm of the Phillies the team didn't just play poorly but the roster was not well constructed either. While many typically direct their blame towards former General Manager Ruben Amaro for the "crash and burn" of the Phillies, after hearing Calcaterra's characterization of the environment around the team during the Sandberg tenure it makes one wonder if the manager had as much of a negative impact on the organization as the GM.
Checkout what Calcaterra had to say Thursday on The Sports Bash about the Phillies young pitching staff, Max Scherzer's 20 strikeout performance, along with the futures of Jake Arrieta and Mike Trout