Baseball Prospectus has an interesting (free) article up about our interim manager Pete Mackanin. They make it sound like Mackanin has the inside track on the managerial job, and maybe he does, but I’m not sure BP is in the best position to make that judgment.

Anyway, the most compelling part of the article were some of the quotes:

Mackanin is someone who immediately makes those around him feel comfortable. However, he also has the innate ability to draw a line, and his players know not the cross it. “I love the guy, and I think everyone in clubhouse loves the guy,” Reds left fielder Adam Dunn said. “He just has a great way of making everyone relax. He’s a funny guy and he keeps things loose, but he’s not the type of guy you’re going to walk all over. We know he is in charge and we respect that. It’s not like we’re looking at him as the substitute teacher and we’re just having fun until the regular teacher comes back.”

Then, there’s this:

“I hate making excuses and I hate blaming the manager, but there was kind of a negative haze here,” Reds first baseman Scott Hatteberg said. “Pete is much more upbeat. He tries to be around and keep guys loose. He’s preaching a fun, more optimistic atmosphere, and I think guys appreciate it.”

We’ve been pretty critical of some of Mackanin’s insanely boneheaded moves, so it’s only fair that we point out positives about the guy. Then again, don’t we always see quotes like this when a new manager takes over? The atmosphere always changes, regardless of who is hired.

Anyway, read the entire article, because there are some informed thoughts on what the Reds need to do in order to compete next year.

11 Responses

  1. Bill

    Hatteburg’s comments seem like the same things said when Narron had been manager for a while replacing Miley.

    Wash, rinse, repeat.

  2. Daedalus

    Wow, to hear someone like Hatteburg say that really says something about Narron, so I think it is a little different than what was said in the past.

    I still don’t think Pete is the answer, but I’m trying to convince myself not to be angry when the inevitable comes and he is hired.

  3. Ed from Petaluma, CA

    Nice to hear the comments about the new manager. But, this is our 8th straight losing season. The only thing we should be talking about in September of every year is (if we are not in the play-offs) how we would go about improving toward getting into the playoffs. Everything else is plain non-sense 😀

  4. Y-City Jim

    Given a choice between better pitching or better managing I’ll take better pitching.

  5. Dan

    I’m sure Pete’s a great guy, and the team has responded to that, which is awesome, but he’s also made some dumb moves that have cost a couple games. I don’t know if he’s really got the goods to be a big league manager.

  6. Glenn

    It would be nice for the Reds to be so loaded in talent that it wouldn’t really matter who the manager was. He could just fill out the lineup card and sit down. However, we all feel about the last few managers, they have not been given front line talent, especially on the pitching staff. That falls on the front office. The payroll has been lacking and we’ve had some general managers that have just accepted that they couldn’t compete with the high payroll teams. Imagination just hasn’t been there.
    I’m not sure that Casey Stengel could make a difference if he had to work with the same quality of pitchers Miley, Narron, Mackanin et al have had to deal with.

  7. Matt Stiers

    I am so sick of hearing about this. If one more stinking player tells us that the manager is a relaxing fun guy I am going to puke. I dont care about fun. I care abuot wins. I want a no nonsense hard ass that will get in his players ass when they screw up. They dont have to like him but they better damn know they have to play hard good baseball for him. Look at the cubs with sweet Lou. Look what the marlins were able to accomplish with Girardi. No more fun. Hard nose winning baseball is fun enough for all of us. From game 1 to game 162 same all out attitude and starts with the manager. Does anyone else wish it was 1990?

  8. GodlyCynic

    No, 1990 was a fluke on the level of the White Sox’s recent championship (a bunch of pitchers having career years at exactly the same time). Lou Pinella has a gigantic payroll of doom and is still barely winning a terrible division. He had far more talented teams in Seattle than he ever did in Cincy, Tampa, or Chicago and always was a post-season disaster.

  9. Matt Stiers

    Well I will take post-season disasters over 90 loss seasons everytime. There is no such thing as barely or kind of winning. You win or your dont. By one game or by 100 the result is the same. A shot in the post season. And just for discussion I completely disagree with your asessment of 1990. I can think of one guy who had a career year in Jack Armstrong. Danny Jackson was a 20 game winner(should have beat out Orel that year for the cy young) and Tom Browning had what 15 wins consistantly. The nasty boys were brought it all together. Not very often do you have 3 guys that can throw in the upper 90’s to close the game out. Larkin and Davis were 30/30 guys, larkin a soon to be mvp. Hal Morris fought Tony Gwynn for batting titles in the early 90’s. I could go on. That team was put together to win. Maybe im just blow smoke out my ass because it was our last title and I dont want it to be considered a “fluke”

  10. GodlyCynic

    The team wasn’t built to win as they never really won before or after with that roster. 1990 was neither the start of nor the culmination of a dynasty; it was a fluke. Remember 1991? Same people, opposite result. Sometimes you get lucky and a group of players for no apparent reason performs well above expectation. Browning’s decline began in 1991 (and no, he didn’t win 15 consistently, only 4 times, though that’s irrelevant). Armstrong was a fluke. Jackson had only one year comparable to 1990 after that (1994). Ron Robinson imploded after 1990. Dibble’s 1.74 ERA he never came close to repeating.

    On offense, career years were had by Mariano Duncan, Glen Braggs,

  11. GodlyCynic

    and Chris Sabo was in the middle of a two season flash in the pan that proved to be ultimately a tease.

    I’m not disparaging the 1990 Reds, but you can’t say that this was some masterful creation by management. It was lucky. Only five of the players proved to have any staying power as very good players(Morris, O’Neill – who they quickly got rid of, Larkin, Myers, and Rijo). I loved watching that team and love to reminisce, but, really, this wasn’t the second coming of the Big Red Machine and it wasn’t even the level of the mini-dynasty put together by the team they swept that year in the World Series. It was just a wonderful coming together of events.