Pete Mackanin returned to Great American Ball Park on Monday on Opening Day without the interim tag in front of his title: manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.
In 2007, Mackanin took the reins in Cincinnati when Jerry Narron was fired on July. He guided the team to a 41-39 record the rest of the way as interim manager but wasn’t hired after the season. The Reds hired Dusty Baker instead.
“It was disappointing,” he said. “I had gone through that before with Pittsburgh. In both places, the organizations wanted a bigger name. I get it. I didn’t happen to agree with it. After not getting the job that year, I kind of gave up the idea of even doing it anymore because it didn’t seem to be in the cards. All of a sudden, when you least expect it, it happens. I couldn’t be more grateful to not only the Reds and the Pirates, who at least gave me a look as a manager, but to the Phillies, who stuck with me and extended me.”
Mackanin managed the Pirates for 26 games in 2005. After the Reds hired Baker in 2007, he didn’t manage again until last season in Philadelphia. He was 37-51 after Ryne Sandberg resigned.
Mackanin was the Reds manager in September 2007 when Reds first baseman Joey Votto made his big league debut.
“I heard enough about him,” Mackanin said. “I hadn’t seen him until we called him. Scott Hatteberg was our first baseman at the time, and he was hitting .280 or something. It was a hard decision to take Scott out of the lineup, but he accepted it professionally. When you’ve got a talent like Joey Votto, you have to get a look at him in September for the following season. Obviously, it turned out to be a good decision because he turned out to be a pretty good player. It was a lot ofun. That last week of the season, Adam Dunn was hurt. Brandon Phillips was hurt. (Edwin) Encarnacion was unavailable. We didn’t have many major league players available, but Joey Votto stood out.”
Then Mackanin joked, “He is where he is today because I played him.”
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