One possible reason the Philadelphia Phillies stunned folks (including apparently ex-manager Pete Mackanin) by making a change after giving him an extension early this year is that the Phillies viewed him as a caretaker more than long-term solution and didn’t want to have to make a managerial change during the following winter, when they are planning to be a major player for the top free agents in a class that is absolutely loaded. They want certainty and stability as they recruit huge stars.
Among the stars already connected as potential targets to the Phillies are Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Zach Britton.
The switch did seem odd, however, as the Phillies played well in the second half, after Mackanin received the extension. In a weird way, the emergence of Rhys Hoskins and other young stars may have helped lead to the managerial change, as it may have moved up the Phillies’ timeline.
It isn’t known who the frontrunners may be for the Phillies, but some names being heard include Buck Showalter (who has connections to ex-Orioles execs Andy MacPhail, Matt Klentak and Ned Rice but a year to go on his deal) and Dusty Wathan (a respected player-development guy). Recently fired Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (who like Klentak went to Dartmouth; so did Mets GM Sandy Alderson, coincidentally) could make some sense. Gary DiSarcina, who was a coach in Anaheim/LA when Klentak worked there and spent 2017 as the bench coach in Boston, also could make sense.
Philly is a tough town, as many (including Santa Claus) well know. So experience would be helpful.
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