In a move surely executed with Joaquin Benoit’s happiness at heart, the Phillies announced Thursday morning that they have extended manager Pete Mackanin’s contract. Mack’s new deal - billed as a two-year contract through 2018 with a 2019 club option - essentially overwrites his current one, guaranteeing his 2018 salary as the club slogs up the rebuilding hill. The Phillies are 121-161 with Mackanin installed as manager.
The timing of the announcement is funny, as it comes less than 24 hours after Benoit publicly (though not directly at Mackanin) criticized Phillies field management for their bullpen structure and usage. If there’s a knock on Mackanin, it might have something to do with that (or his penchant for benching Odubel), but it’s certainly not his cross alone to bear.
This is really an upshot play, though. Much in the way Brett Brown has been given the vote of confidence as the Sixers sweep up their ashes, so, too, has Mackanin now been told “this team isn’t your fault.” And that gesture comes in the form of money, the other universal solvent.
No word yet on whether Mackanin plans to enter the clubhouse with his tongue stuck out in Benoit’s general direction.
The Phillies’ next game is Friday night in Washington vs. the Nationals.