Klentak commends Mackanin's job in rebuild

GM says there is reason to be optimistic about the future

September 15th, 2017
Pete Mackanin and the Phillies have a 14-12 record since Aug. 18. (AP)Jeff Chiu/AP

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak, like everybody else, watched the Phillies post the worst record in baseball through the All-Star break.

Play has improved since then, albeit slowly. The Phillies entered Friday night's game against the A's with a 28-31 record since the break. They are 14-12 record since Aug. 18. , and others have keyed the turnaround, but Klentak on Friday also commended Pete Mackanin and his coaching staff.

"We went through a lot of adversity in May and June," Klentak said. "To the credit of Pete and the coaching staff, those guys worked their way through it."

Mackanin signed a contract extension in May, carrying him through next season. Of course, nothing in baseball is guaranteed. Former Phillies general manager Pat Gillick seriously considered replacing Charlie Manuel following the 2006 season, despite a year remaining on his contract and the Phillies just missing the postseason. Manuel remained, eventually leading the Phillies to the 2008 World Series championship and five consecutive National League East titles.

It does not sound like Klentak is having similar thoughts as Gillick in 2006.

"When we signed him to the extension, the intention was to take the drama out of both this year and next year," Klentak said about Mackanin. "Beyond that we'll have to see, but I think when we signed Pete, that was right in the beginning stages of our struggles. The fact that he and his staff were able to weather the storm and get us going on the right track was really important for us this season.

"Everything I've said about Pete at various times is still the case. He and I will get together either late in the year or right after the season is over and talk about the rest of the staff and how we move forward."

But considering where the Phillies were at the break -- they were 26-52 -- there is reason to be optimistic about the future.

"One of the things about this year, obviously, it was hard at times," Klentak said. "It was easy to get down and easy to be negative. And it would have been real easy to lose faith in what we were doing, but [Mackanin and his staff] never did. I think as the season went along and we started playing better, I think that group deserves a lot of credit for not losing faith in the team."