The Phillies have won nine of their last 10 games, and they have looked more disciplined and motivated under interim manager Pete Mackanin than they ever did under Ryne Sandberg

By Art Beitchman

Thirty-three days ago, Phillies manager Ryne Sandburg resigned as skipper of the last place Phillies, stating he couldn’t take it anymore.

I bet!

Third base coach Pete Mackanin was elevated and accepted the manager’s role, and four days later he was named interim manager for the remainder of the season.

Ironically, Mackanin has had the same role with two other MLB teams, (Pirates and Reds) helping to steer those teams through a tough year, as a loyal and competent baseball man would do.

Mackanin had a cup of coffee with the Phils in 1978-79 as a utility infielder, smacking 1 HR, and knocking in 3 in 18 at bats!

In the first series after the All-Star break the Phils swept the Marlins, took two out of three from the Rays and swept the Cubs in Chicago, highlighted by Cole Hamels no-hitter!!

No one on earth — especially not in the Philly region —could have predicted this level of success.

They look more aggressive at the plate, jumping on first-ball fast balls, piling up extra base hits, and scoring lots of runs — hardly the mediocre, lifeless team we were used to seeing under Sandberg.

And they look more prepared at the plate, maybe utilizing scouting reports better, and making it count with more knocks.

It’s only a short 10-day sample, of course, but this mini-hot streak could keep the Phillies from setting an all-time loss record in franchise history, and that matters to the fan base.

Also they’ve been playing good baseball, and Pete Mackanin has to get the credit for motivating a team that has virtually nothing to play for, except pride, and future MLB employment.

And maybe their new skipper communicated those important truths to this young group, where the old manager couldn’t.

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