Pete Mackanin will be retained by the Phillies for 2016 ‘Details’

Pete Mackanin will be retained by the Phillies for 2016 - Details

Pete Mackanin is no longer the interim manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Phillies announced Tuesday they extended Pete Mackanin’s contract as manager through the 2016 season, with a club option for 2017. Hence, Mackanin, 64, who in three major league managerial tenures always had the first name “interim” on his title, will go through spring training and into a season as a manager for the first time, the 53rd in Phillies history.

What won’t be new is the fate he’s been dealt. Still early in the rebuilding process, the Phillies will figure as a club again headed for a lot of losses next season.

For Mackanin, however, the new contract is a reward for a job well done, if not numerically successful.

After he took over for the resigned (in more ways than one) Ryne Sandberg on June 26, Mackanin’s team lost seven of the first eight games with him as interim manager. But with a daily dose of optimism and endless supply of positive demeanor, he seemed to win over the players. They responded by winning 12 of 14 games from July 17 through Aug. 1.

Along the way, then-general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. helped oversee several trades of former Phillies stars for prospects. As a result of the thinned clubhouse and a few ill-timed injuries, the Phillies have phlopped back to earth and returned to the major league basement.

Entering play in Miami Tuesday, they had gone 15-30 since Aug. 1 and were 30-46 under Mackanin.

In a statement released by the team, incoming president Andy MacPhail said, “We believe that Pete is the best fit for the role. Since assuming the interim manager position in June, Pete has developed an excellent rapport with our players and has also connected well with the media and our fans.

“Equally as important is his eagerness to take on the challenge of rebuilding the team and further developing our players. We look forward to his contributions.”