Pete Mackanin is a stickler for details. Since taking over as Philadelphia Phillies manager prior to the 2016 season, his goal has been to mold an organization that’s rebuilding into a major league team that’s confident, consistent, and perhaps most importantly, focused.
Everyone’s held accountable for their mistakes, because everyone is treated equally. And if that mistake is deemed to be big or ridiculous enough, every single player in camp pays for it equally. As in a team-wide $1 fine.
It’s a system Mackinen started last spring, and it’s obviously back in play this spring too. As Mike Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote following Saturday’s 13-8 loss to Pittsburgh, Mackanin handed out one of his team-wide fines after third baseman Maikel Franco, arguably the team’s best player, lost a pop-up in the sun.
But it wasn’t that Franco lost the ball that irked Mackanin. It’s the silly reason it happened, which Mackanin explains here.
Mackanin said Franco’s error – the third baseman lost a pop-up in the sun on Saturday afternoon despite having sunglasses resting on the brim of his hat – warranted one of the manager’s team-wide fines. The team is penalized each time a player slips up, whether it’s not hustling or failing to get a bunt down. The manager hopes the rest of the team gets on the player who brought on the fine.
“I don’t get it,” Mackanin said after a 13-8 loss to Pittsburgh. “He lost the ball in the sun. We’re going to have to fine him a dollar.”
Franco made sure to wear his shades the next inning. He said he just forgot to wear them. Franco responded with a diving catch and hit a grand slam in the seventh. It was his fourth homer of the spring but first since Feb. 27.
Never mind the fact that Franco made up for this blunder and another error by hitting a grand slam in the same game. Mackanin’s focus is on eliminating mistakes and keeping everyone on the same page.
A single dollar isn’t really a big deal, but it’s still annoying to have to pay a fine for someone else’s mistake. That’s the idea, though. No one wants to be the guy forcing everyone to reach in their wallet, and you can bet all of them were thinking that exact thing when paying for Franco’s mistake on Sunday morning.
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