Chicago native and Philadelphia Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin was first up for the Chicago Cubs managerial interview process on Friday. Part of the process involved hypothetical testing under the pressure of real baseball situations, as Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer presented various statistics and game situations to see how well Mackanin made decisions in real time. An additional aspect of the interview was a planned press conference, and during the "test" press conference Mackanin had with Chicago media, he spoke about just how intense Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were:
"It was very comprehensive," he said. "They didn't let me up for air. They just keep pounding questions at you. It's very interesting. It's fun getting to know these guys and seeing what's on their mind."
One thing that might endear Mackanin to the Cubs front office is his willingness to use every tool available to him to inform his decisions, including advanced metrics. In an effort to explain his philosophy with regard to sabermetrics, Mackanin offered the following thoughts:
‘‘Any tool you can use to succeed, you better use it,'' he said. ‘‘Video. Statistics. Let's face it - statistics mean something. It's not just a number. If a guy's a .300 hitter, if he's a .250 hitter, that's what he is. That gives you an overall general look at what kind of hitter he is, and then you can delve deeper into leveraged indexes and ways of looking how he's been used and his replacement value and things like that.
The next interview is set for Monday with Milwaukee Brewers bench coach Dale Svuem.