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Phillies give manager Peter Mackanin 2-year deal through 2017

Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak, left,  has quickly grown impressed with manager Pete Mackanin, who has been awarded a new two-year contract. (Associated Press)
Rob Maaddi Associated Press

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Pete Mackanin quickly impressed his new boss.

The Philadelphia Phillies signed manager Mackanin to a two-year contract through 2017. The new deal includes a club option for 2018. The 64-year-old Mackanin had signed a one-year contract last September after replacing Ryne Sandberg in June.

General manager Matt Klentak arrived in late October and it didn’t take long for him to decide he wanted to keep Mackanin around.

“I’m absolutely confident that he’s the right person to lead this organization as we grow forward,” Klentak said Friday. “Pete couldn’t have shown me anything more. He and I are very much aligned on the culture and the environment that we’re trying to build.”

Mackanin led the Phillies to a 37-51 record after Sandberg abruptly resigned. The rebuilding Phillies are 14-7-2 in Mackanin’s first spring training, entering Friday night’s game against Toronto.

“This is a great opportunity,” Mackanin said. “Now that I’m the captain of the ship, I want to keep the guys pointed in the right direction, play the game the right way, play with energy.”

Mackanin was Philadelphia’s bench coach under Charlie Manuel from 2009-12. He spent 2013 as a pro scout with the Yankees before returning as third-base coach in 2014.

Mackanin’s career managerial record is 90-104, including stints as interim manager with Pittsburgh in 2005 and Cincinnati in 2007.

“Four, five years ago, I had given up the thought of managing in the big leagues because I thought I would have had a chance earlier,” Mackanin said. “Last year when I took over to finish out the year, I didn’t worry about it. I’m more concerned about doing the job on a daily basis and seeing where the cards fall.”

The Phillies have a group of talented young players they’re hoping to build around. Mackanin has an excellent rapport with them and maximizes their abilities by making sure guys are relaxed and enjoying playing the game. But he’s no pushover, either. Mackanin stresses fundamentals and even set up a fine system in which every player has to pay 50 cents for one guy’s infraction.

“I think we’re on the right track right now,” Mackanin said. “I’m happy to put my stamp on it. My mandate is to keep the guys positive, keep them playing with energy and keep them playing the game the right way.”

When Klentak approached Mackanin with a new contract, he wanted to give the skipper a couple of days to read it over.

“I only needed about 10 seconds,” Mackanin said. “I said, ‘I’m good without reading it.’ ”