I’m sure you’ve already heard: the Jerry Narron era has, mercifully come to an end in Cincinnati, as Narron has been fired as manager of the Reds. Is anyone else surprised that Bucky Dent wasn’t named interim manager?

The Reds will announce on Monday that manager Jerry Narron has been dismissed and that team advance scout Pete Mackanin will be interim manager for the remainder of the season.

Narron was informed of the move after Sunday’s 11-7 loss to the Cardinals. General manager Wayne Krivsky was not available for comment. Krivsky and owner/chief executive officer Bob Castellini will hold a 12 p.m. ET news conference Monday at Great American Ball Park.

A message seeking comment was left for Narron on his cellular phone Sunday night. The 51-year-old was replaced as Cincinnati holds the worst record in baseball at 31-51 while sitting 16 1/2 games behind the first-place Brewers in the National League Central standings….

Mackanin will be introduced 4 p.m. ET Tuesday during a press conference. He will be the 59th manager in Reds history, and the 49th since 1900. Mackanin previously was in the organization from 1990-92, when he managed Triple-A Nashville, and he rejoined the Reds in February 2006 when Krivsky hired him to be the big-league club’s advance scout.

This will be Mackanin’s second stint as an interim manager in the Major Leagues. In 2005, he managed the final 26 games for the Pirates after Lloyd McClendon was let go.

Mackanin has seven seasons of Major League coaching experience. He was the Expos’ third-base coach from 1997-2000 and the Pirates’ bench coach from 2003-05. He managed for 13 years in the Minor Leagues.

A former infielder, Mackanin played in 548 games over nine Major League seasons with the Rangers, Expos, Phillies and Twins.

Okay, you can’t really argue with Narron’s firing. I’m not sure anyone can defend his performance, but I’m not going to kick the guy when he’s down. Jerry Narron seems like a really nice guy, and the type of guy you’d love to have around. He just did not get the job done with the Reds. I would have preferred, frankly, that the Reds wait until the off-season to make this move but, again, you can’t really argue with it.

Here’s where I’m concerned: everyone agrees that the Reds have underperformed during the first half. The chances are decent that the team’s performance will revert to the mean during the second half. They have to play somewhat better, don’t they?

Now, if the Reds do play better, Mackanin will get the credit, and Castellini/Krivsky will be pressured to hire him as the full-time manager. That would be a bad idea.

Pete Mackanin may be a great manager. I hope he is. But what the Reds need to do in the offseason is conduct a search for the best possible manager for the Cincinnati Reds. That may be Mackanin. It may not be Mackanin. Whoever it is, the Reds need to take the process very seriously, and not be pressured to remove an interim title if the guy isn’t the best possible option for the job after the season.

So welcome to the on-field staff of the Reds, Pete Mackanin. Redleg Nation wishes you the best of luck.