We’ve already read John Fay’s prediction that Pete Mackanin will be the Reds manager in 2008, and now I see that some Reds players are saying the job should be handed to him:

It wasn’t an overwhelming majority, but a poll of some veteran Reds players indicated there was support to have interim manager Pete Mackanin back next season with the permanent job.

From a group of 14 players surveyed on the team with three or more years big league experience, 11 responded and three declined to participate. Of those who responded, six said Mackanin should return, four said he shouldn’t return and one was undecided.

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was emphatic that Mackanin should get the job.

“I just feel like Pete knows what this team is capable of doing since he’s been here,” Phillips said. “I think Pete deserves to come back. I think he needs to come back, because he’s seen the stuff that goes on in this clubhouse and what can make this team win. If we bring a new guy in, I feel like he won’t know what we need or what really goes on in this clubhouse. That’s just my opinion.”

I’ve said this a dozen times, so I won’t waste much time re-hashing it. If the Reds conduct a serious, intense search in the off-season and Pete Mackanin turns out to be the absolute best candidate available, then sign him to a contract. But if there is a better candidate available, hire that person.

Don’t just keep Mackanin around because the Reds played a little better since he took over. That’s a silly way to make such a serious decision. If you will recall, the Reds have gotten themselves in trouble by removing the interim tag the last couple of times they hired a manager (see Narron, Jerry and Miley, Dave).

On the other hand, John Fay says that he has heard Dusty Baker’s name mentioned. Good grief, that would be a TERRIBLE decision. If GM Wayne Krivsky turns over the arms of Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto to Dusty Baker, there will be blood shed.