Sportress of Blogitude

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin is imposing 50-cent fines on players?

Pete Mackanin is entering his first full year as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies — meaning of course he is in the midst of his first go-round running spring training — and has decided to institute a system where players are fined for mistakes.

And while the notion that he fining players for various transgressions, gaffes and mental errors — something other coaches, managers and the like have done before Mackanin came along — the amount of said fines might strike many as not having quite the presumed impact in light of the average professional ballplayer’s salary.

“If you don’t get a bunt down, everyone pays 50 cents,” Mackanin said on Thursday, via Phillies.com’s Todd Zolecki. “If you don’t hustle, everyone pays 50 cents. If you miss a cutoff man, everyone pays 50 cents.”

Mackanin even acknowledges that no one is likely to complain about coughing up a couple quarters one instance at a time.

“It’s a way to be picky about little things, like you made it into second base, but you should’ve slid,” he said. “You hit a double, but you coasted into second when you should’ve come around hard in case the guy bobbles the ball. Fifty cents. It allows me to be a real [jerk] about things like that. What, are you going to complain about 50 cents?”

Even such a minuscule monetary amount — which Mackanin says likely will go to the Baseball Assistance Team, an MLB charity initiative — arguably could add up given that presumably everyone on the Phillies’ spring training roster has to pay up every time a player does something wrong. It also creates an environment of accountability because one player’s mistakes are felt by all his teammates, albeit at a half-buck at a time.

“When I announce the fines and this week you have $2.50, a half-dozen players get on that guy,” Mackanin said. “Not meanly, but like, ‘Come on, don’t do that anymore.'”

The Phillies skipper was asked where the pot currently stands.

“We’re closing in on $1,000,” he said.

Good grief. Given that the Phillies already are at a cool grand and arrived at that number in 50-cent increments, it indicates that either Mackanin is a huge stickler about mistakes or that the Phillies are committing an awful lot of them.