The Philadelphia Phillies have dismissed manager Gabe Kapler on Thursday. Furthermore, this ends a two-year run of underachievement for the franchise. After an 81-81 campaign in 2019 following the monstrous contract of Bryce Harper, it sounds like ownership has seen enough.
While in his first year – Kapler went 80-82 – so he improved by a game. To be fair, he could have been in the toughest division in baseball. For instance, the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, and New York Mets all had squads worthy of contending this past year.
Still, Kapler is gone; and we will soon find out if the manager spot was the problem. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports reported the news on twitter.
Less than two years after proclaiming that he was coming to Philadelphia to "bring that effing trophy back to John Middleton," Gabe Kapler is out as Phillies skipper. Story herehttps://t.co/67WDGpvc1w
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) October 10, 2019
Indeed, it’s always interesting to hear what ownership says when they fire a manager in baseball. Philadelphia owner John Middleton has this quote in the wake of pink-slipping Kapler:
“Several years ago, I promised our loyal fans that I would do everything in my power to bring a world championship team to our city,” Middleton said in a statement. “I will never waver from that commitment. … I have decided that some changes are necessary to achieve our ultimate objective. Consequently, we will replace our manager.”
Then – and this is interesting – Kapler actually gave a quote to the media. To his credit, you don’t see this always. Sometimes, managers silently head into unemployment or obscurity.
“I have tremendous respect for this organization, this franchise and this city,” Kapler said in a statement. “We came into 2019 with very high hopes. We fell short of those, and that responsibility lies with me. The next Phillies manager will inherit a team of talented, dedicated and committed players. There has been nothing more fulfilling in my professional career than the opportunity to work with the players on this team. As I move on, I know that this organization is in a great spot and will see a lot of success going forward. My hope is that I helped contribute to a developing culture in the organization that flourishes in the years to come.”
Finally, Kapler entered Philadelphia saying that he was going to ‘hand the effing trophy’ back to Middleton as the owner. In the end, results didn’t arrive quickly enough. And in a results business where so many dollars are riding on the line of every decision, it comes down to winning. After giving a huge contract to Bryce Harper – the Phillies know they have to keep moving if they’re not 100 percent set on the guy at the helm.
Ultimately, the next hire will be an important one. It will be interesting to see where Philadelphia goes with it, because it’s an attractive opening.