Philadelphia Phillies Fire Manager Gabe Kapler
The Philadelphia Phillies have fired manager Gabe Kapler after just two seasons with the club. Kapler was hired before the 2018 season and was under contract for the 2020 season. He finishes his tenure in Philadelphia with a 161-163 record. The Phillies are now the eighth team searching for a new manager this offseason.
This past season, the Phillies failed to make the postseason after spending nearly a half-billion dollars to improve their roster. They would finish the season at the .500 mark (81-81). The 2019 campaign marks the eighth consecutive year the Phillies have missed the playoffs.
The Phillies have dismissed Gabe Kapler
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) October 10, 2019
General Manager Matt Klentak’s Statement
After the announcement of Kapler’s termination, Phillies GM Matt Klentak released the following statement.
“On behalf of everyone in our baseball operations department, I want to thank Kap for his tireless commitment to the Phillies over the last two years. When we hired Kap, it was our goal to develop a positive, forward-thinking and collaborative culture throughout the organization that would allow us to compete with the best teams in the league year in and year out.”
“While we have fallen short in the win column for the last two years, I can confidently say that Kap’s efforts have established a strong and sustainable foundation for this organization moving forward. In the coming weeks, John, Andy, and I will work diligently with others in our baseball operations department to find the right individual to build upon the existing foundation and bring a championship home to Philadelphia.”
A Disappointing Two Years
Kapler came to Philadelphia from the Los Angeles Dodgers, saying his goal was to bring a World Series title to team owner John Middleton. However, Kapler’s nontraditional, analytical style of managing never caught on with the Phillies faithful. In his first season, on Opening Day, Kapler took out his ace Aaron Nola after 5 1/3 innings with the Phillies up 5-0 against the Atlanta Braves. As a result, the Phillies would go on to lose the game 8-5 and finish the road trip 1-4. When the rookie manager returned to Citizens Bank Park for the home opener, he was serenaded by boos. The Phillies would finish the 2018 season 80-82.
In the offseason, the Phillies signed Bryce Harper to a historic contract and made big trades for catcher J.T. Realmuto and infielder Jean Segura. The team also signed Andrew McCutchen to a three-year deal. Although they spent most of April and May in first-place, a seven-game losing streak in June, and multiple injuries throughout the early days of the season halted their momentum. They would stay in the NL Wild Card picture for most of the season, but the team lost eight of nine in late September, before ultimately getting eliminated by Harper’s former team, the Washington Nationals.
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