Oh the times, they are a-changin’.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports (and not Bob “I’m pretty much always wrong” Nightengale), the Phillies will hire Gabe Kapler, the Dodgers’ director of player development, as their next manager. Kapler was one of the final candidates for the job, along with IronPigs manager Dusty Wathan and former Red Sox manager John Farrell. If Heyman’s word isn’t enough for you, the illustrious Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philly (or whatever they’re called now) confirmed it.
Hearing same as @JonHeyman Phillies are poised to hire Gabe Kapler as skipper— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) October 30, 2017
This is a bold choice that takes the Phillies in a decidedly different direction. (Not least of all because their last three managers were alive when Kennedy was assassinated, and Kapler missed it by about 12 years.) Kapler is young and very interested in sabermetrics. He’s also into nutrition, taking the Dodgers clubhouse to all organic food. Which is fine, I guess. I’m not sure if organic food really changes anything, but I do my grocery shopping in a midwestern chain grocery store in which organic food is both scarce and expensive. Maybe if I ate organic food I could be as jacked as Kapler is!
But if anyone was wondering whether Klentak has a “type,” this answers that question. We know what kind of team Matt Klentak is building, and Kapler is another brick in this house. But a bold choice doesn’t come without risk. This is so bold that Klentak has essentially tied his future to the success or failure of this hire. And considering Kapler’s history of being extremely intense (not to mention his alleged dickish and assholish and discriminatory treatment of Nick Francona, military veteran and former Dodgers employee in Kapler’s department), it’s... well, risky really is the only word to use. I don’t love this hire, but I’m trying to keep an open mind until we actually start to see him manage. (And someone better ask Kapler and Klentak about those Dodgers accusations during the introductory presser.)
2018 is going to be an interesting season, folks. We’ll have more analysis about this in the coming days, especially when the Phillies officially announce this and make the hire.