Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Manager is known for the Phillies, it's Gabe Kapler

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The Phillies upper management has selected a manager for the team, his name is Gabe Kapler. Surprise! A lot of media writers and fans had pegged the Phils to select a candidate from inside the organization as that is what the Phillies had done for a lot of the managerial posts available in the Phillies recent history going back 25 years or so.

A lot of great candidates were available for this job, recently released John Farrell, had a tremendous track record of guiding the 2013 Boston Red Sox to a World Series title. The Red Sox reeled off 97 wins that year. The past two years, Farrell has also had a great run with the Red Sox with 93 wins each season and finished first in the AL East. Who can argue with that success? And Farrell is young at 55 years old for a manager's post. You could have even had a seriously strong case to hire Joe Girardi, who has been managing the Yankees for 10 years. Girardi was Manager of the Year in 2006 and guided the Yankees to a World Series win over the Phillies in 2009.

No, the Phillies weren't interested in someone with success on their side this time, instead it seems like Phillies GM, Matt Klentak, who has attended college at Dartmouth, went the way baseball is going. A murky dark area called sabermetrics and managing by numbers which apparently Kapler had done a good job in selling his knowledge of players and numbers.

First for those who may not have even heard of Gabe Kapler, here's where Kapler's MLB career had taken him over the years, he was drafted in the 57th round. The following is a breakdown on some numbers that he produced over his career:

Standard Batting
12 Y12 Y11043315298379982386.268.329.420.74992
162 162 1624864381171257.268.329.420.74992
BOS BOS 3127336751821377.270.321.391.71382
TEX TEX 3221261112331431155.280.342.433.77598
TBR TBR 158378329751046.228.314.383.69788
COL COL 7920418652221.280.340.376.71678
DET DET 1374944411071849.243.310.438.74890
MIL MIL 9624522969838.301.340.498.838119
AL (AL (9292866256867872327.264.328.416.74491
NL (NL (1754494151211059.292.340.443.783100
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/31/2017.

A quick glance at Kapler's numbers over his career, and it makes you scratch your head and ask yourself what Kapler thinks of his own career in the 'sabermetric' world. What opportunities would have he had in this era of intense scrutiny of numbers? Kapler's 12 year career included 82 HR and 386 RBI.

What's more, certain pictures have surfaced on the internet of Kapler that suggests he worked out a whole lot. There has already been an article on deadspin.com (an online site that I don't normally read) that says that Kapler has had a blog in the past and that he was a good blogger.  Local Philly sports columnist and media member, Howard Eskin, aka 'The King', tweeted out a picture of Kapler in a pose that shows a body builder physic on Kapler as seen below.

Eskin joked that perhaps Kapler could be a good model for thongs, but that was years ago, Kapler now must make his hay in the Phillies organization as their manager. GM Matt Klentak saw something in Kapler that he was looking for.

The selection has been made, the Phillies have a new manager. A lot of work lies ahead of Kapler to turn this last place team in the NL East into something better. We'll see now that the announcement has been made just what becomes of this Phillies team. Kapler got the opportunity to be one of only 30 managers in baseball, there are some very good managers still out there looking for a managerial post, but Kapler's our man.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Phillies still searching for the manager of the future

Ryne Sandberg left the Phillies immediately upon hearing Andy MacPhail had been hired, since then the Phillies have tanked incredibly
pics. c. R.Baxter 2014

The Phils keep searching for the manager that will take this team into the future. Like the rebuild though we have been experiencing, it's taking some time. What can the priorities be of this job?

What kind of manager do the Phillies need now?

A guy that knows baseball that can motivate his players to do better and succeed playing this game is what we would like to see. There are plenty of qualified candidates, most of the other teams that have needed managers this season have already filled their managerial roles.

In an age where success in the postseason has been a measure of success from some teams, we've seen the Boston Red Sox fire John Farrell after being somewhat successful in managing the team, and then Dusty Baker walking away from the game after leading the Nationals into the playoffs, what are General Managers looking for these days?

Did Sandberg have a crystal ball for the future?

This leads me back to thinking about Ryne Sandberg and his reasons for wanting to leave the Phillies. Yes, we can look back and say perhaps he shouldn't have just quit in mid-stream on the team. His reasons though really are starting to resonate louder as time goes on with this writer. He said that he didn't feel that the management had  (or would have with MacPhail) a commitment to winning. And look what has happened to this team since. The Phillies have been one of the worst teams in baseball.

MacPhail critics have said he doesn't have chutzpah for free agents 

Andy MacPhail has been criticized for much of his career in management of a professional baseball team. MacPhail did have success as a GM in Minnesota though bringing the Twins to the playoffs in 1987 and 1991. He's got the right name for the job, his father was in the baseball business and very successful I might add.

Old habits die hard, MacPhail not wanting to add arms to the Orioles is the difference in their success going back to his time there

When it comes to Andy though, one of the biggest drawbacks has been a charge that he hasn't been able to 'do the right  thing' when it comes to getting the proper players on a baseball team that add up to winning in the postseason. He's demonstrated that again in this off-season. Saying the Phillies weren't going to go out and sign a big name free agent. Not now, wait a while, was his mantra from a couple weeks ago.

The wait continues for Phillies fans who are still finding interest in this baseball team

Well, we're waiting and waiting. The Phillies seemingly dragging this managerial hire process down Broad Street like a mummer who got stuck under a Septa bus and is screaming for someone to stop that thing. It's getting uglier by the year here for Phillies fans, whom many have taken their interests elsewhere. The Mets have hired their new skipper and the Red Sox have hired their new skipper, after relieving a very successful John Farrell from his duties. To me, the choice here is obvious, though I won't reveal who I would pick until after the Phillies announce their pick.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Happy Columbus Day 2017 - and yes, naysayers you're wrong

It's Columbus Day in the USA, and low and behold in the year 2017, there has been debate about this national holiday that we've enjoyed for years. It's the endless assault on our history by those who do not think that it is a problem to dismantle what has been known by historians.

It would almost be like fans and press today saying that what we know about baseball all these years is wrong. Abner Doubleday, did he have a big hand in the game of baseball? Well, perhaps some may think he didn't. Is that the same way that historians are trying to mar Christopher Columbus? Dragging his name through a sordid tale of being a 'slave owner' and a 'mass murderer' as he was described in this article on TheNation.com

Where do these people that write articles like the one listed above get off telling us all these vicious lies and false accusations? Columbus did sail to the New World, that is a fact. I recently saw a fascinating story on Columbus and where his remains are actually buried. It was a fascinating study from scientists that claim he is in either Spain or Italy or perhaps down in the Caribbean.

Whatever the case, Columbus was real, he was relevant and he was an explorer who sailed in a time without GPS coordinates, without instant internet connections, and the modern sailing conveniences. He had to do things the old fashioned way, a compass, the stars, and a little bit of guidance from the god of the seas that kept his sails full of breezes that took him around the globe many times. What can these detractors of him boast of? They couldn't find their way out of a paper bag if the truth is known. They should learn to get a life and not impose their idiotic views on a susceptible reader who may interpret their bs as some semblance of truth.

Make no mistake of it, there is a mini-revolution going on in America right now, between the forces of those who wish to violently express their will on the public, let's not stand down to these citizens, but refuse to let their wills be imposed on the majority.

Craziness knows no bounds on this holiday now with writings like these from:

Minnesota Public Radio 

Teen Vouge 

ABC News report from New York City

Fox 61 news report of vandalism

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Latest Phillies Talk Podcast with Rich Baxter and special guest Matt Veasey

Play here

Check out the latest Phillies Talk Podcast with Rich Baxter and special guest, Matt Veasey from his website http://www.mattveasey.com and other place on the internet!

We're talking a review of what the Phillies accomplished in '17 (not that much, but they did finish strong) and talk about the future of the team. What do they need to make this a team that can end up much higher in the standings? Our opinions and commentary on the show.

Want to be a listener who supports the show financially? Would love to have you stop over to the Patreon site (this is a well respected secure site for artists of all types) find it here at http://www.patreon.com/Phillies to sign up to sponsor the work of the podcast. Thanks!