Of the three candidates reported to be finalists for the Giants’ managerial position, only one has experience leading a major league club.
The man in question is Gabe Kapler, who was recently fired by the Philadelphia Phillies after just two mediocre seasons. Two controversial mediocre seasons that is. An iconoclastic personality, Kapler ruffled feathers with his outside the box tactics, that at times included a proclivity for using his entire bullpen during early season games.
He also garnered criticism for his conduct off the field, when the Washington Post reported that he failed to properly alert the authorities when one of his players was accused of sexually harassing a hotel employee.
The latter issue actually took place while Kapler was in the Dodgers’ organization as the Director of Player Development in 2015. Farhan Zaidi, the Giants VP of Baseball Operations, was the Dodgers’ general manager at the time.
Considering that the two have a relationship, and that Kapler has the most experience of any of the candidates, there is an assumption that Kapler is the frontrunner to replace Bochy, despite his questionable reputation.
So how would Giants fans react if he’s hired? John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle gave his take.
“I imagine the immediate reaction would be just what you’re seeing on social media right now, which is not real positive,” Shea told KNBR on Thursday. “But then when you step back and say ‘well okay, moving forward this guy is going to be the manager what does he have to offer?’
“Well he has experience to offer. He was a low round pick but then emerged as a top prospect. He’s played for many teams, some analytic driven, some not. He’s played overseas. He’s worn many hats in front offices. So he’s well versed, he’s well rounded in the game, and he’s not ancient.”
Kapler, 44, played for seven teams during a 13-year major league career that also included a stint in Asia.
“He’s a bright guy and he has different ideas. He learned from his mistakes and lord knows there were mistakes, especially early in his Phillie days when every inning he was throwing out a different reliever and wearing out his bullpen in the first week. He’s said over the years he’s learned from his mistakes and Farhan knows he’s learned from his mistakes. We all evolve and they expect this guy to as well.
“He is familiar with some of the people on the team. He was in Tampa Bay when Longoria was there, so they are somewhat tight. He knows Pillar pretty well. Stephen Vogt was a kid when Kapler was on the tail end in Tampa Bay.
“Obviously I think the reaction’s going to be negative at the outset but when they step back and Giants fans, if they maintain their relationship with the team, they’re going to say ‘we’ll what can you do for me?’ If he wins, he’s successful, he develops, he gets along with guys, if people play for him — then it’s a different conversation.”
Listen to the full interview below.