It’s been a tough offseason for Giants fans.
The club kicked things off by replacing manager Bruce Bochy, a legend, with Gabe Kapler, a controversial figure that a vocal portion of the fan base did not want anywhere near the club. Then 2018 Willie Mac Award winner Will Smith signed with the Braves. Then 2019 Willie Mac Award winner Kevin Pillar was not retained. Fan favorite Stephen Vogt also signed elsewhere. Madison Bumgarner seems likely to be next.
This all leads to a natural question: How will the clubhouse be affected, especially veterans like Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford, with a new age manager and a number of leaders nowhere to be found?
Kapler was asked exactly this when he joined Murph & Mac on Wednesday morning. Unsurprisingly, he’s not concerned.
“I’d like to share a story going back to the Red Sox days, I just think it’s really applicable here,” Kapler began. “In 2004 the Red Sox won the World Series. I was on that team, and we were a very, very tight unit in the clubhouse. Around the trade deadline, we started to hear rumors that our shortstop, Nomar Garciaparra, beloved in the city of Boston, beloved in the clubhouse, and just a true gentleman and great teammate and great player, might be traded. Sure enough the trade deadline rolled around, and Nomar Garciaparra was traded in a pennant race.
“The entire clubhouse felt the blow. The entire city felt the blow. Everybody had a hard time with it and was emotional about it. In return we got a player named Orlando Cabrera, and he became our shortstop immediately. We were sad about Nomar, but Orlando injected an incredible amount of life into that clubhouse, an incredible amount of energy. He played a great shortstop for us, he performed admirably, and ultimately we won the World Series with Orlando as our guy.”
It would seem that Kapler believes in the next man up mentality.
“It’s all to say it’s true, important members of our community, they come and they go. But it’s important that we maintain our professionalism in the clubhouse and say the next guy who comes in, the next guy who is part of that clubhouse unit, can be very impactful for us, and we have to give him a chance, and we have to look forward to that time.
“That’s how I look about it when it comes to the loss of great players and great teammates is there might be someone coming back, or that we sign, who takes on that responsibility.”
Listen to the full interview below.