Here’s Gabe Kapler answering a question about what fans can expect this season at last night’s College Winter Summit held by the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park:
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler explains what will lead to a "shitload of wins." pic.twitter.com/eYe1WkwXVa
— Tim Kelly (@TimKellySports) January 18, 2018
“You can expect the highest level of intensity in both practice and in a game. You can expect an incredible amount of effort and energy. You can expect a team that rallies around each other and fights for one another. And I think, finally, you can expect a team that is extraordinarily prepared. I think all of those things in aggregate will also lead to a shitload of wins.”
A “shitload” of wins? Sign. Me. Up.
Look, do I have any idea if Kapler is going to be a good Major League manager? Nope, and anybody that tells you they do is full of shit. The consensus is that his hire is the ultimate boom or bust proposition, right? If that feels like a hedge, that’s because it is. Nobody knows. It’s impossible to predict how any hire is going to play out, but this one is particularly difficult to gauge because there’s no comparable situation or track record to go by. The hiring of a young, energetic, analytical-thinker with virtually no coaching experience, who once openly theorized about the benefits of smattering your yam bag with coconut oil to guide a Major League team, is unprecedented. He has a promising young roster, but it’s also one without much of a track record. What’s more, as free agency continues to slog forward, it’s entirely possible, if not likely, that a slow-developing market may provide the Phillies with an opportunity to make a substantial, team-friendly acquisition in the coming weeks that drastically shapes the roster and their ability to immediately compete.
There will be plenty of time to discuss this in the coming weeks as the organization prepares to open spring training, but rather than focus on what we don’t know right now, let’s focus on what we do know:
Look at him. Look at that stance. Did attendees know they were going to see a god damn pyrotechnics show? Slim-fit pants, dress shoes, and a collared shirt/sweater/blazer combo contoured perfectly to his well-sculpted body. His right leg, slightly bent. The laser-focused stare. The way he grips the mic. It’s a casual look, but one that also says, “I’m well aware that this is a work-related function, but I’m at all times ready to reenact the pottery scene from Ghost.”
As for his response? The guy is electric. Everything that comes out his mouth is pure energy. It’s hard to listen to Kapler and not get fired up. He’s a polished and captivating speaker, but what he says at an introductory press conference or team-sponsored preseason event means little. I would expect Kapler to initially connect with a clubhouse full of young, willing and eager players, but how he handles the inevitable adversity and day-to-day grind of a 162-game schedule will be the true test. Will players buy-in over the long-haul? Will they view his message as genuine? Or will he be dismissed as a Tony Robbins wannabe in red pinstripes?
But I’m rooting for a guy who is emphatically making his point, knows he’s killing it, and then goes all in by saying it’s going to result in a shitload of wins. The bottom line is that the dude has balls—as you may have read.