Gabe Kapler is riding high.
After a four-game winning streak, the boos that washed over Kapler during his first week as manager have subsided, freeing the skipper to thrive in his natural state: haberdashery.
Kapler challenged convention again last night by visiting a Reading Fightins game live and in-person, wearing the most fuck-off hat these eyes have ever seen:
— Reading Eagle Sports (@RE_sports) April 24, 2018
Holy shit he’s the modern-day Ira Lowenstein from A League of Their Own*:
Say, where’s Mr. Wrigley?
Kapler is so comfortable is his tightly-formed skin that it almost makes me feel insignificant. I think twice about what I’m wearing before I take the trash out, worrying about my gait and the manner with which I shut the lid of the oversized can. Meanwhile, Kapler shows up to an all-eyes-on venue dressed like Jason Bourne fucked a Mossad agent. He could kill you… or just tell you the chances of success when swinging at an outside curveball on a 1-2 count, and then guide you through the finer points of stroking your egg-ham under the warm summer sun. Fascinating.
Anyway, the players were thrilled (gripped by fear?) to see him. From The Reading Eagle:
The players, of course, were caught by surprise when Kapler strolled through for a pregame meet-and-greet.
“That was an incredible gesture,” said Legg. “He made them all feel special. The boys really dug it. It was a great moment.”
The Fightins carried that feeling onto the field, stroking three homers in an 8-4 Eastern League win over Akron.
No doubt there was a special feel to game No. 18 out of a scheduled 140.
“Obviously, it sparks you a little bit,” said Fightins center fielder Zach Coppola, who opened the game with a double, and later smashed full speed into the outfield fence chasing a fly ball. “It makes you want to play well.”
Indeed, there was a special energy on the field.
Shortstop Malquin Canelo chased down ground balls like he was the “Wizard of Oz.” He even smacked a homer his first time up.
Zach Green and Deivi Grullon also homered, Grullon’s blast landing 447 feet away in left-center.
“I’m sure it gave us a little bit of a lift,” said Reading third baseman Damek Tomscha. “You don’t want to go out there and not perform well, so you had a little extra reason to do well.”
That, and also because a quick glance from Kapler could have you swiftly removed from this Earth by a team of plain-clothed assassins who watched just the right amount of mob movies when they were young. Be bold.
*David Strathairn is excellent in Billions as Black Jack Foley. His drawl is perfect. He does old-timey elitist better than anyone. I want to rent him out for outdoor gatherings and have him just comment on my cocktails.