The weekly Gabe Kapler/Angelo Cataldi interview was already must-listen radio, but with the Andrew McCutchen injury and Jean Segura “hustle” talk stinking up the Delaware Valley this week, the June 7th interaction between Phillies manager and talk radio charlatan was even more entertaining than usual.
Cataldi didn’t waste any time getting into his usual bullshit, greeting Kapler before saying this:
Cataldi: “It’s been a crazy week in Philadelphia, Gabe. Lots of harsh criticism, I can’t lie to you. It’s been a rough week for the manager.”
Kapler: “Has it? I’m excited to talk to you about it, Angelo. Let’s roll.”
That makes me laugh right off the jump, the audacity of Cataldi to speak for somebody else, to presume to know how they’re feeling.
Angelo started with some generic questions about the road trip, Jay Bruce, and Jake Arrieta, then entered the Segura discussion with this, after the jump:
Cataldi: Let me get to the Jean Segura conversation because that has been a major topic all week in Philadelphia. First of all, in a general sense, we as fans look at this as a recurring theme, guys not running hard. And we don’t understand it because they make millions of dollars and only have to run a few times a game. Is it asking too much that they run hard every time?
Kapler: It’s not asking too much. I think it’s fair to demand that our guys run out of the batter’s box. But let’s address the Segura situation in isolation, instead of just acting like they’re all the same. Segura stumbled in the box. He didn’t have his feet under him. Once he got his balance, he didn’t run as hard as he usually does. He acknowledged that. That’s what you asked for, right? He came out and said it publicly…
Cataldi: Yes he did.
Kapler: ..on the record. ‘I could do a better job, I didn’t do what I was supposed to do, there’s no excuse for it.’ All of the things a player is supposed to do, he owned it.
Cataldi: Alright, but you lost Andrew McCutchen. His inability to simply do what you’re supposed to do cost you one of your best players. Doesn’t that factor in to the way you react to it?
Kapler: What you’re saying is categorically not true. Andrew McCutchen did not get hurt because Jean Segura did not run out of the batter’s box. What you’re saying is just not true. He got hurt because he got caught in a rundown, he planted his knee wrong, and his knee gave out.
Cataldi: There would have been no rundown.
Kapler: There’s a thousand things in the game that led up to that moment, variables that could have changed, that there would have been no rundown.
Cataldi: If he ran, Kinsler wouldn’t have dropped the ball.
Kapler: Hold on, hold on – do you want to go back to every other pitch? What if there was a strike called earlier in the game that should have been a ball, that changed the outcome of that at bat?
Cataldi: You’re trying to complicate a very simple issue. He would not have been in a rundown if – he didn’t run! That’s why Kinsler let the ball drop. If he did run, Kinsler would have caught the ball and McCutchen wouldn’t have been in a rundown. True! You’re trying to complicate a simple issue. He got caught in a rundown and blew his knee out.
I’ve got no problem with anything Cataldi says there. The Kinsler play happened specifically because he saw Segura wasn’t getting down the line. You can certainly connect those dots. It was a savvy play. Kapler was a little naive with some of those responses, imo.
But the reason Segura didn’t get down the line is because he twisted and stumbled on the swing. He was slow getting out of the box and he apologized for it. So when you add up the events that led to McCutchen’s injury, is this anything more than an unfortunate series of events? The conflict is more about whether or not Segura should have been punished, which Kapler and Cataldi argued about in the middle of the conversation. Then it carried on as this, which was transcribed by 94 WIP (probably Andrew Porter, h/t Porter):
Kapler: “What I see happened, like I said, Cutch (sic, Kapler meant to say Segura) stumbled out of the box. He didn’t have his feet under him. Once he got his balance, he wasn’t able to run as hard as he usually does. He acknowledged that and talking about acknowledgement, I’m acknowledging that. He can do a better job running out of the batter’s box. Also acknowledging that our center fielder at the time, our leadoff hitter, got hurt in a major way, and that sucks. I’m saying that’s not Segura’s fault and to say that is absolutely irresponsible.”
Cataldi: “Oh it is? Well then you better tell the whole city, because everybody thinks that was the reason.”
Kapler: “Angelo, you don’t speak for the whole city.”
Cataldi: “I talk to a hell of a lot more fans than you do.”
Kapler: “You talk to the guys that call in, the men and women that call in.”
Cataldi: “And the ones that email me and the ones that are on Twitter, and all of the other people. Are you trying to tell me you are more plugged into this city than I am? You’ve best on the west coast for a week, Gabe.”
Kapler: “I’ll tell you this, what you are plugged into are the people that call in to your show. Not all of the fans in Philadelphia like you represent.”
Cataldi: “We actually polled this question and 85-percent of the people said that Segura should be held accountable far more than you did. So that’s over five, six thousand people. That’s not enough either for you Gabe? How many do you need before you realize that you’re actually not in tandem with what’s going on in your city.”
Kapler: “Your sample, the sample that you are drawing from, is a very specific sample.”
Cataldi: “Last thing, would you do anything different this week, Gabe?”
Kapler: “I may have handled this show a little bit different.I got a little bit frustrated with you and I am very frustrated with you. Right now, I’m pretty perturbed. I think you didn’t handle this show in a fair and reasonable way, and that’s probably the thing I am most disappointed in, is the way you handled this show.”
Cataldi: “I’m disappointed in some of the answers, so I guess we’re equal in that.”
Kapler: “I look forward to next week, it’s going to be fun.”
Okay, so Angelo is generally a fantastic interviewer. He pushes athletes and coaches on issues that they should be pushed on.
But he loses me when he defaults to his “I speak for the fans routine,” which is stale and, quite frankly, arrogant, this belief that everybody in Philadelphia listens to his radio show based on the data sent to Nielsen by a handful of anachronistic PPMs in 2019. You speak for a loyal base of older radio listeners, and that’s about it. You don’t speak for anybody under the age of 35, and if you do, I’ve never met any of those people.
Angelo’s 30-year routine goes something like this:
- stir up fake outrage
- seek fake accountability
- fail to present facts or exercise critical thinking
- keep Philadelphia sports fans stupid
Also, Angelo doesn’t talk to anybody on Twitter. His Twitter account features the occasional hot take or observation, and that’s it. There’s no back and forth or interaction with fans. He doesn’t actually respond to anyone or engage in conversation, so unless Cataldi is answering direct messages, that’s also a lie.
And to cite a poll specific to his listener base is equally myopic, which Kapler rightfully points out.
Might be time for retirement, Angelo.