Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me multiple times in a single season, shame on… Jean Segura. I think that’s how the saying goes.
We had another instance of the Phillies’ short stop taking his time on the base path last night, this time leaving him on first base when he quite clearly could have been on second here:
Segura didn’t run hard after hitting a flare into center field to open last night’s game and settled for a single when he should have been on second base. After the game, Kapler characterized the lack of hustle as “unacceptable.” Segura concurred.
“I don’t have an excuse,” he said. “That can’t happen.”
“It wasn’t a good effort,” Segura said. “I was hitting, and I kept watching the ball instead of running. I’m frustrated. I’ve never been in a slump like this in three years. As a player, sometimes you get into difficult moments and sometimes you do some bad things on the baseball field that you don’t realize. That can’t happen, especially the type of player that I am. It’s just a tough moment for me.”
Okay, so this just reopens the can of worms that I thought we might have sealed after Gabe Kapler and Angelo Cataldi went at it about two weeks ago, after Andrew McCutchen got caught in a rundown and tore his ACL.
At the time, Kapler said that Segura had acknowledged the mistake he made, via this exchange, after the jump:
Kapler: …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.
Then, this morning, right on cue:
If Gabe Kapler doesn’t bench Jean Segura tonight, the manager should be fired. Kapler repeatedly allows offenders to escape without punishment. He is losing the team. Segura cost the Phils Andrew McCutchen, and he dogged it again last night. It’s your move, Gabe. Now or never.
— Angelo Cataldi (@AngeloCataldi) June 20, 2019
Put aside Angelo’s ridiculous and predictable escalation there for a minute – because you’re not firing the manager of a banged up 39-34 team on June 20th – and focus on this line:
“Kapler repeatedly allows offenders to escape without punishment.”
It’s more about that.
At some point, Gabe has to drop the hammer on these guys and establish his authority in the clubhouse. If you want to be a player’s coach, that’s fine, but you have to snuff out the bullshit before it becomes a problem, and we have very obviously entered this territory with Segura.
The McCutchen thing was whatever; Segura slipped, was slow out of the batter’s box, and then a freak injury happened. Last night was lazy, a completely different scenario.
Final word goes to Kevin Cooney:
BTW: the Segura case isn’t about running hard anymore. It is about the perception that either Kapler isn’t being listened to or isn’t making guys accountable. In either case, it isn’t good.
— Kevin Cooney (@KevinCooney) June 20, 2019
Correct. Thank you, Kevin Cooney.
I know the Phils can’t really afford to bench anybody right now, and you don’t bust out of a hitting slump while sitting on the bench, but this is more of a macro level Gabe Kapler problem at this point.