Reaching Base is Bad, Publicly Criticizing Players is Good: A Tough Series for Bad Takes

PHOTO CREDIT: GREG M. COOPER-USA TODAY SPORTS

You know, this is exactly what happens.

When the Phillies lost on Sunday to drop two out of three games over the weekend to San Diego, Gabe Kapler didn’t blow his stack at his postgame news conference.

He had a chance to set the tone by publicly blasting his players. It could’ve gone something like this:

Four hits? Four goddamn hits? Two runs? Two goddamn runs? I’m sick of it. Jobs are on the line starting today.

He could’ve let his team know what’s up. Let them know that he was tired of it. That it was bullshit.

And he didn’t do it. 

He instead supported his players by expressing confidence and appreciation for their work ethic. He did this, of course, because he very obviously accepts failure and cultivates a clubhouse absent of accountability. 

And, well, this is what happens.

You get a two-game sweep of the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Rhys Hoskins, who I’ve been told numerous times this week has no business being in the leadoff spot, did the very thing a leadoff hitter is supposed to do by reaching base three times last night and six times total in two games. He also scored three of the Phillies’ eight total runs in Boston.

Terrible.

He also added a double, which should temporarily appease those frustrated that he’s reaching base via the walk as he works his way through a brutal second-half slump.

Love Charlie clapping it up, by the way. Love him.

Anyway, the bullpen also rolled over and quit with 5.1 IP of shutout baseball.

Makes you wonder if Kapler should have gotten pissed off and singled out Jared Hughes after the newly-acquired reliever allowed the go-ahead homer in Sunday’s game.

You know, to let him know that bullshit won’t fly in his clubhouse. Not on his watch.

Had Kapler done that, perhaps Hughes wouldn’t have taken so many pitches (five) to retire Mookie Betts with the bases loaded and with the game essentially hanging in the balance to end the fourth inning.

Bryce Harper, too, man. He has clearly checked out:

Only nine homers and a 1.029 OPS this month for the overrated bust. Hate to see it. Just a total lack of accountability everywhere this week.

A true shame. Had only Kapler lit them up on Sunday afternoon and put the fear of God in them like a true leader would have done.

 

 

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8 Responses

  1. Dude, it’s a 2 game series, only their second series win this month and they’re still exactly where they were August 1. Let’s see them actually turn a corner before you go fellating yourself with the “I told you so schtick” like last year.

    They’ve looked a lot better at the plate, but please don’t pretend Jared Hughes is going to plaster over the issue that they’ve got absolutely nothing good coming out of that bullpen.

    1. Which is sort of the point – that they’re outperforming expectations…and that publicly belittling players has nothing to do with performance.

      1. In what universe are they outperforming expectations? They were 68-58 at this point last year and they’re heading into a series with a Marlins team with VV, Eflin and Vargas taking the hill. The expectation should be a certain series win this weekend, is there anybody who feels that confident in this team as constructed?

        Only idiots on the radio feel like Kapler should be out there trying to emasculate these guys, but pretending they’re all doing great by getting their uniform on straight isn’t the answer either

      2. Bob, the fact that you are happy that Rhys Hoskins is doing what a leadoff hitter should do discredits your entire article. Rhys Hoskins is a power hitter. Praising him for doing the leadoff hitter’s job is an indictment if the coaching staff and the organization. We did this with Carlos Santana last year. How’s Carlos doing this year now that he left this mess?

  2. Hoskins should NOT be a leadoff hitter, c’mon man you know that. He’s supposed to be one of our power hitters, not a “get on base” leadoff man/role. The fact that he’s still not hitting for power means he’s still in his slump. Walks are great, especially for lead off. But we should want/expect Hoskins to be hitting doubles and homers in his traditional position in the lineup.
    Scoring three of the team’s 8 runs also has to do with him hitting leadoff… again, his main role is DRIVING IN RUNS. Its guys like Hernandez, Quinn who are the more prototypical “get on base” guys.
    That’s like asking Harper to lay some bunts down the third base line becuase the shift opens up the field there. Yeah no shit, he’d get a bunch of singles doing it, but that’s not his role.
    Bad “take” by you!

    1. But if Rhys Hoskins isn’t hitting for power and he’s getting on base, then you’d want him in the lineup. No?

      Hoskins OBP is nearly 50 points higher and Quinn is on the shelf, so you manage to what your guys are giving you, and that’s why I like Hoskins in the leadoff right now.

      1. My understanding/take is that Hoskins is leading off to get more at bats/see more pitches, and when they feel he’s “out of his slump”, they put him back at 3-4-5.
        I guess the fact that they don’t have anyone else to lead off has lead to this decision. I still think its not a good/sustainable thing. I’d stick Hernandez there and let him figure it out.

  3. What a complete straw argument. It’s a small percentage of the fan base that wants Kapler to totally blast his players publicly after every loss, especially after every bad loss (and there’s been quite a few of those).

    You’re taking a supposedly wanted response to a complete extreme. Gabe doesn’t need to go that far as that would obviously be counter-productive. But he can be and should be somewhere in the middle. After losing series to the Padres, White Sox, Diamondbacks, etc. he could and should easily say, “Look, we’re not getting the results we want and losing these types of series makes it even more difficult to get to where we want to be, where we ALL KNOW we need to be. We’re a better team than how we’re playing. But to me, it doesn’t seem to be a lack of effort. We’re all trying. That should be a given, right? This is Major League Baseball. We need to be better as a team to get the results we want. Bottom line. We all need to be better.” That at least shows to the fans he sees the obvious. The way he speaks now is to ignore the obvious and to focus on the less important minutia that no one but him cares about (even his players). He’s the emperor with no clothes.

    Your point about his team responding so positively to his support by winning both games at Fenway after the Padres series loss is ridiculous. What about the way the team responded by losing two of three to the Padres after they swept the Cubs? There are plenty more examples of that type of play than what happened in Fenway. You can’t be that selective to suit your argument. It’s intellectually dishonest. I think random coincidence played a larger role in beating the Red Sox than whatever smoke Kapler was blowing up the players’ butts in his press conference on Sunday. The bullpen’s been coming around for a bit now. They and Nola won the series. The offense, no matter what Gabe tries, still does not run efficiently. They’re still struggling. That’s on Kapler b/c there is talent on this team that is not showing up.

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