I’m not going to pretend this one doesn’t hurt. Much-maligned ex-Phillies manager Gabe Kapler sipped whiskey yesterday and celebrated the San Francisco Giants being the first team in baseball to clinch a playoff spot.
The 94-WIN (!!) Giants clinched a playoff berth yesterday with a 9-1 victory on Monday over the underachieving San Diego Padres. Kapler heads to the postseason for his first time as a manager, turning the stomachs of every Philadelphian clinging to the hopes that the 72-win Phillies somehow back into the postseason.
Kapler enjoyed a glass of scotch (which I’m sure he didn’t actually swallow) and congratulated his postseason bound squad, according to The Mercury News.
“I thought it was celebrated appropriately by our group on the field and probably a little rowdier and kind of getting after it a little bit more in the clubhouse,” Kapler said, “which is one good way to do it.”
The Giants could win 100 regular season games this year and currently enjoy a 2.5 game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. The Phillies are 72-71, 4.5 games back of the NL East leading Braves, and 2.5 games back of the second Wild Card leading Cincinnati Reds.
Barf. Not good!
How did we get to this point? Kapler was run out of Philadelphia after two frustrating seasons with the team, going to San Francisco and inheriting a young, but talented, roster. Was it simply Kapler inheriting a better-rounded team that led to this moment? Or did he learn valuable lessons with the Phillies before he was launched out of the city limits in 2019?
I’m not exactly sure, but this stat should really put things into focus with the Fightins.
Phillies under Kapler: 161-163 (.497)
Phillies under Girardi: 100-103 (.493)
…#SFGiants under Kapler: 123-81 (.603)
— Ben Kaspick (@BenKaspick) September 14, 2021
What if the problems of the Phillies run deeper than a manager? What if, and hear me out this may be crazy, the Phillies lack of success stems more from an inept front-office that has ignored the farm system for years, patched together a high-priced roster of ill-fitting pieces, and who have an insane disconnect with the city and its fans?
The Phillies can’t develop pitchers. They can’t develop hitters. Their two best pieces were free-agent acquisitions. It’s as if a manager doesn’t make a whole heck of a lot of difference when he’s choosing between bullpen slop and bullpen excrement on a nightly basis. Who knew?
Kapler had to leave Philadelphia. He made mistakes managers shouldn’t make and it was clear he needed a fresh start elsewhere. But the sad part of all of this isn’t his success, but the Phillies continuous failures at every organizational level. They’ve shown no ability to develop internal talent, no ability to instill fundamentals in any of their players, and an over-reliance on veterans who miss large chunks of the season due to injury.
It’s the same thing year in and year out, regardless of who is at the helm.
Maybe this embarrassment will finally force the Phillies ownership to take a long, hard look at themselves and make some changes from the ground up? Or maybe they’ll pin the failures of the last two years solely on Joe Girardi and look for the next readily available big name manager to replace him?
Is there any way they don’t choose the latter?