Posts for Phillies Category

Here’s Gabe Kapler Doing Push Ups Before a Game

Kevin Kinkead - August 22, 2019

Not only did the Phillies sweep the absolutely annoying Boston Red Sox at Fenway last night, but Gabe Kapler flexed in front of everybody, literally.

Check out these push ups:

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

Bob Wankel - August 22, 2019

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.

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Major League Baseball Has a Gas Station Sexual-Enhancement Pill Problem

Kevin Kinkead - August 21, 2019

Don’t we all?

Har har har!

So check out this:

Wait what?

I had to do a triple take after reading that to make sure I had it right.

Jeff Passan, who has impeccable taste in music, wrote this on ESPN:

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The Phillies Put Out an Unfortunate Tweet After Finishing in Boston

Kevin Kinkead - August 21, 2019

They have since pulled the tweet.

The Bagel Boss, Threatened With Legal Action, is Now Using the Nickname “Angry Bagel Guy”

Kevin Kinkead - August 20, 2019

Just a brief update here since I’ve beaten this story to death over the past week.

Chris Morgan, aka the “Bagel Boss,” is scheduled to box Lenny Dykstra next month in Atlantic City. However, he is no longer allowed to go by that moniker, due to legal action threatened by the Bagel Boss chain of stores.

Via TMZ:

Q&A: A Conversation With Gabe Kapler

Bob Wankel - August 20, 2019

When the Phillies swept the Cubs last week, it felt like for the first time in a long time that they might be poised to go on a run.

Baseball is weird like that.

The flaws and inconvenient truths embedded in the numbers built by over more than a 100-game sample be damned, it sure seemed the Phillies were about to parlay the invigorating momentum sparked by a short stretch of improved play and set ablaze by Thursday night’s ninth inning heroics by Bryce Harper into a perhaps season-altering lights-out homestand.

That outcome felt only more likely after the Phillies roughed up a reeling Padres team on Friday night that came into the weekend only 11-20 since the All-Star break.

And then, well, the Phillies’ lineup went 10 for 64, producing a .156 batting average and .487 OPS, while scoring a total of only five runs in a pair of disappointing losses. Just like that, the momentum was gone.

And then Phillies manager Gabe Kapler went to the podium in the media room at Citizens Bank Park after Sunday’s 3-2 loss and defended his team by expressing his pride in their effort and (mostly) everybody lost their minds.

“Obviously, it’s frustrating to lose today’s baseball game,” Kapler said. “Really proud of the grind in the at-bats, saw 110 pitches off their starter, saw 27 pitches with three outs in the ninth inning.”

Proud. The grind in the at-bats.

Fans got mad on social media. Radio hosts and callers debated his comments and the ramifications of their impact on clubhouse culture. I read and listened for a while in both the morning and early afternoon, and then I reached out to Kapler himself as a follow up to a Q & A we did prior to the game Saturday night. His response:

“I’ve been in a lot of clubhouses and around a lot of players. I’ve never met one that wanted to go up and strike out. I’ve never met one that enjoyed failing in a big moment in front of 40,000 people. Did we succeed the last two nights? Absolutely not. However, I think it’s reasonable to recognize and acknowledge the effort, the refusal to give up and the constant grind to get better. It’s something I see every day from our group.”

Kapler’s stance here isn’t exactly a revelation. He doesn’t believe in publicly admonishing his team because his philosophy is that the work supersedes the result (my assertion, not his) and that the best way to manage in workplace settings, including a baseball clubhouse, is with a supportive nature.

As a result, some fans and media types have criticized Kapler for creating what they perceive to be a lack accountability and acceptance of failure. Naturally, he doesn’t see it that way.

“The “acceptance of failure” notion is interesting. I’m not certain I understand that. I think about all of the stories I’ve heard or been a part of when a player’s career comes to an end. It’s a real challenge for most of us, because competing in this game, working day and night to be better than the person in the dugout across the field, is who we are. It’s what we grew up knowing. The concept of that entire identity disappearing because a coach or manager didn’t raise their voice publicly or identifies that there was something that can be built on for tomorrow doesn’t resonate with me.”

Though I don’t agree with every tactical decision he makes, I do agree with him on this.

Generationally, I think we’ve arrived at the point where workers perform better through open and honest dialogue in which they feel supported [Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last book comes to mind]. As someone who has experience coaching at the high school varsity level, I find that communication tends to breed trust and self-worth, yielding better work. That’s just me. In the workplace, maybe there are people out there in the world that need to be screamed at, outwardly admonished, and in some cases publicly criticized in order to achieve maximum output, but I think we’re trending away from that as a society. Athletics isn’t much different in this regard.

Anyway, I wanted to learn more about Kapler’s coaching philosophy, his management style, how he feels he’s grown in his role since taking the job just a little less than two years ago, and how he handles criticism. Here is our full exchange. Hopefully, it brings you a little insight into the inner workings of the Phils manager.

Crossing Broad: From what you’ve experienced over the past two seasons, what do you believe to be the most important part of your job? In other words, what are the things that you feel you have to do in the dugout beyond tactical and game strategy decisions in order for both you and the team to be successful? Continue Reading

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Crossed Up Radio: Aug. 19, 2019

Russ Joy - August 20, 2019

This episode of Crossed Up Radio airs on 610 ESPN Philadelphia every Monday from 5-6PM. Listen on your radio or via the 610ESPN stream.

Anthony and Bob discuss the Phillies’ up and down homestand, discuss Rhys Hoskins struggles, and the duo discuss Gabe Kapler’s positive outlook as Bob recounts a recent conversation he had with the Phillies manager.  Plus, the Inquirer’s Matt Breen joins the show.

Please subscribe to the show ([Apple Podcasts] [Spotify] [Google Play] [iHeartRadio] [Stitcher] [RSS]), leave a 5 star review, and follow us on Twitter: @AntSanPhilly @BobWankelCB

Check out the other shows on the Crossing Broad Podcast Network including: Crossing Broadcast: A Philly Sports PodcastSnow the Goalie: A Flyers PodcastIt’s Always Soccer in PhiladelphiaCrossing Broad FC: A Soccer Podcast, and Broad Lines: Sports Betting Podcast.

Audio after the jump:

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Another 50 Hot Takes for the Philadelphia Sports Fan

Kevin Kinkead - August 19, 2019

Welcome to another installment of the hot takes column.

Previously we shared 50 hot takes for the Philadelphia sports fan, and then we did 50 more hot takes in June, simply because the world cannot get enough hot takes.

Now that we’re in the dog days of summer and things are honestly kind of slow, I figured I’d drop another 50 for all y’all, even though not all of these are even takes. Some are just blanket opinions and/or grievances, as if Frank Costanza had just raised the Festivus Pole and invited us to voice our concerns.

With that being said, here are 50 things that popped into my head:

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