Posts for phillies

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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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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Lenny Dykstra Says He’s Going to Humiliate the “Arrogant” Bagel Boss

Kevin Kinkead - August 19, 2019

Let’s check in on next month’s superfight, which will be taking place in Atlantic City between Phillies legend Lenny Dykstra and Chris Morgan, aka the Bagel Boss.

Our latest update comes to us via TMZ Sports, who caught up with Nails in New York City. In a video clip, Dykstra asserts that the Bagel Boss has a one-inch penis while promising humiliation in the boxing ring.

Lenny:

On the 28th of September, you’re gonna see a fucking ass kicking. The bagel guy, everyone hates him, and you know why? Because all he does is whine and cry, but it’s not our fault he’s got a one-inch dick. The bottom line is – listen – he’s gonna learn a lot. It’s gonna be (makes boxing motions), but the bagel guy, I’m gonna humiliate him. He needs to be humiliated, the way he walks in there all arrogant.

Nails then goes on to call out Mickey Rourke for his next fight, after the September melee with the Bagel Boss.

Here’s the full video for your viewing pleasure:

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David Robertson Will Likely Miss 2020 Season Following Tommy John Surgery

Russ Joy - August 17, 2019

While the Phillies are on a bit of a hot streak, they’ve gotten the ball rolling on wrapping up some injury concerns. Roman Quinn was officially placed on the 10-day IL with a right groin strain and it was also confirmed that Jake Arrieta will have surgery later this month to take care of a bone spur that has ailed him throughout the 2019 season. While he’s expected to be back for spring training ahead of the 2020 season, the same cannot be said about reliever David Robertson, who underwent Tommy John surgery on August 15.

That’s devastating news for the Phils, especially GM Matt Klentak, who signed Robertson to a 2-year/$23m deal prior to this season with the thought that he would solidify the back end of the bullpen. It appeared to be an excellent deal at the time with Robertson having strung together eight consecutive seasons with at least 60 innings pitched. He was two years removed from a season split between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees, in which he pitched to a 1.84 ERA in 61 games. Last year with the Yankees, he threw a career-high 69.2 innings with a 3.23 ERA and 2.97 FIP. Unfortunately, he only lasted 6.2 innings over seven games in 2019, his first season with the Phillies.

Gabe Kapler spoke to the assembled media ahead of Saturday night’s game against the San Diego Padres and had the following to say of Robertson (transcription via our Phillies writer Bob, who was present for the comments):

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Phillies Will Have to Overcome Some Recent Troubling Trends Tonight

Bob Wankel - August 17, 2019

The Phillies have won four straight games, and it’s good vibes all around for a team that many left for dead only six days ago. Suddenly, they are tied for the NL’s second wild card spot and have slowly but surely watched their playoff odds increase in recent days.

The progression, per Fangraphs:

DatePlayoff Odds
8/125.8%
8/138.4%
8/1410.9%
8/1515.1%
8/1617.0%
8/1718.1%

Maybe it’s the Charlie Manuel effect, or maybe it’s just ironic timing, but the Phillies offense has woken up since Manuel’s return to the bench.

They scored 4.71 runs per game and hit .245 in 119 games without Manuel as their hitting coach. In three games with Manuel doing whatever magic he does, they have scored 8.67 runs per game and have hit .337.

Granted, that’s a very small sample size, and there’s absolutely no way that they can maintain anything close to those numbers in the long run, but it’s a fun story.

The more immediate concern for the Phillies is keeping their recent hot streak alive tonight, a task that will be no small order given a number of recent troubling trends.

Unlucky Seven

For whatever reason,  getting back to seven games over .500 has been an impossible task for this team since they were last there on June 16.

In their previous seven games with the ability to reach seven games over .500 since mid-June, the Phillies are 0-7. They’ve lost those seven games by an average of 3.86 runs per game.

Connect Five?

The seven games over .500 struggle is not the only concern.

The Phillies have yet to win more than four consecutive games at any point this season. They’ve managed to do it on four separate occasions this season but are 0-4 with a chance to extend their winning-streak to five games.

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