Gabe Kapler isn’t worried about job security

Gabe Kapler’s Phillies remain in the Wild Card race. (Kyusung Gong/Icon Sportswire)

Some viewed Tuesday’s decision by the Philadelphia Phillies to fire hitting coach John Mallee and replace him with Charlie Manuel as the first step towards a potential managerial change at the end of the season if the team continues to underperform offensively. Whether it was or it wasn’t, Gabe Kapler isn’t worried.

The second-year manager said just as much this morning.

“You know this as good as anybody, you’ve been around the game forever; the life of a baseball manager is that you manage until the day that you get fired and almost everyone gets fired at some point,” Kapler said Wednesday to Angelo Cataldi on SportsRadio 94 WIP. “I guess I’d say this – I’m not going to manage scared. I didn’t play scared. I fought and gave everything I had every single day. You’re going to manage in the same way. So, if I get fired I do and it’ll be a hard day for me to deal with, but I’m not going to waste a single ounce of my mental or emotional energy thinking about myself when I could be thinking about how I could help us win tonight’s game.”

For what it’s worth, USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale wrote last week that the “prevailing belief” among Phillies executives is that Kapler will return in 2020 for a third season as the Phillies manager. It’s unclear if that same belief exists from managing partner John Middleton, who Matt Gelb of The Athletic says was the “decisive voice” in the decision to have Manuel return to the dugout for the rest of 2019.

The Phillies will enter game two of a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday with a 61-58 record. They are nine games back of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East, a race they seemingly haven’t been seriously involved with since at least the All-Star Break. But they remain just two games back of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card spot, so as general manager Matt Klentak said Tuesday, the Phillies playoff hopes are far from dashed.

Still, the mediocrity of the National League Wild Card race hasn’t distracted from how much an offense that added Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto, among others, this past offseason has disappointed. It’s clear that Kapler doesn’t have enough starting pitching talent to work with, and the bullpen has been ravaged by injuries in 2019. But the offense, even if its potential was overrated at the beginning of the season, has been the 20th best in baseball in 2019. The Phillies won Tuesday night, but they also struck out 15 times.

“I’ll keep it really simple,” Kapler said. “I definitely don’t think we’ve played to our potential.”

Well, the Phillies have 43 games left to reach their potential. And if they’re going to do that, it’s probably not going to be because of their pitching. Kapler, Manuel and the Phillies coaching staff hope that in the coming days, they are able to help ignite an offense that some thought could be a juggernaut at the outset of the season.


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  1. Phanatic

    August 14, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Overheard on the Main Line:

    Child: Daddy may we go to the Phillies/Cubs game tonight ?

    Father: Where did you hear that word ‘Phillies’ ?

    Child: At school, daddy. All of the kids and teachers talk about the Phillies.

    Father: I was afraid of this. Your mother and I have been talking and we are going to be moving the family to New York City. In September, you will be enrolled in a school called Lycée Française De New York. You will make friends with many international students there. To the extent they talk about baseball at all, they will be Yankees supporters. You will spend your summers in Europe with your new friends and your Octobers at Yankee Stadium.

    Child: I want to read books about baseball now while it is still summer. Are there any books about Bobby Abreu ?

    Father: Tomorrow I will buy you a book called ‘Pinstripe Empire’. You will learn the full history of the New York Yankees including names, dates and events. You will learn about Jacob Ruppert and George Steinbrenner – conquering Germans with backbone and spine who dominate with efficiency and intelligence. The NL version of the Yankees is the Cardinals -another team owned by intelligent Germans named Busch. When you have finished reading that wonderful book, I shall purchase ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ by Ernest Hemingway and then a film called ‘Pride of the Yankees’. That should hold you over for the rest of the summer. You will slowly become a Yankees supporter.

    Child: Daddy, is it disloyal not to be a Phillies fan anymore ?

    Father: You never were a Phillies fan, and even if you were, it is not disloyal. You see, some people see loyalty as a virtue. I am not one of those people. Job from the Old Testament was loyal to a non-existent god and he suffered for it. The ‘Former People’ who were loyal to Russia after the Russian Revolution suffered immensely for their loyalty. Life is too short and there is no paradise after life. So it is important to live life to the fullest now and be happy. You will learn this in your AP History courses at the Lycée. I agree with Plato that current events are too transitory and ephemeral to ever have a firm handle on them. So it is important not to have fixed ideas until you have lived a little more.

    Child: Daddy, when I go to Europe with my new friends can I visit Uncle Phanatic on the Riviera ?

    Father: Son, Uncle Phanatic leads a debauched, dissipated and hedonistic life with Playboy models, Bond girls and homosexuals. When you are older, about 35, then you may summer with Uncle Phanatic.

    Child: I can’t wait for my new life in New York City.

    Father: I can’t wait either. Now let’s start packing, shall we ? October at Yankee Stadium is right around the corner.

  2. Craig Glessner

    August 14, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    For someone who doesn’t like the phillies they sure spend a lot of time on it writing stupid stories. By the way I don’t think your mom’s basement counts as the Riviera, and fat chicks with 3 black teeth count as models. You can write back whatever you want but you don’t even have the balls to use your real name. I’m glad someone like you doesn’t root for the Phillies your pathetic don’t act like your smarter than everyone and you have no loyalty. Do everyone a favor and litter up another teams fan site. GO PHILLIES

    • Phanatic

      August 14, 2019 at 6:31 pm

      ooh la la !

      So does that mean we shouldn’t expect you this summer ?

      Oh, well, more Veuve Clicquot for us. If you change your mind just pop in. No need to call or text in advance.

      Bonne soirée

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