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Gabe Kapler: I’m a better leader and person for having had this opportunity


Gabe Kapler has been fired after two years as Phillies manager. (Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Thursday morning, the Philadelphia Phillies announced that they have fired manager Gabe Kapler after two seasons.

Kapler, who guided the Phillies to a 161-163 record between 2018 and 2019, issued a statement through the Phillies after the decision was made.

“I am grateful to John, the Buck family, Andy, Matt and the entire Phillies organization for giving me the opportunity to lead this organization for the last two years. I have tremendous respect for this organization, this franchise and this city. We came into 2019 with very high hopes. We fell short of those, and that responsibility lies with me. The next Phillies manager will inherit a team of talented, dedicated and committed players. There has been nothing more fulfilling in my professional career than the opportunity to work with the players on this team. I will forever value the relationships I developed with them. As I move on, I know this organization is in a great spot and will see a lot of success going forward. My hope is that I helped contribute to a developing culture in the organization that contributes for years to come. I’ve come to care for this franchise and have the best wishes for this group in the future. The passion and devotion of the Phillies fan base both inspired and humbled me daily. It was an honor to grow, develop and learn with this team. I’m looking forward to what the future brings, and I know I’m a better leader and person for having had this opportunity.”

It’s not immediately clear what the future will hold for Kapler, who is 44 years old. He’ll still be paid by the Phillies in 2020, as he signed a three-year contract to manage the team in October of 2017. Kapler was one of the original MLB analysts at FS1, and if he’s interested, could probably find a job in media. He could return to a front office role, as he was the Los Angeles Dodgers director of player development November of 2014 until coming to Philadelphia. That said, the Dodgers general manager at that time, Farhan Zaidi, is now the San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations. Bob Nightengale of USA Today wrote in August that there was a belief that if fired by the Phillies, Kapler could become a candidate to replace future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy.

Kapler is now free to pursue whatever opportunities may present themselves. And the Phillies, well, they’ll begin a search for their fourth manager since firing franchise icon Charlie Manuel is August of 2013.

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