In an appearance on the SportsRadio 94.1 WIP Midday Show, Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt made comments regarding the Phillies change at manager, noting he had nothing against Gabe Kapler but that perhaps the team got too relaxed under the former skipper.
“I like Gabe a lot, but I think there’s one thing Gabe lacked as manager, and that was more strict rules around the clubhouse and travel and all of that.”
Kapler certainly dealt with some problems in the clubhouse during his time as Phillies manager. Perhaps the most notable was an incident at the end of the 2018 season when Carlos Santana, the team’s first baseman at the time, smashed TVs in the clubhouse that were supposedly used by some players to play Fortnite while games were going on.
The Phillies fired Kapler after the end of a disappointing 2019 season and replaced him with Joe Girardi two weeks later. Girardi was the longtime manager of the New York Yankees and many saw him as a good fit to replace Kapler, specifically in terms of acting more as a disciplinary manager.
Schmidt seemed to agree with this notion.
“Joe will have some dress codes for the road and some penalties for guys that don’t arrive on time and get on the field on time and it’s gonna be a little bit more of a marine kind of environment.”
At one point in the interview Schmidt noted that he sees Girardi as a player’s manager, but one that will have a better feel for how to maintain control in the clubhouse than Kapler perhaps did.
“It’ll be less relaxed with Joe, and again, he’ll command a lot of respect from the players. He’s got a great roster of players to put out on the field this year.”
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