Phillies Fire Manager Gabe Kapler
We finally have a resolution to the Gabe Kapler saga.
The Phillies have relieved Gabe Kapler of his duties as manager, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia and through a press release the team sent out today.
Kapler has one year remaining on his contract.
“I am grateful to John, the Buck family, Andy, Matt and the entire Phillies organization for giving me the opportunity to lead this team for the last two years. I have tremendous respect for this organization, this franchise and this city,” said Kapler through a press released sent out by the Phillies today.
“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 that 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 flourishes in the 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.”
Word previously came from Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer that face of Phillies ownership John Middleton had been reaching out to players talking about Kapler. Middleton was behind the departure of hitting coach John Mallee and the hiring of former manager Charlie Manuel to assume the role on a pro tem basis.
Phillies Managing Partner John Middleton said the following in a press release sent out by the team earlier today:
“Several years ago, I promised our loyal fans that I would do everything in my power to bring a world championship team to our city. I will never waver from that commitment. During the second half of this season and continuing into this week, I have evaluated our organization extensively, a process that included talking to many people both internally and around the league. Reassuring to me was the endorsement that people outside the Phillies gave to the progress we have made recently, both organizationally and on the field. Nevertheless, with the knowledge that I have gained from my evaluation, combined with my personal reflection on the 2019 season, I have decided that some changes are necessary to achieve our ultimate objective. Consequently, we will replace our manager. I am indebted to Gabe for the steadfast effort, energy and enthusiasm that he brought to our club, and we are unquestionably a better team and organization as a result of his contributions. With Matt leading our search for our next manager, I am confident that we will find the right person to lead us.”
Matt Gelb of the Athletic says that people in the Phillies organization wanted the world to know that it would be Middleton making the decision on Kapler. It appears the front office wanted to keep Kapler.
Word broke on Friday that pitching coach Chris Young would be reassigned. Young could pursue pitching coach jobs in other organizations, but the Phillies appear ready to retain him in a yet-to-be-defined role.
Gelb also reported in the piece that all seven remaining coaches had been retained and would be retained regardless of who takes the managerial role. That in itself would make the job less appealing to an incoming manager who wished to shape his own coaching staff. The coaches may, however, seek promotions outside the organization later if they so choose.
General manager Matt Klentak has long been declared "safe" in published reports. Salisbury has also reported that Klentak and president Andy MacPhail are safe. Klentak scored a three-year extension prior to the 2019 season, which goes into effect this off-season.
Here is the statement from Phillies general manager Matt Klentak via the Phillies press release:
“On behalf of everyone in our Baseball Operations department, I want to thank Kap for his tireless commitment to the Phillies over the last two years,” said General Manager Matt Klentak. “When we hired Kap, it was our goal to develop a positive, forward-thinking and collaborative culture throughout the organization that would allow us to compete with the best teams in the league year in and year out. While we have fallen short in the win column for the last two years, I can confidently say that Kap’s efforts have established a strong and sustainable foundation for this organization moving forward. In the coming weeks, John, Andy and I will work diligently with others in our Baseball Operations department to find the right individual to build upon the existing foundation and bring a championship home to Philadelphia.”
In two seasons as Phillies manager, Kapler went 161-163 (.497).