MLB Giants Hiring Gabe Kapler As Manager May Anger Fan Base
The MLB Giants have hired Gabe Kapler as their next manager in a "three-year deal" to replace the newly-retired Bruce Bochy, according to Shea & Schulman of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Giants fans "vented on social media when it became known that Kapler was a finalist" because of how he "managed the Phillies and handled two incidents when he was the Dodgers' farm director involving women who made assault accusations against minor-leaguers" in '15. Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi, who served as Dodgers GM during the '15 incidents, said that he "reflected on how they were handled" during the interview process with Kapler and "accepted part of the blame." Zaidi has known Kapler much longer than the other candidates who were being interviewed for the Giants manager position and said he was seeking "somebody who was capable of building trust and relationships with the players and front office." However, the incidents with the Dodgers "made many Giants fans hope the new manager would be someone other than Kapler" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/13).
VOICES OF DISSENT: In San Jose, Kerry Crowley writes if the Giants "polled their fan base on the idea of hiring" Kapler to replace Bochy, the numbers "would have been overwhelming." There is "no conceivable way the data would suggest the organization should hire Kapler, whose mediocre record" as Phillies' manager "mattered far less to most fans than his role in mishandling sexual assaults allegations during his tenure" with the Dodgers. While it is "likely Kapler has been Zaidi's preferred choice for the job since he was fired" from the Phillies about a month ago, the Giants had "many internal discussions that involved members of the ownership group regarding the merits of Kapler's candidacy and concerns over his failure to report allegations of sexual assault to proper authorities." Giants fans had "expressed overwhelming dissent on social media" over the idea of Kapler as manager, which has "only grown stronger since the decision became official" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 11/13).
A CALCULATED DECISION? In S.F., Bruce Jenkins writes Zaidi "took center stage with the hiring" of Kapler, "knowing he was about to receive searing heat from the media and Giants fans." However, he "made the decision anyway, figuring the tide of public sentiment eventually would turn." Jenkins: "We've heard all the reasons why the Giants shouldn't hire Kapler." But Zaidi "knows Kapler well from their days working together in the Dodgers' organization." There is "no question Kapler has a ton of charisma, a winning personality that can charm people into admiration" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/13). In Philadelphia, Matt Breen writes Zaidi is "one of baseball's most forward-thinking executives and has long been a fan of Kapler" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/13).
TWITTER REAX: MLB Network's Jon Heyman: "Kapler is a smart guy and perhaps he learned from Philadelphia. Folks talk about the unusual stuff (coconut oil etc.) But his failing in Philly was more basic. He didn’t get players to play to their capability." USA Today's Bob Nightengale: "Kapler will be hugely popular in SF." Sports writer Jesse Spector: "Hiring Gabe Kapler is an even worse look when it happens in the same year Larry Baer got suspended." S.F.-based KGMZ-FM's Bonta Hill: "Was not impressed with the way he managed in Philly. This is a weird hire." Yahoo Sports' Liz Roscher: "I have a lot of feelings about Gabe Kapler being hired by the Giants, but mostly I wish their bloggers luck. You’ll hear from him soon if you haven’t already."