Saturday, April 7, 2018

How Much is Kap’s Fault?

  The first week sucked.  Period.  Gabe Kapler sucked.  Also fact.  But how much was ACTUALLY his fault?  The bullpen?  Yep.  The ridiculous  defensive alignments?  Yep.  The positional logjam?  Not exactly.  In fact,  Klentak's inability… or refusal… to trade Cesar Hernandez created a conundrum of problems.  It isn't a stretch to say that most fans expected him to be gone come Spring Training.  It was pretty much a given, wasn’t it?   
  Cesar’s value will never be higher, Kingery had a monster season in Reading and Lehigh, they needed starting pitching.  Easy peasy!   Not so fast…. Since our buddy Cesar is such an analytical wet dream, they balked.  He is a nice player.  But analytics will tell you he's EXCEPTIONAL.  He gets on base, hits for a nice average… he's basically a defensively flawed Placido Polanco… with zero baseball IQ.  His “exceptional” OBP should take into consideration how many times he was picked off on the bases. 
They over valued him and got nothing… thinking they were clever.  The Mets were rumored to have interest in a Steven Matz for Cesar …straight up.  They declined.  How about Cesar to Anaheim for one year of Garret Richards? Apparently not.  I find it hard to believe that they couldn't package Cesar, Randolph and Moniak to Tampa for Archer. A top 10 pick, a first overall and a proven Major Leaguer with 6 year of control???  He shouldn't be here, yet he's started every game at 2B. 
  A couple of other roster thoughts:   I can ALMOST understand the Santana signing.  With monster 1B Jhaylin Ortiz about 2 years away (approximately the length of Santana’s contract) moving the more athletic Hoskins to LF while he's still young kinda makes sense… I guess.
Also, I honestly thought the Odubel (another analytical darling with zero baseball IQ) contract was to make him more attractive in trade talks… not to actually have him play it out!  Trading Franco is pointless because he has no value at the moment. 
 So here we are.  11 guys for 8 positions. This would be a pain in the ass for a even veteran manager.  A competent front office can cover up some managerial screw ups (ie. Charlie).  Let's face it… Charlie was an awful in game manager.  But that team was constructed perfectly, almost fool proof (almost….ie.- the ‘09 WS). Apparently, ownership doesn't always learn from its mistakes.  They should have traded Polanco to make playing time for a young Chase Utley earlier… traded a Jim Thome for a young Ryan Howard… and they're making the same mistake again.  There will be injuries that might help sort this out.  But hopefully this nonsense won't hurt them in the upcoming free agent market.  Hopefully it works itself out, because this first week didn't help their cause.  Kapler has sucked thus far… but  this roster is setting up your first time manager for failure.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The State of the Drunk Phils Fans

** Please put on “Guess Who’s Back” by Eminem while reading this**

I feel like I have some explaining to do. This was not a brief respite away from Drunk Phils Fans.  Despite what some may think, I did not jump on some other bandwagon, forget about the Phillies, or doing 20-24 months in the clink. I watched as many Phillies games as I used to, I followed the downs of the team. The real explanation is, I was just so pre-occupied with life and was so disgusted with the state of the Phillies that I spared you my vitriolic writings.  Why do any of us watch sports or write about them? My answer is simple, because it is fun. When it stopped being fun, I stopped.

The next question I would want to know is what brought DPF back? Well, one word would be hope. That is something that has been missing for the Phillies. When you take hope away, things can downright suck. I am excited about the younger talent in the Majors and the Minors. Not Mickey Moniak, but many other players have a huge upside that have the possibility of becoming good/great players.

The major issue I see is Klentak and Kapler. You cannot let Klentak off the hook here, he hired Kapler. Both of these guys share the same analytical outlook on baseball and this smug know-it-all attitude that Philadelphians loathe. I see Kapler as that person you work with that got the job you know someone else deserved and wondered how in the hell it happened. It happened because Kapler is a smooth talker. I am certain he practices his routine in front of a mirror by saying, “I am Gabe Frickin’ Kapler. I eat chicken bones. I like analytics. I am handsome. And gosh dangit, I am a great baseball mind”.

Kapler is the type of guy we all know, but may not want to. He has these talking points and motto’s that he will refer to whenever convenient. Pulling a pitcher who is performing well with low pitch count does not make you bold. It makes you an asshole. You cover up these mistakes under the guise of Analytics and #BeBold. Baseball sure is a game of numbers, but there are also intangibles that need to be accounted for. There are years of proof of these things that cannot be put into numbers, no matter how hard you try. There is a certain feel for the game that, as a manager, Kapler has yet to display. Somehow I envision Kapler buried in his tablet during the game looking at numbers and all the while forgetting to have a pitcher warm up.

What you can expect from DPF is humor, insight, and honesty. The people who work on the social media and blog have high baseball acumen. We will talk about now, the past, and the future. Being interactive is important to us. We write because we love it, but we love to hear from you. We love seeing you Like, Retweet, or Comment. In that regard, how long do you think Kapler will be around? Will the Phils do an about face quickly and have Klentak have to eat crow? Is this guy Chip Kelly and will be around selling his snake oil for a few sub-par seasons? Will Harper or Machado even consider playing here with this guy? I believe Kapler will pull a Sandberg and leave on his own. He is way too egotistical to be fired. I promise to do my best to have him leave sooner than later.