** 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.