By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Philadelphia Phillies have fired manager Gabe Kapler on Thursday. He was the team’s manager the last two seasons.
The 44-year-old Hollywood, California native was 161-163 in his two seasons with the franchise. This past season, the team went 81-81, while the Phillies went 80-82 in his first season in 2018.
He never finished better than third in the National League East with the team.
“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,” Phillies managing partner John Middleton said. “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 process 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 be 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.”
The Phillies were 16 games behind the Atlanta Braves after the spending frenzy the team had before the season. Philadelphia spent 60 days in first place in the standings with the last being Tuesday, June 11th.
Their biggest lead in the standings were 3.5 games, while the furthest behind they were was 18 games. The most games they were over .500 was 11 on Wednesday, May 29. The most games the team was under .500 was one on Thursday, Sept. 26.
The team’s longest win streak was four games, which they did several times. Their longest losing streak was seven games, which they did from Sunday, June 16 through Sunday, June 23.
The Phillies are reportedly looking for an experienced manager. Longtime manager Buck Showalter — who has managed the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, the Texas Rangers, and the Baltimore Orioles — is reportedly a candidate.
Showalter last managed the Orioles during the 2018 season. In his managerial career, he was the American League Manager of the Year three times in 1994, 2004, and 2014.
Former manager Joe Girardi is also expected to be a candidate. He previously managed the Florida Marlins and the New York Yankees.
He has been out of coaching in MLB the last two seasons. He guided the Yankees to the World Series Championship in 2009.
“I am grateful to John [Middleton, Phillies owner], the Buck family, Andy [ Andy MacPhail, President], Matt [Matt Klentak, Vice President & General Manager] , and the entire Phillies organization for giving me the opportunity to lead this teal for the last two years,” Kapler said. “I have tremendous respect for this organization, this franchise, and this city. 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 relations 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 bases, 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.”