Philadelphia Phillies: Indecision makes Gabe Kapler a sympathetic figure

(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

As the Philadelphia Phillies continue to delay a decision about the future of manager Gabe Kapler, it now feels like they are doing a personal and professional disservice to the man.

Gabe Kapler should not manage another game for the Philadelphia Phillies. This much is clear to everyone except for Phillies management itself at the moment.

There simply isn’t much to like about the results that Kapler’s two seasons as manager have produced. He’s not the only problem, but the first step is to move forward with someone else at the helm.

Yet the Phillies continue to keep everyone waiting, perhaps because they are openly recruiting replacements so that they pull a “fire/hire” off in one fell swoop. Or maybe, and this is very concerning, they are genuinely grappling with whether or not Kapler should be back behind the bench for a third season as manager.

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This is madness.

Delaying such an obvious baseball decision is bad enough, but they are truly doing a disservice to Kapler himself because of the ramifications it could have for his professional career.

Even if Kapler finally and mercifully gets let go by the Phillies, I believe that several organizations might still have interest in him in some sort of coaching or front office role like he filled with the Los Angeles Dodgers before coming to Philadelphia. He may never work his way back to the top job again, but that would probably be for the best.

Yet by making everyone, Kapler included, stay in the dark about his future, they are hurting his reputation even more and shortening the amount of potential time available to him to start looking for employment elsewhere.

It’s truly ridiculous that the situation has not been resolved yet.

If the unthinkable happens and the Phillies bring Kapler back for the final year of his contract, it will be a disaster. If you think he had problems getting the respect of his players this year, just wait until what happens in 2020 when he’s a lame duck with an expiring contract. The situation must be avoided at all costs.

Maybe you don’t care what happens to Kapler, as long as he’s not managing the Phillies anymore. I understand your mindset, but the man has a right to try to catch on somewhere else in the sport he loves.

With each passing day, the feeling of him being “damaged goods” seems to increase. Teams who might otherwise be somewhat interested in talking to him may change their minds, unwilling to let the Phillies’ internal hand-wringing dictate their own offseasons.

In the end, while Kapler does deserve some of the blame for the two frustrating years he has just guided the team through, I think he needs to be viewed somewhat sympathetically.

His hiring as a major league manager was likely the case of a guy who wasn’t ready being handed a job because management knew that he would do exactly what they wanted him to do. I can’t blame him for jumping at the chance. Major league managerial jobs don’t come along every day, and he may have had to wait years for another opportunity.

But, like in many sectors of corporate America, the obedient worker bee like Kapler, who is just doing what his bosses tell him to do, will ultimately be the one to take the fall. I think that we all begrudgingly accept this scenario by now, as unpalatable as it is.

Phillies fans deserve better than what we saw from the team in two seasons under Kapler. I’m not sure I’m ready to say that the organization itself deserves better, but that’s a discussion for another day.

But I ask you to think about Gabe Kapler, the man, for a minute.

He wasn’t the one to sign the players that he was given to work with. He had huge injuries and other limitations to manage around. He had to be the public face taking the blame and looking us in the eye after each and every loss.

He has had to endure a lot on behalf of his employer. And now they’re showing him no regard at all.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Gabe Kapler deserves better.

Next. Finishing fourth place in NL East beyond embarrassing for Phillies in 2019. dark

The Philadelphia Phillies need to end this right now. It’s best for everyone.