San Francisco Giants made the wrong decision hiring Gabe Kapler

San Francisco Giants (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
San Francisco Giants (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants officially announced Gabe Kapler as the team’s new manager late Tuesday night. This was ultimately the wrong decision for the franchise.

The San Francisco Giants were met with near-universal praise upon the introduction of former Chicago Cubs executive Scott Harris as the team’s new general manager.

The young 32-year-old baseball mind had come from a strong collaborative culture in Chicago and grew under the tutelage of highly-regarded executives such as Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer.

It seemed as if the Giants had taken a step in the right direction as Farhan Zaidi and Harris would lead a new era of San Francisco Giants baseball complete with an increased focus on analytics and a strong clubhouse culture.

But the hiring of Gabe Kapler to be the team’s new manager is a desolate case of one step forward, two steps back.

Kapler is a mistake of a hire for a multitude of reasons and the Giants fanbase made sure to voice their displeasure upon the announcement. Twitter flooded with displeased fans — some angry, others just disappointed.

Either way, the overwhelming reaction was negative.

Perhaps it was a result of most wanting Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada to be the hire. Some were even in favor of Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro. But it seemed pretty unanimous that Kapler wasn’t the preferred option.

And honestly, it isn’t hard to see why.

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Kapler was part of a controversial issue dealing with sexual assault while he was the director of player development with the Los Angeles Dodgers. While details are still murky and it’s never fair to speculate, that controversy certainly follows him to this day.

Without re-hashing the entire ordeal — here’s an in-depth article breaking down the issue if you so desire — it does appear that Kapler mishandled the situation and showed poor judgment when dealing with everything.

That much even Zaidi has admitted.

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Aside from that, Kapler doesn’t exactly have a strong reputation as a player’s manager. His pitching staff grew a disdain for him and pitching coach Chris Young for the overreliance on analytics.

And to put it nicely, he’s a quirky guy.

But apart from all of the off-field stuff, apart from the allegations and the personality quirks, what exactly has Kapler proven on-field to warrant a second managerial opportunity?

Kapler is fresh off a disappointing two-year tenure with the Philadelphia Phillies in which he went 161-163 with a roster that arguably should have performed much better. It’s hard to advocate for a coach who, for all intents and purposes, failed in his first job less than a couple of months ago.

Even excluding any off-field concerns and personality idiosyncrasies, his on-field resume isn’t exactly glowing with recent success.

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But of course, Zaidi has a history with him in Los Angeles when the two worked together as a part of the Dodgers organization. It has been reported in the past that Kapler was a huge part of the reason Zaidi came over to the Dodgers from the Oakland Athletics.

The two are friends and Zaidi clearly thinks highly of Kapler despite what his public reputation may be. And who knows, maybe Zaidi should be trusted. Maybe he knows Kapler better than anyone else and could vouch for his character — as he has done already.

But this move seems tone-deaf, if nothing else. A slap in the face to a fanbase that just went from the most beloved manager in franchise history to a social outcast who is already despised by fans.

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Only time will tell whether this was a good hire or not. But on the surface, this does appear to be a gross mistake.