The baseball season is still young, but it’s been rough for new Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler. Entering place Thursday, his team was 1-4 and had forgotten how to hit. He’d made approximately a million pitching changes. He’d facing intense criticism from fans and the media over each and every one of his failed decisions.
Kapler has endured all the criticism so far, but on Thursday it reached a new level. The Phillies were playing their home opener at Citizens Bank Park, and when it came time to introduce the lineups, Phillies fans let the world know exactly what they thought about Kapler and his decision-making.
Those aren’t “some noticeable boos,” those are a lot of boos. Lusty, deep-voiced, emphatic boos. Those are the boos of a fanbase that was promised a brand new day with exciting players and a forward-thinking manager, and instead got a bunch of losing and a manager who won’t stop making pitching changes.
The Phillies won their game against the Marlins 5-0, a silver lining on the day, but it came after the hometown fans spent the day telling Kapler they weren’t very happy with what they’d seen so far.
They made sure to reinforce their anger during the sixth inning, when Kapler took starter Nick Pivetta out of the game.
Pivetta had not allowed a run, but had thrown 97 pitches. That’s a fairly normal scenario to remove a starting pitcher.
To be fair, it is a brand new day for the Phillies. Kapler is a manager unlike any they’ve had before. The players have to get used to him. The fans have to get used to him. And Kapler himself needs to learn how to manage in the majors, which until a few games ago, he’d never done. He’s got a lot of analytical ideas, but he obviously needs to figure out how to apply those to actual game situations. It’s a process, and it clearly needs more time.
So while the Phillies are still losing, they’re doing it in a brand new way. That’s progress, right?
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