Monday, November 9, 2015

Who is Gabe Kapler?

According to various insiders around MLB, the managing position for the Dodgers seems to be led by Director of Player Development for the Dodgers, Gabe Kapler, and current bench coach for the San Diego Padres, Dave Roberts. Both seem like odd choices in the current market for managers with names like Bud Black floating around other clubs as experienced options instead of a former player with one year of minor league managing experience and a bench coach for a rival team (I'm sure Tim Wallach appreciates that bit).  However there has been a rise of inexperienced managers lately, mostly former catchers, and 2015 saw a GM even take the reigns of manager for a bit and another GM signing as a first base coach for next year so anything seems possible now.

With that being said, let's look at one of the candidates for the job, Gabe Kapler.  You might not know that much about Kapler other than his position in the organization and his physique that would fit right along side the cast of the next Magic Mike.

You're in the club and this guy slaps your waifu's ass, what do you do?

Other than abs of steel, who is Gabe Kapler?  Where did he come from?  Why am I asking you?

Gabe Kapler was a major leaguer for 12 seasons drafted in the 57th round by Detroit.  He's an LA native (as if that picture didn't tell you) born in Hollywood and attended high school in Woodland Hills and went to Cal State Fullerton.  By the end of his playing career he had played on 6 different teams, was a part of the 2004 World Series Red Sox club (coincidentally so was Dave Roberts, the other front runner for the job), played half a year of ball in Japan, managed the Red Sox Class A affiliate for a year, and most importantly taught us all how to eat a hot dog.

Kapler is also very proud of his Jewish heritage and has tattoos of the Star of David and the words "Never Again" with the dates of the Holocaust.  He was also a coach for Team Israel in the 2013 World Baseball Classic which included on the roster current Dodger, Joc Pederson.

At the end of his career, Kapler played for the Tampa Bay Rays which introduced him to then Rays GM now Dodgers President of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman.  As the Director of Player Development he has stressed his philosophy of making men first.  Good men make good baseball players in his book which seems like a more old school approach then the current sabermetric approach the Dodgers front office is all about.  However, Kapler showed a strong grasp of sabermetrics with his time as a Fox Sports 1 analyst and seems to embody a mix of the old and new school.  He also has a blog entitled Kaplifestyle where he has recently written a post about building a winning culture.

He's already built a winning smile

The front office of Friedman and Zaidi must see in Kapler a guy who can work with them on their saber focused ideas and a guy who can connect with the players (although according to some his move to healthier options in the dining area in Spring Training didn't sit well with some but not much is written about it).   If Kapler is indeed selected for the job, it might be a good idea to supervise any pitching changes he might make.

No comments:

Post a Comment