Gabe Kapler’s unemployment may not last long.
The former Phillies manager, according to a report by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, will interview with the San Francisco Giants for their manager’s vacancy.
The Giants are run by president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi. He was the Dodgers’ general manager when Kapler was their farm director. Zaidi is one of baseball’s most forward-thinking executives and has long been a fan of Kapler. A reunion could be in the cards.
If hired, Kapler would replace Bruce Bochy. He retired at the end of the season after managing the Giants for 13 seasons and winning three World Series titles. Mark Kotsay, Oakland’s bench coach, interviewed for the job this past week.
After the Giants season ended, Zaidi said the No. 1 quality he was seeking in a manager is “relationship building.” When Kapler was hired by the Phillies, he said the first thing he planned to do was “build connections and relationships” with the players.
“It’s environment building,” Kapler said in December 2017. “We want to create an environment that encourages our players to grow. The analogy that I’ve used and will continue to use is the coaching staff, the front office, all of the various departments around a baseball organization are the soil, and our players are the plants and the trees that are going to grow in that soil. So that soil has to be extremely nutrient-dense. So as I think about managing a ball club, I think about being really nutrient-dense soil.”
The Phillies fired Kapler after he posted a 161-163 record over two seasons and failed to reach the postseason in either one. Kapler never seemed to win over the Philadelphia fans, either, and general manager Matt Klentak said Friday that Kapler had a hard time gaining acceptance in Philly.
But the fans were not the only ones who failed to climb aboard with Kapler. Owner John Middleton considered firing Kapler in July and spent the final months of the season determining the manager’s fate.
Perhaps San Francisco will be a better fit for the California native.
“I don’t think this is a secret to any of you in this room or anybody watching on TV at home, but I’m a big fan. I think he’s really good at what he does,” Klentak said of Kapler. “Very talented, very hardworking, a good communicator, all the things you’ve heard me say before. And I am very thankful to Kap for what we provided this franchise for the last two years.
"I think, when you look at a lot of the ways we developed culturally, a lot of the growth that we have had both at the major-league level and under the hood that people may not see, I don’t think we make those strides if Kap is not our manager, and I know there are a lot of people in this building that feel the same way I do, a lot of people on our staff, a lot of people in our clubhouse that feel that way too.”