Before he arrived in Philadelphia, Andy MacPhail's baseball career had taken him to quite a few places, like Houston, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Baltimore. But it was his upbringing in New York that caused MacPhail to be a bit taken aback when he first met Gabe Kapler.
"Gabe, I'm a New Yorker. I don't think anybody can be that positive. I'm like, 'What?' " MacPhail said while addressing the media on Tuesday. "I've come to know him a little bit. He's all in. He is what he is. He's communicative. If you know anything about Gabe, he makes adjustments."
And one of those adjustments could come from a recommendation by MacPhail. Kapler will spend this month reviewing the feedback he received in anonymous surveys filled out by team personnel. After, he will meet with his coaching staff and members of the front office to garner more information on how he can improve in Year 2.
And then MacPhail said he plans to treat Kapler to "an all-expense paid dinner, where [Kapler's] going to have to listen to me drone on for two hours."
It was rare this season — from spring training all the way to the season finale — to hear Kapler make critical comments when publicly discussing his team. But perhaps his tone could be a bit more New York-like after MacPhail takes him to dinner.
"I watched this happen to Dusty Baker, said MacPhail, who was the Cubs' president while Baker was the manager. "If you're just overly positive, overly positive, then you lose credibility with the fans after a while. You have to find a way to craft a message that is not critical of your players or negative but acknowledge that there's some areas like the rest of us we need to make some improvements."