Gabe Kapler’s mental gaffe is currently the talking point despite the SF Giants’ competitive showing.
Whoever followed Bruce Bochy as manager of the San Francisco Giants was always going to have some big shoes (and ball-caps) to fill. Gabe Kapler was the man to follow, and thanks to the typical old-school and harsh east-coast media, a negative narrative surrounding him and his time in Philadelphia followed to San Francisco.
Granted, he came with some deeply concerning baggage from his time in the Dodgers organization. However, Kapler has addressed that about as honestly as one could hope and faced the noise as bay area media came with their blades sharpened to his introductory press conference.
The Giants, despite some unconventional pitching philosophies to start the season, split with the Dodgers in their first series. And for the most part, they went blow for blow with the upstart Padres. But all of that “positive” got ignored because Kapler simply forgot that pitching coach Andrew Bailey had already been out to the mound.
I get it. It’s bad. You should know the rules, and you should know that Bailey already went out, and what happens when you do go out. It brought back some memories from his first season in Philly, where he originally made the blunder to call for a pitcher to come in that wasn’t even warmed up.
But, he didn’t get run out of town for that specifically, and if I’m correct, the Phillies front office still made some major moves the following offseason to bolster their roster, without firing him. That mistake was arguably worse, and the Phillies still gave him enough support until the end of 2019.
Is it something Bochy would’ve done? Definitely not. But we come to a point though, where it’s pretty useless to compare Bochy, who was in his 16th year when he caught Mattingly’s slip-up, to Gabe Kapler, who is currently in his third season of coaching baseball.
Managers make mistakes. Bruce Bochy had his share of them too across 26 years of managing. But to say a mistake like that, in the seventh game of a mid-pandemic season is going to be a major sticking point for the team is jumping the gun.
This isn’t the 2010-2016 Giants, where you can expect them to be near-perfect. They haven’t been the fundamentally perfect team since 2014 honestly. And Bochy himself has made a rash of his own mistakes during that time frame.
While Giants fans were accustomed to them constantly making the right choices for four or five years, at some point they’ll regress to the mean. They’re human, which equates to mistakes being made. Judging someone’s seven-game tenure off a mistake like that is a little much.
Ultimately, anything Gabe Kapler does, unless incredibly illegal or detrimental to the team, isn’t going to be truly judged until 2021, maybe even 2022. The Giants have *that much* of a leash for him. There will be more mistakes.
He’s still learning as is the majority of the Giant’s roster. So until the expectation from the front office is there for this team to be near-perfect, let’s cool it on holding them to a standard that they most certainly won’t meet.