Good morning, baseball fans.
Yesterday I wrote a very nice, well thought out, well reasoned, and lengthy post for this morning about why I didn’t really understand the sudden increase in the intensity of the rumors about Gabe Kapler potentially being fired. And how it almost felt like the media’s incessant rumoring and questioning about it was manifesting it into happening.
Not even an hour later, it did.
What galls me, though, is that the problems with the San Francisco Giants over the last two seasons neither start or end with Gabe Kapler. Yet now he’s the scapegoat for them. The man was handed two starting pitchers and six squirrels in a trench coat to make a rotation out of, and a roster made up of sock puppets and wacky waving inflatable arm tube men. But it’s somehow his fault that they weren’t more successful.
I feel bad for Kapler.— Peter Hartlaub (@peterhartlaub) September 29, 2023
He got 107 wins with a roster that was 65% misfit toys, and was rewarded with an 85% and then 90% misfit toys roster.
Also he bike commuted from North Beach, which is fucking cool, and a story I will now never get to write. https://t.co/X59SAWTkgs
I don’t say any of this to defend Gabe Kapler. There’s definitely a case to be made for him to have been included in any kind of offseason overhaul that may or may not still take place. But it seems like an incredibly odd and off-putting place, and time, to start.
It is of course too early to judge whatever the Giants may or may not still do to try to turn things around before next season. However, given their recent history of...well...nothing, it’s hard to blame anyone that thinks that the front office and owners will essentially say “See, that was the whole problem and we fixed it. Leave us alone.” then go back to business as usual, trying to slash payroll. And raise ticket prices.
Am I being incredibly unfair? Maybe. But the organization has not earned much goodwill recently. And that’s not Gabe Kapler’s fault. It’s not Farhan Zaidi or the front office’s fault either. They have their orders too.
In my opinion, the problem is higher than that. When the owners prove that they’re willing to actually spend considerable money to improve the team considerably, maybe I’ll consider cutting them some slack.
But when “improvements” start with firing the guy that had nothing to do with assembling the team? That’s a weird, reactionary place to start. And not exactly the best way to start rebuilding goodwill with the fans; fans who recognize this for exactly the scapegoating that it is.
Unrelatedly, I just wanted to say congratulations to Thairo Estrada for winning the 2023 Willie Mac Award. Exceptionally well deserved. I’m very happy for him and I don’t want it to get completely buried in the drama. Please enjoy this clip of his daughter throwing out the first pitch before last night’s game.
In honor of her dad winning the Willie Mac Award, Arantza Estrada threw out a perfect first pitch pic.twitter.com/YldtGseCIZ— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 30, 2023
What time do the Giants play today?
The Giants play their penultimate game of the season tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers at 6:05 p.m. PT.