Gabe Kapler met the Philadelphia media for the first time on Thursday and espoused his theories on the game of baseball. The same theories that the Phillies pointed to that made him their choice to be the franchise’s 54th manager.
“We’re not going to leave any stone unturned to find our competitive advantages. We’re going to think traditionally, and we’re going to think progressively. We’re going to mold those two things together,” said Kapler, 42.
The Phillies were impressed not only with Kapler’s resume, but with his ability to implement progressive changes into the Dodgers farm system where he was the director of player development. The Phillies had actually implemented some of the nutrition and sports psychology ideas into their farm system that Kapler put into the Dodgers system. Many other teams around baseball had done the same thing.
Kapler stressed competitiveness and preparing his team to compete. Kapler himself is very competitive and has what has been described as an intense personality.
“I am ultra-competitive; love to win. This is a place where I can lead from the dugout. And certainly, one of the things that I think I’m especially capable of doing is building environments for players to be the strongest versions of themselves,” said Kapler. “We don’t actually build the baseball players, we build the environments for the baseball players to flourish and develop in. And if we build a really healthy environment for them to come to the ballpark in every single day, they’re going to be the strongest versions of themselves. And then we’re going to carry that strength out on to the field and then perform.
“The way you get players to buy in is to come on their turf. I think historically in a Major League Baseball clubhouse, we’ve looked at it in the opposite fashion, which is: These guys don’t know how to do it anymore. We’re going to stand over in the corner and be quiet and come to us.”
The Phillies believe that Kapler’s approach to the game and progressive thinking about the game will translate well with the young players on the Phillies roster. The question is how his intensity will be received by some of the young players.