The San Francisco Giants announced Friday that they have fired manager Gabe Kapler. The move comes as a surprise, as the Giants remained in the postseason hunt until just recently.
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 29, 2023
Gabe Kapler Fired as Giants Manager
Kapler was nearing the end of his fourth season as Giants manager. In his second year, 2021, he led the team to a franchise record 107 wins, only to see their season end in heartbreak after a hard-fought NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kapler’s efforts garnered him the NL Manager of the Year award. Aside from that, Kapler had a knack for leading his teams to records close to .500. Even dating back to his tenure with the Philadelphia Phillies, every team Kapler managed aside from the 2021 Giants hovered right around that mark at season’s end.
This year’s Giants team made a late push for the postseason. Despite their efforts, they fell just short. If they sweep their last series against the Dodgers this weekend, they would fittingly finish with a .500 record (81-81).
The next Giants manager would take over a team that’s often been in a state of limbo over the last decade. Ever since they won three World Series in five years, their roster has always appeared to have potential, but the team has failed to break through more often than not. Sometimes it appears that a steady manager, like they had in Bruce Bochy, is what they need to get over the hump.
One such option for the Giants could be Bob Melvin, who currently helms the San Diego Padres. The Padres have themselves underachieved in 2023 after a surprise run to the NLCS last season. According to Buster Olney, should Melvin become available after the season, he would be a seemingly natural fit with the Giants.
A lot of early speculation in the industry that Bob Melvin would be a fit for the Giants’ managerial vacancy if he parts ways with the Padres. He and Farhan know each other, of course, from their A’s days together.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) September 29, 2023
It should become clearer by next season whether or not Kapler was truly a hindrance to the Giants. While the team felt a new voice was needed, it could be the case that the Giants’ mix of younger talent and aging veterans just wasn’t the right one to produce a postseason team. Either way, Kapler likely would not have been near the top of most people’s lists of potential managerial firings this season.
Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports