The San Francisco Giants are parting ways with manager Gabe Kapler after four seasons, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. He helped lead the team to an incredible 107-win campaign in 2021 but finished .500 last year while overseeing a big September collapse in 2023. Kapler had one year remaining on his contract.
The move, while not a surprise considering San Fran's 8-17 record this month, marks the end of a historic trend for the franchise.
“This is the first time the organization has relieved a manager of their duties since they replaced Jim Davenport with Roger Craig with 18 games remaining in the 1985 season,” per The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly.
This startling piece of information makes it even more shocking that ownership and general manager Farhan Zaidi would dismiss Kapler with three games left in the regular season. However, Zaidi's recent comments, which alluded to a potential managerial change, might have forced the Giants to just rip off the band-aid. Otherwise, the clubhouse would be flooded with questions and speculation the rest of the way.
Gabe Kapler: Premature firing might have been the only way to go
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle suggested as much. “Sounds as if the growing chorus of criticism and ‘noise' as one insider put it got to be too much of a distraction and there was no reason to wait and let Kapler continue to have to answer questions every day as he’d have to this week.”
Hence, Gabe Kapler is afforded a merciful leave before being subjected to even further scrutiny. His job was never going to be an easy one, but the Giants just did not get it done at the plate. They ranked 27th in batting average and 26th in slugging percentage.
That problem cannot fall solely on the skipper, though. Zaidi and the front office seemed to recognize the issue when they attempted to secure a big bat in the offseason (lost out on Aaron Judge and passed on Carlos Correa after he failed their physical).
Kapler had a 217-167 record during his tenure as San Fran's manager. His future is uncertain, but so too is that of this stalling franchise.