Baseball

Compare and Contrast: Girardi and Kapler

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The Phillies have had their fair share of managers throughout their long history. Most notably being Charlie Manuel. After the Phillies legend Manuel finished his tenure in Philadelphia, the Phillies have had their fair share of managerial changes. First, they had Ryne Sandberg, Pete Mackannin followed, then Gabe Kapler, and now currently, Joe Girardi. Kapler went on to become the manager of the San Francisco Giants and helped them become one of the best teams in baseball this past season. Girardi, who is a seasoned veteran of being a manager in MLB, helped the Phillies achieve their first winning season since 2011. When you look at these two managers they seem like they are quite different and that is because, in reality, they are. Yes, they have some similarities but when it comes to managers and how they run their teams, these two are quite different in that regard.

Gabe Kapler

Kapler spent 12 seasons in MLB as a player. He spent his time with the Red Sox, Rangers, Rays, Rockies, Tigers, and Brewers. Kapler officially made his managerial debut for the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2018 season. During his two-year tenure with the Phillies, he would help lead them to an 80-82 record in 2018 and in 2019, helped them get to a record of 81-81. Both were the best records the Phillies had received at the time since 2012. Kapler would be fired at the end of the 2019 season where he would take over as the manager of the San Francisco Giants. During his season with the Giants, he led them to a record of 29-31 in 2020, and during the 2021 season, he led the Giants to an MLB-best record of 107-55.

Kapler is one of the younger managers in baseball and something that we see in him that we don’t see more seasoned managers use is truly utilizing analytics. During his tenure with the Phillies, we would see him utilize some different types of defensive shifts when they really weren’t that necessary. He is the type of manager that would make some questionable changes to his starting lineup constantly based on the pitcher that his team is facing. He relies a little bit too much on analytics. Kapler likes to utilize the players he has on the field and what he has on his paper. Kapler is very much the analytical type of manager taking analytics into so many of the decisions he makes as a manager.

Joe Girardi

Joe Girardi played a total of 15 years in MLB. His tenure lasted with the Cubs, Rockies, Yankees, and, Cardinals. In 2006, Girardi made his managerial debut with the Florida Marlins. In 2008, Girardi then signed with the New York Yankees to become their manager. In 2009, Girardi took the Yankees to the World Series where they beat the Philadelphia Phillies to win the franchise’s 27th World Series. Girardi would lead the Yankees to multiple winning seasons and playoff appearances. Girardi’s last season in the Bronx came in 2017, the following season he was replaced by Aaron Boone. Girardi would proceed to take up a career as an analyst with MLB Network before returning to become a manager in the MLB with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2020.

Unlike Kapler, Girardi is more of a traditional manager. He does utilize analytics, however, not to the extent that Kapler does. Being a more experienced manager than Kapler, Girardi hasn’t really used analytics to today’s extent, He is going to put his best lineup on the field. We usually see the same lineup with Girardi, barring anyone who needs rest or is hurt. He usually takes a more traditional approach to the game, which is quite common amongst other managers in the MLB. He does utilize an information-driven style of being a manager but not to the extent of Gabe Kapler utilizing analytics.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, we can see that Kapler and Girardi are two different types of managers when it comes to their approach to the game of baseball. Kapler takes a more analytical approach while Girardi uses a more traditional approach to the game. However, the biggest similarity that these two have been the fact is that they are players’ coaches. We can see often that the two of these managers are constantly sticking up for their players even if it means they get thrown out of the game. They both respect their players and it shows on the diamond.

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main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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