Phillies broadcaster Larry Andersen is not a fan of former manager Gabe Kapler
Longtime Philadelphia Phillies radio broadcaster Larry Andersen likes what he sees so far out of the team’s newest skipper, Joe Girardi.
But, “when you look at what we were used to and what we have [now],” Andersen said Wednesday morning on SportsRadio 94WIP, “I think I would have been happy with any change.”
The comment alluded to the Phillies’ former manager, Gabe Kapler, who was not brought back for a third season in red pinstripes this year after posting a combined 161-163 record in 2018-2019.
When asked if he misses Kapler — who is now the skipper for the San Francisco Giants — Andersen said he does not, before going on to say that he “just does not see him as a Major League Baseball manager.”
“He wants to be seen, he wants to be noticed, he wants to do everything differently, and he wants to do everything that’s out of the ordinary. For what?” said Andersen. “Is he reinventing the game? I thought he was here.”
“I’m not a fan. I don’t trust him when he says something,” Andersen continued. “I feel like he’s always trying to be like an orator.”
“Give me the truth; tell me what’s going on.”
Andersen then brought up an example from one of Kapler’s earlier games as Phillies manager as to why he just was not suited for the position.
It was a May 18, 2018, road game against the 23-18 St. Louis Cardinals — just Kapler’s 42nd game as a Major League manager. The Phillies entered the game with a 25-16 record, having won three straight and seven of their last eight. A great start, to say the least, to Kapler’s managerial tenure in Philadelphia.
But, their winning trend would not carry on for much longer, as we would find out, including into the Friday, May 18, evening contest. Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta would last just three innings while allowing four runs (two earned) on 64 pitches. By the time the bottom of the eighth inning rolled around, the Phillies were down big — 12 to 3.
Kapler turned to bench player Pedro Florimon to pitch and try to spare Phillies relievers from pitching in the blowout. Not only did Florimon toss a scoreless frame on just 14 pitches, but the next half-inning, he also slugged a solo home run to shrink the deficit to eight.
“[Kapler] comes in after the game at his press conference and goes, ‘How about that Pedro Florimon?’ Well, how about him? Who cares?” Andersen said. “We lost the game 12-to- and you’re going to come in and rave about a guy that pitched in a game that’s a player, an infielder, and he hits a home run??
According to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury, Kapler even called Florimon an “inspiration”:
"“I walked over to him and said, ‘Flo, I’d really like you to pitch this inning for us,’ and he said, ‘Absolutely, I got you,'” Kapler told reporters after the 12-4 loss. “Then he went out and hit a big bomb for us. He’s been the consummate professional and teammate all season long and he’s played well for us. [I am] really proud of Florimon.”"
Andersen went on to stress that to be a sports figure in Philadelphia, such as himself, it is important to simply be honest.
“How can you not be honest in Philadelphia? I can go and say whatever I want in San Diego. Not in Philadelphia,” Andersen stressed. “You have to be honest with the fans and if it hurts people, it hurts people.”
“You have to do it.”
At least for his opinion on Kapler, clearly, Andersen did not refrain from showing honesty on Wednesday ahead of the Phillies’ doubleheader against the Yankees at Citizens Bank Park.