Ken Macha complains to MLB about Brewers being plunked

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Brewers batters have been hit by an MLB-high 47 pitches this season and after the latest plunking of Prince Fielder over the weekend manager Ken Macha revealed that he’s complained to officials about the situation.
Macha said he’s spoken to former umpire and current umpiring department special assistant Bruce Froemming, and Guy Curtright of MLB.com reports that “he called for Bob Watson, MLB vice president for rules and operations, to review things personally.”
I’m all for managers sticking up for their players, but two factors make Macha’s stance seem kind of silly. First, while the Brewers lead baseball by being hit 47 times they aren’t that far ahead of the pack. In fact, the White Sox have been hit 46 times in two fewer games, so their hit-by-pitch rate is actually higher. Ozzie Guillen should probably co-sign Macha’s complaint to MLB.
Beyond that, Fielder and Rickie Weeks are the only Brewers to be hit by more than three pitches and together account for two-thirds of the team’s total. Fielder is definitely being plunked more now than in past years, but Weeks just gets hit a lot, period. He’s been plunked 17 times in 441 plate appearances, which is only slightly higher than his career rate of 14 per 441 plate appearances.

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.