Major League Baseball announces nominees for the Clemente Award

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The Roberto Clemente Award goes to the Major Leaguer who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Not entirely sure how this differs from the Marvin Miller Award, the nominees for which we announced yesterday, but just go with it.

Carlos Beltran won it last year. The 2014 nominees — one per team — were just announced and are listed below.

There’s a weird fan vote aspect to this. You go to the website and you can vote for one of the nominees. The winner of the fan vote basically gets a one vote head start, with that vote added in to votes cast by Bud Selig, Vera Clemente and a number of former players and some media people.

Nominees:

Arizona Diamondbacks – Paul Goldschmidt
Atlanta Braves – Craig Kimbrel
Baltimore Orioles – Nick Markakis
Boston Red Sox – Craig Breslow
Chicago Cubs – Anthony Rizzo
Chicago White Sox – Paul Konerko
Cincinnati Reds – Skip Schumaker
Cleveland Indians – Nick Swisher
Colorado Rockies – Michael Cuddyer
Detroit Tigers – Justin Verlander
Houston Astros – Jason Castro
Kansas City Royals – Eric Hosmer
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – C.J. Wilson
Los Angeles Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw
Miami Marlins – Steve Cishek
Milwaukee Brewers – Ryan Braun
Minnesota Twins – Glen Perkins
New York Mets – David Wright
New York Yankees – CC Sabathia
Oakland Athletics – Jed Lowrie
Philadelphia Phillies – Jimmy Rollins
Pittsburgh Pirates – Charlie Morton
St. Louis Cardinals – Jason Motte
San Diego Padres – Ian Kennedy
San Francisco Giants – Sergio Romo
Seattle Mariners – Felix Hernandez
Tampa Bay Rays – Evan Longoria
Texas Rangers – Adrian Beltre
Toronto Blue Jays – Todd Redmond
Washington Nationals – Ian Desmond

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.