THE YEAR IN REVIEW: HBT’s most commented-upon stories of the year

86 Comments

It’s the holidays and year-end lists and summaries and things are becoming just as much a part of the holidays as peppermint, mistletoe and passive-aggressive interactions with your family who, despite the fact that you’ve been doing this for five years still asks you “what the plan is” or “what the endgame is” for your writing career. Or maybe that’s just my family. I don’t know.

The point is, over the next few days we’ll be doing some end-of-year type things. Looking back at the good, the bad, the ugly and, more than anything else, the things that are capable of being recapped in list form.

First up: the top 10 most commented-upon stories at HBT for the past year. The stuff that made you angry or excited or snarky or whatever. The stuff that made our comments section live up to the reputation of comments sections all over the Internet, sadly enough. Here they are:

 So, of our top 10 most commented-upon posts, one is about football, one is about commenters themselves, seven are about social/political things and one –one! — is about just baseball.

Man, I really wish you guys would stick to baseball.

 

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

12 Comments

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.