Calling Friday night’s game between the Cubs and Cardinals, MLB Network broadcaster Bob Costas laid the criticism on heavy when reliever Pedro Strop was exiting the game in the eighth inning. Strop had allowed a game-tying home run to Greg Garcia, then hit Kolten Wong, got Matt Carpenter to fly out, and walked Jhonny Peralta before manager Joe Maddon pulled him in favor of Jason Motte.
Costas said of Strop’s performance, “Motte is on his way in, Strop is on his way out, pointing toward the heavens. We can only ask, or wonder that he is asking some departed relative for forgiveness for this atrocious performance.” Deadspin has video which includes the comment.
As expected, the comment didn’t go over well. The New York Daily News reports that Costas has reached out to the Cubs’ PR department to apologize personally to Strop. The two will meet on Sunday in Chicago.
“I intended it as a kind of sarcastic comment about this overall thing where everybody seems to be pointing toward the heavens for every accomplishment, large and small,” Costas said. “That wasn’t my intention. And so I owe him an apology. And I will apologize to him tomorrow.”
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.