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Gabe Kapler is happy Dewayne Wise robbed him of a home run to preserve Mark Buehrle’s perfect game

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Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic continued her “10 questions” series with new Phillies manager Gabe Kapler. Many of the questions pertained to Kapler’s first month-plus on the job and what he expects going forward with the Phillies. One question, however, was about a moment in 2009.

Kapler, then with the Rays, led off the top of the ninth inning as White Sox starter Mark Buehrle attempted to get the final three outs for a perfect game. With a 2-2 count, Kapler hit a fly ball to deep left-center. Center fielder Dewayne Wise ranged back and leaped at the wall, robbing Kapler of a home run and preserving Buehrle’s perfect game, which he would go on to complete.

Montemurro asked, “What went through your mind in that moment?”

Kapler responded:

Well as a competitor, the first thing is I want that ball to go over his head and over the fence. What I remember, what I shared not that long after is, I’m really glad he made the catch. And I’m still glad he made the catch. If he didn’t make the catch, I would have one more home run, and that moment never happens for Mark Buehrle. That moment never happens for the city of Chicago. Dewayne Wise, that’s his moment for the rest of his life. It was meaningless for me. It would’ve been cool to have the home run. But it wouldn’t have gone anywhere. It would’ve been forgotten. And now it gets to live on forever, and it’s his moment.

I thought it had a chance [off the bat]. I remember it was a changeup away, and I had pretty good success waiting on his changeup and sitting on it. I knew that I hit it square. I probably would’ve been very comfortable predicting it would’ve been a double. The fact that it almost went out was cool.

I don’t think I’ve ever run into them or had a chance to have a conversation with them. They don’t even remember me. I get to remember them. Again, it’s their moment, and I love that about it.

Pretty cool perspective from Kapler. Kapler is already well-known for thinking outside the box, so it’s not surprising he would have this response. He’ll make his regular season managerial debut on Thursday afternoon as the Phillies open against the Braves in Atlanta.

CC Sabathia hopes to play one more year

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Back in May, Yankees starter CC Sabathia said he’d retire if the Yankees won the World Series. That still may be the plan, but he recently told MLB.com that he’s going to try to pitch in 2019, health willing:

“I’m start to start. I go out one start and feel like I can pitch five more years. I go out another start and I’m done. But if I can stay healthy — if my knee holds up — hopefully I’ll play one more.”

Sabathia is enjoying a nice late-career renaissance, having transformed himself from the dominant lefty he used to be to a crafty one over the past several seasons. Sabathia will turn 38 on Saturday, but he’s having another solid season. He has a 3.51 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 18 starts.

Will a World Series decide whether he hangs ’em up? Will his knee? Guess we’ll know by November.