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Gabe Kapler soliciting feedback from coaching staff in form of anonymous surveys

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Yesterday, I discussed the recent clamor among Phillies fans for manager Gabe Kapler to throw a temper tantrum and get ejected by an umpire to fire up his team, which is on its way to its eighth consecutive loss. Kapler is anything but a hothead, so getting ejected — especially for no legitimate reason — is not in his nature. He said as much, saying, “it would’ve been really contrived to go further,” referring to a disagreement he had with an umpire recently where he felt he had done enough to warrant an ejection.

Kapler’s rational approach, which includes heavy usage of analytics, rubs the largely blue-collar contingent of Phillies fans the wrong way. They like tough, hard-nosed guys who are willing to get into a fight. Kapler won’t overturn postgame spreads and get in his players’ faces the way Larry Bowa did; instead, he’ll pull them in individually into his office to offer constructive criticism.

With his team spiraling out of control to end 2018, Kapler is looking towards next season and is already seeking ways to improve. He is soliciting feedback from his coaching and support staff in the form of anonymous surveys, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Kapler said, “I have a lot of room to grow and improve. The first step I’m taking is seeking out feedback from others on my performance and areas where I fell short.”

The idea was quickly mocked by Phillies fans on social media, but it’s actually brilliant. No, it’s not a novel idea by any means, but it is a terrific way to get honest and constructive feedback from people who rank below oneself. It is tough to honestly criticize a superior because it could sour the relationship, putting one’s job security in jeopardy. It is way easier and safer to be a brown-noser.

Kapler screwed up a few times very early in the season, including one incident in which he tried to bring in a reliever — Hoby Milner — even though he hadn’t warmed up. The criticism came in loud and en masse from all directions. Kapler, to his credit, took the criticism in stride and made concerted efforts to improve the way he communicates with his team. His latest effort, anonymous surveys, is laudable and indicative of someone truly committed to winning and doing the best job he can. Many managers are recalcitrant, unwilling to change their ways. Kapler clearly is not. One would think that would be a personality trait fans would love, but not Phillies fans and certain media types in Philly for some strange reason.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”