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Top 25 Stories of 2018

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Happy New Year, everyone. Hope you had a pleasant, safe and comfortable New Year’s Eve. Hope you’re enjoying yourself on this fine January 1. Odds suggest most of you are watching football which, hey, is your right, even if I don’t understand why you’d do such a thing. It takes all kinds.

If you’re not watching football, and if you’ve missed some of our countdown of the Top 25 Stories of 2018, here they all are:

25. Matt Harvey’s Weird Year
24. Some International Records Fall
23. Those We Lost
22. Robinson Cano Suspended for PEDs
21. Mound Visits Limited
20. The Baseballs Have Changed
19. Chief Wahoo’s Last Hurrah
18. Albert Pujols Notches His 3,000th Hit
17. Manny Machado Traded Before He Was Traded
16. There Were More Strikeouts Than Hits
15. More Position Players Pitched Than Ever Before
14. Roberto Osuna Shows How Situational Baseball Ethics Can Be
13. A Parade of Stars Retire
12. The Feds Launch an Investigation of International Scouting
11. Baseball Gets Into the Gambling Business
10. Young Stars Land in Hot Water Over Old Tweets
9. A Hall of Fame Class for the Ages
8. Christian Yelich Goes From Unhappy Marlin to MVP
7. Jacob deGrom Wins the Cy Young With Only Ten Wins
6. The A’s Improbable 97-win Year
5. Acuña and Soto Make a Splash in the NL East
4. Shohei Ohtani: Two-Way Threat
3. The Free Agent Freeze 
2. The Rays Give Baseball The Opener
1. Red Sox Win Their Fourth World Series in Fifteen Seasons

 

Hope 2019 treats you well!

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.