SAN FRANCISCO -- In his first year as the Giants' president of baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi tried to learn everything he could about his new front office, his big league roster, and the layers of minor leaguers who will try and form a better future. He also spent plenty of time with his finger on the pulse of the fan base.
Zaidi was well aware of what the public perception would be Tuesday night when the Giants announced Gabe Kapler as their new manager, and he addressed two issues right off the bat on a conference call with reporters.
In his introductory remarks, before he took questions, Zaidi spoke of Kapler's time in Philadelphia and also the mishandling of assault allegations against Dodgers minor leaguers when Kapler was their director of player development.
The latter issue has been the most concerning to fans, and members of the Giants organization had their doubts, too. Over the last week, the Giants spoke to experts from outside the organization to get a better handle on the issue, and it was being discussed internally as late as Monday night.
"Obviously there's been stuff written over the last couple of weeks over the incident in Los Angeles," Zaidi said. "To be honest, it's given me a chance to reflect on those incidents and how we handled them as [a Dodgers] organization. We've had the opportunity to talk to people in the community and talk to experts to try and learn and understand what we did and what we did wrong.
"As I've had time to reflect on it, I've realized the biggest mistake we made was asking the wrong questions. In those situations, we asked, 'What do we have to do?' instead of, 'What is the right thing to do?' I can only speak for myself -- I'm truly sorry that from my perspective I didn't ask the right questions and address things appropriately. I view it as a learning experience, and it's something I want to take into the future in the organization and hold us to that highest standard."
Zaidi also spoke about Kapler's tenure in Philadelphia, where he went 161-163 in two seasons and was fired last month. He said he spoke to Phillies players and members of the front office, and noted that he got unsolicited texts and phone calls from people who had worked with Kapler in Philadelphia.
"Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive," Zaidi said.
Zaidi and the Giants officially will introduce Kapler on Wednesday at Oracle Park, and the new manager will have time to give his own explanations. Zaidi, in explaining his decision, repeatedly said Tuesday night that Kapler was the right choice for the job and someone Giants fans would be excited about in the dugout.
"I'm really optimistic that as they get to know him, they'll get to know the person that I got to know in L.A., and feel is just a really high-caliber person and is going to do an outstanding job for us," Zaidi said.