A new era of Giants baseball began to take shape when they hired Farhan Zaidi away from the rival Dodgers before the 2019 season and named him their president of baseball operations. A chapter of the team's history closed with manager Bruce Bochy's retirement at the end of the 2019 season, and a new, controversial one began Tuesday by hiring Gabe Kapler as Bochy's successor.
Kapler seems about as opposite of Bochy as one could imagine. He nearly is 20 years younger than the future Hall of Famer, is obsessed with physical fitness and sabermetrics, doesn't know how to eat ice cream and surely doesn't share Bochy's love of wine. He also blogs.
The Giants' newest manager has a blog called "Kap Lifestyle" where he has written about his lifting routine, family, general thoughts on life and much more. In August 2015, he wrote a post titled "Problem Solving" which came with interesting timing.
Along with praising his son for frying eggs late at night instead of eating Rocky Road ice cream, here are two snippets from the post.
Kapler's problem solving, however, has been called into question based on his actions a few months prior to writing that blog post.
The Washington Post reported in February a story of Kapler's mishandling of assault allegations from a 17-year-old girl against Dodgers minor leaguers that occurred in February 2015, when Kapler was the team's director of player development. According to a police report obtained by the Post, Kapler did not notify police right away. Instead, after receiving emails from both the girl and her grandmother, Kapler suggested to the grandmother a dinner arrangement with him, the two players and the teenage girl.
“This dinner is our initiative,” Kapler said in an email after the grandmother let him know the girl had no interest in such dinner. “We will ensure [the girl’s] safety. We believe we can teach valuable lessons to all involved through this method of follow up.”
Zaidi, who was the Dodgers' general manager at the time, addressed Kapler's handling of the sexual assault allegations in a conference call with reporters Tuesday night after Kapler's hiring. Zaidi reiterated his statements Wednesday morning on KNBR.
"He reported the incidents up the chain in baseball operations and we referred him to our legal counsel, which is standard procedure in these types of cases," Zaidi said to KNBR's Brian Murphy. "Our legal counsel in both cases, recommended he contact the victims and ask if they wanted the organization to contact the police or to assist in them going to the police. Those things very clearly happened.
"In both cases, the victims declined to report the incidents to the police, and we respected their wishes."
Zaidi invited questions from Murphy regarding Kapler's character. He also admitted the Dodgers didn't seek advice from "advocates" during the process and "we were just thinking about what we needed to do, rather than what the right thing was."
Kapler will be introduced as the Giants' new manager Wednesday and questions surrounding him and how he handled the allegations will not go away. Nor should they.
The Giants, Kapler and Zaidi have plenty of questions to be answered now and for the foreseeable future.