Giants

New Giants manager Gabe Kapler has very odd way of eating ice cream

New Giants manager Gabe Kapler has very odd way of eating ice cream

New Giants manager Gabe Kapler had a short and unsuccessful first stint as an MLB manager, lasting just two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. 

But it was back in 2007 when Kapler first became a manager at just 31 years old, one year after playing 72 games for the Boston Red Sox. Kapler led Boston's Low-A affiliate, the Greenville Drive, that season. 

He certainly wasn't your everyday manager, though. Prior to Kapler becoming the Phillies' manager in 2018, Drive players from that 2007 squad told stories of his style to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Among the oddities was Kapler grabbing a glove and diving at shortstop during practice, out-lifting his players in the locker room and one of the weirdest ice cream stories you can imagine. 

That's right, ice cream. 

"He was so into health," Former Drive catcher Jon Still said to the Inquirer. "He's addicted to ice cream. So he would sit there and lick ice cream but have a cup and spit it into it. He would lick it just for the taste but didn't want to eat it. I told him, 'Dude, that's like Unabomber type stuff.'

"That's a thing he did."

[RELATED: Zaidi addresses Kapler controversy after Giants hire him]

Kapler brought his own organic eggs and organic peanut butter, among other organic foods, with him on the road during that 2007 season. It has been reported Kapler eliminated junk food from the clubhouse when he was the Dodgers' farm director, and made the entire organization go organic before the 2015 season.

The Drive went 58-81 in Kapler's lone season as manager, good for seventh place in South Atlantic League. Kapler went on to play three more seasons in the majors from 2008 through 2010.

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MLB rumors: Cardinals 'entering the fray' to pursue Madison Bumgarner

MLB rumors: Cardinals 'entering the fray' to pursue Madison Bumgarner

With the Winter Meetings rapidly approaching, MLB free agency is heating up.

One of the top available pitchers -- Madison Bumgarner -- is expected to be in high demand, particularly now that Cole Hamels has signed with the Braves and Zack Wheeler reportedly has agreed to a five-year contract with the Phillies. For teams who scoff at Gerrit Cole's price tag, Bumgarner might be the logical compromise.

The Giants have been "in communication" with Bumgarner, but rumor has it another interested team has entered the mix.

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Thursday that the St. Louis Cardinals have been linked to Bumgarner, citing a source.

St. Louis already has brought back veteran Adam Wainwright on a one-year deal, and after he, Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson, there appears to be an opening for Bumgarner in the starting rotation. Signing with the Cardinals would not only allow Bumgarner to continue pitching in the National League, but would also allow him to continue taking his own at-bats, which we know he loves so much. He also has been linked to teams such as the Twins and White Sox, but would forfeit his at-bats to a DH in each of those situations.

[RELATED: How Wheeler's reported $118M contract could affect MadBum]

While Bumgarner is expected to receive a contract in excess of $100 million, Feinsand suggests Wheeler's reported $118 million payday might serve to increase the total.

MLB rumors: Yankees make signing free agent Gerrit Cole top priority

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MLB rumors: Yankees make signing free agent Gerrit Cole top priority

Gerrit Cole is far and away the gem of the 2019 MLB free-agent class.

The former Pirates and Astros ace led the American League in both ERA and strikeouts last season and finished just behind teammate Justin Verlander in the AL Cy Young Award race.

The team that historically always has had the deepest pockets in baseball -- the New York Yankees -- have made Cole a priority in free agency, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Thursday, citing a source.

Cole is a Southern California native with familial ties to the Giants, a team that also features one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in the MLB. San Francisco also has been mentioned as a destination for the ace, who reportedly desires a return to the West Coast.

But if the Yankees, who always have jumped to outbid every other team for talent in free agency, decide to back up the proverbial Brinks truck for the 29-year-old, the Giants might be swiftly eliminated from contention for Cole.

Reports indicate that Cole’s price tag will “shatter” the record set by David Price when he signed a $217 million contract with the Boston Red Sox in 2015.

[RELATED: Report: Giants targeted UGA's pitching coach for same role]

While San Francisco has plenty of money to spend this offseason, it likely won’t engage in a bidding war that could approach $300 million.

Even if longtime Giant and current free agent Madison Bumgarner elects to go elsewhere in free agency, it remains to be seen how much money San Francisco would be willing to shell out for an elite talent like Cole in the heart of his prime.