Phillies

Gabe Kapler defends Odubel Herrera after gutless scout's damning words

Gabe Kapler defends Odubel Herrera after gutless scout's damning words

Odubel Herrera was the target of some rather vicious criticism in a Sports Illustrated report earlier this week. An anonymous major league scout called Herrera “a dog” and “a clown,” and there was even some racial innuendo in the comments.

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler used his pregame session with reporters Saturday to respond.

“I think that statement about Odubel was, first, completely factually inaccurate. Also, I thought it was fairly inappropriate,” Kapler said. “Odubel plays the game with a lot of energy and he plays the game with a lot of enthusiasm. I personally love having Odubel on our club. And I think our organization loves having Odubel on our club as well. I think we should have a pretty high standard for what we quote and what we share. And I think that quote shouldn't have been shared.”

(The view here is that there’s nothing wrong with a scout exercising his freedom of speech and offering his feelings. But, good gosh, if you’re going to say something so damning, so pejorative, have the gonads to put your name on it.)

Kapler continued, saying the scout’s analysis, “was so far from the truth about Odubel. It's just not who we think he is. And I feel like we have a pretty good view. We've seen Odubel a lot. And he is a hard worker, a hustler and somebody to be celebrated, not hammered down in my opinion.”

Now, as any Phillies fan knows, Herrera is not a perfect pupil. He has shown some shortcomings in the area of focus and concentration during his time with the Phillies. He’s made mental mistakes on the bases and in the field. He’s failed to run out balls from time to time. He's been chided by his managers behind closed doors.

Kapler acknowledged as much.

But he still doesn't like what was said about Herrera.

“There's no doubt, we've talked about it at length, that there's times that Odubel can focus more, concentrate more, bring a higher level of play,” Kapler said. “And you know what? So can everybody. And we can call out those moments where the game has to be elevated and challenge him. And we will. But a generalization of who Odubel is, that just was BS, unquestionably.

“I'll just say that the commentary was inappropriate.”

Sports Illustrated agreed. It amended the quote after it was initially posted.

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At the Yard podcast: Reacting to the huge Zack Wheeler news

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At the Yard podcast: Reacting to the huge Zack Wheeler news

Ricky Bottalico and Corey Seidman react to the big news of the Phillies agreeing to a five-year deal with Zack Wheeler on the latest At The Yard podcast.

They also discuss the possibility of the Phillies signing Didi Gregorius, Cole Hamels heading to the Braves, and much more.

• Initial impressions of the signing
• What the guys like most about Wheeler
• Was this the right price?
• Bittersweet day with Hamels to Braves
• Phillies still need to add another good SP
• One Wheeler concern
• The market for Anthony Rendon



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Rhys Hoskins stoked for early Zack Wheeler gift from Santa Klentak, Mets fans irate

Rhys Hoskins stoked for early Zack Wheeler gift from Santa Klentak, Mets fans irate

Christmas came early for free-agent pitcher Zack Wheeler in the form of a five-year, $118 million contract from the Philadelphia Phillies.

But Wheeler isn't the only one to celebrate today. His new teammates are also stoked about the addition of a hard-throwing righty to follow Aaron Nola in the rotation.

First baseman Rhys Hoskins took to Twitter to share his excitement about Santa coming early this year.

While Philadelphia seems quite pleased with the move, we thought it only fair to check in with New York Mets fans to see how they felt about their former starter joining a division rival.

They're taking it ... not so well over at the Metsrefugees.com message board. A sampling:

This is the worst possible scenario

lol of course. He's gonna dominate the Mets now.

We deserve this.

And one more **** *** to Brodie and the Wilpons for not signing this man -- who badly wanted to stay here -- to a much cheaper extension a year ago, when they had the chance. I hope he makes them pay for that decision. Sincerely. Best of luck to Zack.

This infuriates me

So things are going well in New York this holiday season, which is nice.

But it's not all sunshine and rainbows in the NL East. The Atlanta Braves got some Cole (Hamels) before Christmas.

Plenty of shopping days remain. Will Matt Klentak and John Middleton really go crazy this year, blow through the luxury tax, and show up to spring training with a new Stephen Strasburg with a red bow on 'em?

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