Phillies

Gabe Kapler seeks improvement through anonymous survey

Gabe Kapler seeks improvement through anonymous survey

Updated: 6:18 p.m.

DENVER — As the Phillies have fallen out of contention with a hellacious stretch of losing, manager Gabe Kapler has diverted some of his attention to the next season. A couple of months ago, this would have been strictly against Kapler's code of maintaining laser-sharp focus on the step in front of him, but reality has hit hard. In less than two months, the Phillies have gone from first place and 15 games over .500 in the NL East to third place and a fast track to a sixth straight losing season.

Kapler is a deep-thinking, analytical man who believes in the pursuit of "constant and continual improvement." As he evaluates what went wrong in his first season as Phillies manager he is also looking to ascertain what he can do better in 2019.

"I have a lot of room to grow and improve," he said before the Phillies' 5-3 loss to the Rockies Thursday. The Phils were outscored 39-7 in the series and have lost eight straight games. 

"The first step I'm taking is seeking out feedback from others on my performance and areas where I fell short."

Kapler and general manager Matt Klentak have already started conducting exit interviews with players. There is give and take about how both sides can get better in 2019.

Kapler is so hungry for feedback and improvement that he has taken this unusual step:

"I have sent out an anonymous survey to all our coaches and support staff to ask them to review my performance," he said.

He added that he would follow up with members of the coaching and front office in the coming weeks "to discuss their thoughts and how I can be a better teammate, manager and leader."

He added: "I'm collecting as much information as I can because I know that adjustments need to be made for 2019."

Kapler specifically mentioned that the team needs to improve its defense, baserunning and offense.

"We will be diligent in stripping out ego, seeking out what worked and making changes where it didn't," he said. "We will mine every single edge we can during the offseason. There is nothing that will be sacred or off limits."

Kapler will even address intangible matters like handling a pennant race better.

"An area where we clearly fell short was in, appropriately preparing our players for the grind of a pennant chase in August and September," he said. "The preparation for August and September of 2019 is beginning now. There are specific mental and physical challenges being issued to our players for the offseason so that everyone comes into spring training able to maintain for seven months."

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It turns out Jeopardy host Alex Trebek isn't the biggest fan of the Phanatic

It turns out Jeopardy host Alex Trebek isn't the biggest fan of the Phanatic

Jeopardy has been home to some great moments regarding Philadelphia sports in the past.

 I wish this was another one of these moments ... but it's not.

 It turns out, the show's host host Alex Trebek isn't a big fan of the Phillie Phanatic ... I know, I'm hurt too.


 The Phillies are in disbelief, we all are.
 
 Of course, fans had quite the reaction to the video that surfaced on social media. After all, the Phanatic is the best mascot in all of sports (totally unbiased, of course).




 

I don't even want to know what he thinks about Gritty.

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Bryce Harper shares thoughts on Nationals playing in World Series without him

Bryce Harper shares thoughts on Nationals playing in World Series without him

Right around the time the Washington Nationals were clinching their World Series berth this week, a guy who left that team to come play in Philadelphia posted a cute photo to his Instagram story with his baby son. It included the caption, "cuddle time is the best time."

I made light of the juxtaposition of that photo with what Nationals players were currently doing in a tongue-in-cheek tweet, but it's hard not to think about Bryce Harper during this Nationals run.

We know exactly how Nationals fans down in DC feel about their former favorite slugger who departed DC for big time bucks. They won't stop telling us.

But what was Harper feeling? Thanks to a one-on-one interview Harper did with Jayson Stark of the Athletic, we now have a glimpse into Harper's mind during this unique time.

Stark says Harper was effusive in his praise of the city of Philadelphia during their chat. And the majority of Harper's answers are very savvy in a public relations sense. Harper is good at saying what you think he's supposed to say. But it doesn't come off as disingenuous.

Stark asked Harper if he was feeling any jealousy watching his old pals spray champagne in the locker room and his answer comes off as pretty honest. From the Athletic ($):

“No,” he said again, without a millisecond’s hesitation, “because like I said, I made my decision, and that was my decision. And it was the final decision that I made. You know, jealousy isn’t good. For me, it’s about having the gratitude to go out and do what I do each day and not having an attitude towards anybody else.

“I think it’s about being able to be the person that I am,” he went on, “and not saying to myself, `Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m not a National.’ Or, `Oh my gosh, those guys are doing what they’re doing. I can’t believe it. I’m so jealous.’ No. I’m so happy for them. You know how hard it is to get into the postseason and win games. For them to be able to put it together this year the way they have, it’s an amazing thing.”

There's plenty more to the piece worth diving into. Stark also spoke with former National/Phillie Jayson Werth, who knows a thing or two about both cities/clubs and also what it's like to play alongside Harper.

The Nationals' opponent in the World Series is yet to be set, but whether it's the Nationals, New York Yankees or Houston Astros who are spraying champagne at the end of it, you won't see Harper doing that. Unless he and his little baby pop up in his Instagram stories getting wacky.

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