Gabe Kapler, in his first two games, has his bold strategy, utilizing 15 pitchers in 20 innings of baseball to start the 2018 regime. Additionally, Kapler decided to not start all-star Odubal Herrera on the season opener; pulled NOLA after 68 pitches; shifted the infield to the second base side with a man on first, up one run; subbed Hoskins in a tight game; batted the Pivetta 8th; called his players “Dudes”. As bold as you can get as a baseball manager, Gabe has pushed the frontier.
This is not unprecedented, as I learned from my discussion with an anonymous senior citizen. “This Gabe fella, his strategy is a spitting image of Mac’s in 1948.” The following stories come straight from the dugout.
In 1948, Connie Mac had been managing the Philadelphia A’s for close to 50 years, when his grip on reality began to loosen. “We thought ‘ol Mac might finally be slowing down when one game, late in the ’47 season, Mac walked out to the mound and asked pitcher Sam Chapman if he ‘had any poultry on him’ ‘No? Alright, I’ll figure something out.’
“Anyways, we thought Mac just needed to sleep it off during the winter. But when we came back in ’48, things had gotten progressively worse.
“In an early season game, Mac rifled through every reliever in one inning, calling everyone a ‘Fucking Rube Waddel’ – I guess referencing his old drunkard starting pitcher from 40 years earlier.
“He pulled third baseman Hank Majeski within 5 feet of the Senators’ Junior Wooten. Mac said ‘It’s a statistical certainty he bunts here – he hasn’t bunted in his past 2000 at-bats!’ ‘Plus, Wooten is a god damn pussy.’
“In a June matchup against the White Sox Connie opted to walk-in the winning run, stating ‘In the long run, it’s beneficial, because I’ve pooped my pants.’
“One day, Connie came into Shibe Park with a Donkey, and proclaimed ‘All of the A’s financial troubles are behind us!’
“In spring training, Connie used to give inspirational stories of the A’s run against the Murderers’ Row Yankees, but in 1948 the story changed a bit. He just kept saying Babe Ruth cheated because he sun-tanned his balls.
“Anyways, I think the Phillies new guy… what’s his name again? Craig? I think Craig’s going to have a long, successful career.”