The Phillies had a rather depressing run in July and August to basically render their September unimportant this season. Throughout the season’s ups-and-downs, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler has joined the WIP Morning Show weekly for interviews with Angelo Cataldi.
Kapler joined the show again Wednesday morning, and got into a heated conversation with Cataldi, and it probably was the fire Phillies fans wanted to hear from Kapler and the go-back-at Cataldi for the negative things he’s said about the Phils’ skipper, including Cataldi’s PhillyVoice piece calling Phillies general manager Matt Klentak incompetent.
Here are some of the highlights of the interview, courtesy of 94wip.com:
“I guess I want to start with, the reason I come on your show every week is to answer your questions. I have a responsibility to you and your listeners. You know? You know I believe that you and your fans are stakeholders. So it’s my reasonability, as we’ve talked about, to come on and explain decisions even when it sometimes is uncomfortable or you and I disagree on a matter. Is that fair? At the same time, I believe you have a responsibility to your listeners to provide them with the most accurate takes possible. And when I identify that you might not be, I feel it’s my responsibility to bring that to you as well.
“I thought that your article was disrespectful to a man that gives everything he has to bring a World Series championship to Philly. Your article, it just wasn’t accurate. Had we made the playoffs this year in 2018, it would have been the fastest rebuild in modern baseball history. If we make the playoffs next year, it will tie the Houston Astros for the fastest rebuild.”
“When I write what I write, Gabe, it’s represented by hundreds of people who are thinking the way I am. So your perception may be real positive about the team, but that doesn’t mean it’s reality. It’s only your perception.”
One thing Cataldi doesn’t include much in his criticism is the social media movement. There are many supporters of Kapler who don’t call into 94WIP or 97.5 The Fanatic, but rather show support in their Tweets, Facebook or Instagram posts. So “hundreds of people who are thinking the way I am” may not be a big number in comparison to the actual number of people who support Cataldi’s views. And while I do think the fan – specifically the Philly sports fan – has changed over the last few years in terms of criticizing players mercilessly, Cataldi might be onto something when he says the Phillies haven’t done enough to reach out to their fanbase and explain what they’re trying to do, but don’t do it nearly often enough.
“The only people that don’t get your fans are you guys. I’ve been doing this a hell of a lot longer than you guys have, and I’m telling you, you have not listened to your fans yet. They didn’t come out because they can’t stand analytics. They think it’s boring. They don’t find a 3-2 count exciting the way you do, Gabe. This is one of the detachments your organization has right now with the city. And I think I’m being servicing, I’m helping you guys, trying to explain to you how your customers feel, but nobody wants to hear it.”
Cataldi did play a sound byte for Kapler from Phillies president Andy MacPhail talking about being overly positive might lose credibility with the fans, and Cataldi asked Kapler if he agreed with MacPhail and if he would change. Kapler responded: “Absolutely.”
You can listen to the entire interview here, in which Kapler goes at Cataldi and Cataldi goes at Kapler.
You can follow Nick Piccone on Twitter (@nickpiccone) and Instagram (@picconenick), and e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to The Straight Shooters Podcast (@ShootersRadio) on iTunes here and listen every Friday afternoon at 2:00 P.M. on Wildfire Radio. Click here to read his pro wrestling articles on PhillyVoice.