The San Francisco Giants are firing manager Gabe Kapler after missing the postseason for a third time in four tries, the team announced Friday.
Executive Farhan Zaidi issued the following statement:
"After making this recommendation to ownership and receiving their approval, I met with Gabe today to inform him of our decision. In his tenure as Giants manager, Gabe led our team through an unprecedented pandemic in 2020 and a franchise-record 107 wins and postseason berth in 2021. He has been dedicated and passionate in his efforts to improve the on-field performance of the San Francisco Giants and I have tremendous respect for him as a colleague and friend."
"I know I was lucky to be manager of the San Francisco Giants," Kapler wrote Saturday on Instagram. "... There were lots of debates and challenging conversations every day, and that's inspiring because it's real. I felt like I had a chance to help people grow and people helped me to grow, and I am thankful for that opportunity."
Kapler, 48, led the Giants to the playoffs in 2021 on the heels of a 107-win regular season. That amazing season aside, the Giants otherwise played .500 ball during his other three years at the helm. San Francisco was in the midst of the playoff race this season, but suffered a disappointing second half that saw them close out the year with three consecutive losing months. That tailspin included a horrific September that evidently soured the club on Kapler.
Indeed, Giants owner Greg Johnson had suggested in mid-September that Kapler would return in 2024 alongside Zaidi. Zaidi, for his part, more recently hedged on retaining Kapler during a radio interview, saying instead: "I think we're really going to have to ask ourselves if we were prepared to sort of elevate our level of focus and play for those games that really mattered down the stretch."
The argument for replacing Kapler was presumably bolstered by media reports highlighting the overly laid back nature of the Giants clubhouse.
Prior to taking over the reins in San Francisco, Kapler had served as the Philadelphia Phillies manager for two seasons. He compiled a 161-163 record while failing to guide them to the playoffs in either attempt.
The Giants will be one of several teams looking for a new skipper this winter. Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell, an impending free agent, is widely viewed as the most attractive skipper candidate available.