The good, the bad and the really ugly: All the reactions to Gabe Kapler's Phillies debut

To say that Gabe Kapler's managerial debut with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday prompted a few double takes is an understatement.

How else, after all, are you to characterize a day that began with Odubel Herrera out of the Opening Day lineup, continued with the bullpen replacing a cruising Aaron Nola after 68 pitches of shutout ball and ended with the Atlanta Braves scoring eight unanswered runs in a walk-off win?

Double takes weren't the only thing to come out of Philadelphia in the wake of Kapler's unconventionally guided -- or misguided -- debut, either. Oh no. You best believe that double takes were just a preview of the hot takes that followed.

There was good, there was bad and there was lots of ugly.

(And before we dive into all of the reactions from Kapler's first official day in the dugout, it's important to note that we also should've seen this coming. Kapler hasn't done anything to suggest that he won't be MLB's quirkiest "dude" running the Phils, and the City of Brotherly Love, fresh off a Super Bowl celebration, was already being set up for even the slightest letdown thanks to spring-training hype.)

Now, to the depths of social media we go for a look at just how everyone took to Kapler on Opening Day:

Of course, we start with the rational approach. (*Giggles.*) Howard Eskin has never been one to shy away from a Twitter fight, so you'll have to excuse the hyperbole here. But there is some truth in what he's saying. If Kapler's intent behind pulling Nola so early was mostly to "impress" with his bullpen management, there's obviously cause for concern, especially if it were to continue ...

Even if things do change, in fact, it doesn't seem like Phillies fans will soon move on from what happened on Opening Day, either.

And yet there are traces of hope within the incessant calls for the Phils to #BeBold like Kapler and, well, fire Kapler. (And here's your reminder that we are one game into the 2018 Phillies season.)

Here, it's hard to completely overlook the fact that Nola was coasting through his start -- the fact that, with some good, old-fashioned common sense, the Phillies could've staved off a looming bullpen collapse by, you know, letting their ace keep being an ace. But Eric Karabell is also right in that any solid bullpen should be able to hold a five-run lead, especially if we shouldn't have been stunned by a smaller Nola workload anyway ...

And then you've got those like ESPN's Tim McManus, who referenced the hometown Eagles' patience with the once-unheralded Doug Pederson in suggesting Kapler just deserves a little more time:

If you're looking to Kapler himself for clarity on the Phils' Day One oddities, it probably depends which side of the fence you fall on. Because whether you're ready to end the #BeBold experiment before it can wreak any more havoc or whether you're willing to be patient with Philadelphia's unusually toned manager, Kapler is talking like a guy who trusts his process.

"The decisions did not work out in our favor, but I'm very confident over a long period of time that they will," Kapler told the media after Thursday's loss. "I have a high degree of conviction."

As we know and as just one game has so unceasingly reminded us, so does Philly.

CBS Sports Writer

Cody Benjamin joined CBS Sports in 2017 after time spent with SB Nation, various newspapers and his own Eagles outlet. Raised around the Philly sports scene, he now lives in Minnesota with his wife and... Full Bio

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