When the Los Angeles Dodgers were looking for a new manager before the 2016 season, the decision came down to two former teammates on the Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series team, Dave Roberts and Gabe Kapler.
The Dodgers brass ultimately went with Roberts, who earned National League Manager of the Year honors in his first season and then took the Dodgers to their first World Series since 1988 in his second.
Kapler remained in the organization as the director of player development, although he left this past offseason when he was named the new manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Dodgers welcome the Phillies to town for a four-game series this upcoming week, and ahead of that, Roberts had some kind words for his former teammate and colleague, via J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:
“Gabe’s done a great job with those guys,” Roberts said. “It’s a fun team to watch. It really is. They can pitch. Position player-wise, they’re young, they’re athletic. It’ll be good to get him back. He still lives out here, obviously. I wish him well.”
Kapler’s tenure with the Phillies got off to a rough start, as the team lost four of their first five games. Kapler also took some flack when he mismanaged his bullpen in a game, signaling for a pitching change when there wasn’t reliever warm in the bullpen.
He has since settled in and has the young Phillies playing great baseball at 29-21, which is a half-game behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East and overall is the third-best record in the NL.
The Phillies are coming off a series in which they lost two of three to the Toronto Blue Jays, so Kapler will look to get his club back on track against the organization that formerly employed him.
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