Bryce Harper: Gabe Kapler has ‘done a great job’ this season
Bryce Harper has given Gabe Kapler a much-needed vote of confidence as the embattled Philadelphia Phillies manager finds himself on the hot seat.
Harper’s first season in Philly will end in arguably surprising disappointment, as the 79-80 squad was eliminated from postseason contention earlier this week. As is often the case, the manager will be saddled with the fair share of the blame when a hyped team fails to meet expectations.
There have been rumblings that Kapler’s job might not be safe after the Phillies failed to qualify for the playoffs in his first two years on the bench.
Harper believes the skipper — with whom he quickly established a good rapport — has led the team through a tumultuous season well enough to earn the right to stick around in 2020.
“Gabe Kapler’s done a great job for us this year,” Harper said Thursday during an appearance on “Reiter’s Block” on CBS Sports HQ. “He’s really [invested] in what we do and how we do as a team and as a franchise, and he really cares about his players, and he really cares about the organization, he really cares about the city.”
“Being able to press the buttons that he’s been able to press and be where we’re at right now … I think he’s done a good job.”
With rumors swirling that he could get cut loose, Kapler said this week that he is “going to manage this club as long as I can” while defending his managerial performance this season.
Kapler received the dreaded vote of confidence from the Phillies front office this week as well, with general manager Matt Klentak saying he is “doing a very good job” while declining to confirm that the skipper will be back next season.
Harper obviously is the centerpiece to the Phillies future, and Klentak interestingly indicated that the front office may seek out his opinion of Kapler before making any determination about the manager’s future. Harper said he’d be happy to do so, and from the sound of it, the slugger would give his seal of approval if asked.