Gelb on the press conference (I posted about this in the Kapler fired thread too but I guess it's really more "off-season" news at this point.)
“What John didn’t hear was any explanation of why we were 20-36 over the last two Septembers, or more important, what was going to be in place to assure that that didn’t happen again,” MacPhail said. “So he came back and made his decision.”
Forget, for a moment, the fact that the most recent Phillies season went sideways during an 11-16 June, or that their latest September shortfall reflected an indifferent trade-deadline strategy employed by the front office, or that the Nationals traded their 22nd-ranked prospect (according to Baseball America) for a mid-tier reliever who has recorded so many important outs in October. For 56 minutes and 56 seconds, it was harder and harder to see how these Phillies will find a path toward relevancy.
Did Middleton, the club’s managing partner, fire Kapler because he was unpopular in this city?
“It’s always a factor,” Middleton said
“What happened here happens every day in businesses,” Middleton said. “It has happened repeatedly in my 40 years. If you talk to the people who ran the companies and reported to me over those 30 or 40 years, they will tell you, John steps in with us and he says, ‘No you can’t do that, you’re going to do this instead. I’ve listened to you, but you haven’t convinced me and you do that.’ There is lots of talk about how that emasculates people, but that’s nonsense. That doesn’t do anything like that. This happens all the time and, in fact, it’s a learning experience.”
So, what is the learning experience for Klentak? It’s hard to admit a mistake, especially if one doesn’t believe there was a mistake made. Klentak and MacPhail advocated for Kapler or at least resisted Middleton’s impulse. It is Middleton’s team. Maybe that is the lesson.
(And yes since I'm clipping a bit liberally feel free to subscribe to the Athletic)