October 10, 2019 / 3:49 PM / 6 days ago

Phillies fire manager Kapler

Manager Gabe Kapler was fired by the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Sep 29, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler (19) inside the dugout against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Kapler, 44, completed two seasons as Phillies manager and posted a 161-163 record. He had one season remaining on his original three-year contract.

Phillies managing partner John Middleton said in a statement, “Several years ago, I promised our loyal fans that I would do everything in my power to bring a world championship team to our city. I will never waver from that commitment. During the second half of this season and continuing into this week, I have evaluated our organization extensively, a process that included talking to many people both internally and around the league. Reassuring to me was the endorsement that people outside the Phillies gave to the progress we have made recently, both organizationally and on the field.

“Nevertheless, with the knowledge that I have gained from my evaluation, combined with my personal reflection on the 2019 season, I have decided that some changes are necessary to achieve our ultimate objective. Consequently, we will replace our manager. I am indebted to Gabe for the steadfast effort, energy and enthusiasm that he brought to our club, and we are unquestionably a better team and organization as a result of his contributions. With (general manager) Matt (Klentak) leading our search for our next manager, I am confident that we will find the right person to lead us.”

The Phillies finished poorly for the second straight year and missed the playoffs for an eighth straight season, a disappointing ending to a year that began with elevated expectations on the momentum of signing free agent Bryce Harper, among other high-profile roster moves.

Philadelphia was still in contention in late September before losing nine of its last 12, including a five-game sweep by the Washington Nationals.

Prior to removing Kapler, the team had already made changes at hitting coach and pitching coach.

The move comes only hours after the Nationals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the National League Division Series to advance to the NLCS.

In 2018, the Phillies were 15 games over .500 and leading the National League East in the first week of August, only to finish 16-33 and 80-82 overall.

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