Phillies manager Gabe Kapler says players celebrating is good for baseball.
Bat flips have become one of the most controversial issues in baseball over the past few years.
The issue came up again last week when A's outfielder Mark Canha apologized for a bat flip after hitting a late, go-ahead homer against the Giants before later taking back the apology and saying that anyone who has a problem with bat flips is silly.
Appearing on the latest episode of the SI Media Podcast, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, who has his team in first place during his first season as skipper, was asked about his stance on bat flips.
Kapler didn't hesitate to share his pro-bat flip feelings with host Jimmy Traina.
“I like emotion in baseball," Kapler said on the podcast. "I like players celebrating, I like high fives, I like seeds getting thrown up in the air. I like bat flips. I don’t believe in everybody has to be the same. I loved Matt Williams style. When he used to hit a home run and put his head down and run around the bases, I thought, ‘that’s really cool,’ but I would not like to have everybody be like Matt Williams. I think the game would be boring. I love Chris Archer’s style. I love Odubel Herrera’s style at the plate. I love Fernando Rodney with the arrows. I love bat flips. I love Bryce Harper celebrating. I love all of it. I think it’s good for baseball.”
Kapler also shared his thoughts on teams using relief pitchers to start games, something the Rays have done often this season.
“One thing that I’ve learned early on is that as important as baseball strategy, is people’s comfort level, their emotions, and what will allow them to feel confident," said Kapler. "So from a strategy standpoint, if everybody felt exactly the way they felt as they were used normally, I think the strategy makes a lot of sense. You get the matchups that you want, it’s gonna be very difficult for the opposing manager to counter your move, so I think there’s a lot of strategy upside.
However, with our club, we have a very young club and a city that tends to feel uncomfortable with stuff like that. I think five years from now, it will be commonplace. Right now it just might not be the right fit for our club.”
You can listen to the full interview with Kapler, who also talks about how he deals with the Philadelphia media, how having experience working in media has helped him do his job, what his typical day is like during the season and muchh more, below or you can download it on iTunes.
A new episode of the SI Media Podcast comes out every Thursday morning. You can subscribe on iTunes.