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A Saber-Slanted Baseball Community



Updated: 2017-11-22T11:00:02-05:00

 



How to trade for Giancarlo Stanton

2017-11-22T11:00:02-05:00

Welcome to the ultimate trade guide for the National League’s Most Valuable Player. Giancarlo Stanton will be the hottest commodity on the trade market this offseason. It’s not too often that a reigning MVP is available in a trade; as a result, Stanton’s value is higher than ever. He’s coming off a 59-homer, 6.9-fWAR season at age 28. There is no team that should not have interest in Stanton in a perfect world, based purely on the caliber of player he is and the rarity of the situation at hand. The ball is in the Marlins’ court to trade him this offseason, and since it’s their hand to play, they could ultimately decide not to put the chips on the table and make the move. Most agree, though, that someone, somewhere will trade for the 6-foot-6 slugger. Dealing for Stanton is not as easy as it sounds. In addition to the prospect haul that the Marlins are likely commanding, he also has the biggest contract in baseball history, and trading for that comes with a whole set of impacts. I’m here to make the teams’ jobs easy. I’m going to run down how to trade for Giancarlo Stanton, to make a deal that both you and the Marlins like, based on the information that is available to the average fan. The contract Stanton still has 10 years and $295 million remaining on the 13-year, $325 million contract that he signed in November 2014. As Jon Morosi of MLB.com reported a few days ago, the Marlins’ dream scenario is where Stanton’s entire $295 million contract is taken by the acquiring team in combination with elite prospects. Unfortunately for Miami, that’s not how it works. Making a trade in Major League Baseball is fairly simple. The more salary the trading team takes on, the better prospect package they’ll get in return. So, with each dollar the Marlins decide to pay Stanton over the life of the deal, they should expect to get increasingly better prospects in return. One rival executive speculated to Morosi that the Marlins would need to pay about $5 million per season to get a good prospect haul for Stanton. Miami is a notoriously cheap organization, and it does not look like the new ownership group, led by new-CEO Derek Jeter, plans to change that image. Kicking in $50 million over 10 years might not seem like a big deal, but to the Marlins, it is. On the flip side, though, a team must consider this question: If Stanton were a free agent right now, would they give him a 10-year, $295 million deal? He has the potential to be one of the best players in baseball at his peak performance, as we saw this season. But he’s played just 150 or more games in just two of his eight seasons in the league. Robinson Cano secured a 10-year, $240 million deal from the Seattle Mariners heading into his age-30 season in 2013; in terms of both age and performance, Stanton is a better player, so let’s assume that he would exceed this deal. In 2000, Alex Rodriguez, then heading into his age-25 season, earned a 10-year, $252 million deal from the Texas Rangers. With inflation and the overall increase in baseball contracts, Stanton would likely receive a deal larger than this one, too. On the open market, I would expect a 28-year-old Giancarlo Stanton could expect to receive a contract in the ballpark of 10 years and $275 million. This is music to the Marlins’ ears, probably. If a team values him at just $20 million shy of his actual deal, then, in a perfect world, the Marlins would only have to kick in $2 million per season. Let’s assume that the Marlins and my team, the acquiring team, reach an agreement where the Marlins pay $2.5 million per year over the life of Stanton’s deal. That means that I would owe him $270 million; the Marlins would owe him just $25 million. It’s a win for both sides. The opt-out Stanton’s contract situation becomes more confusing when taking his opt-out into consideration. Stanton can void his current deal after the 2020 season, basically splitting this monster contract into two slightly smaller deals. Deal A, which will be fully guaranteed no matter what: three yea[...]



Mookie Betts and the problems(?) of patience

2017-11-22T09:00:02-05:00

Mookie Betts was unabashedly patient at the plate this year. How, if at all, did it cause his comparatively poor year? It’s hard to call a 6+ WAR season a disappointment, but it’s plain you’re a great player when that’s the case. In this case, it’s Mookie Betts. Coming off an MVP-caliber 2016, Betts saw his OPS plummet by nearly 100 points, as both his slugging percentage (.534 in 2016, .459 this year) and on-base percentage (19 point drop to .344 this year) took a hit. He had a career-low .264 BABIP, which could explain some of the falloff, but somehow, in this hyper-powered atmosphere and playing in some of the most bandboxy parks in the game, he was barely above average offensively. Amid his myriad outliers in 2017, one aspect spoke volumes. Betts was more patient at the plate than he’d ever been. For his career, Betts has been one of the less swing-prone players in baseball. In 2017, though, things took a decided spike. (This is all drawn from the perhaps-too-granular advanced stats that Baseball Reference tracks, because baseball is the best at granularity.) Take a look: Walking more is always good, and it helped save Betts’ season. If he’d maintained the same walk rate as a year ago, he’d be something resembling a less strikeout-prone Maikel Franco offensively. But this patience to work the walk seems to have come at the cost of his broader production. Or, at lesat, he didn't maintain what he'd been doing in terms of results. A couple big things changed for and around Betts in 2017. First, the retirement of David Ortiz meant the Sox were counting considerably more on the young outfielder to produce at the plate and help lift the offense. He was excellent last year, so that shouldn't have been a problem. As the year wore on, that became even more vital, as Dustin Pedroia kept battling injury, Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland were variously holes in the offense, and other young players like Xander Boegarts were less effective than expected. As the newly christened offensive centerpiece, Betts found himself batting leadoff only 81 games, a career low. Yes, you only lead a game off once. After that, it’s all just hitting. But in 2016 Betts feasted on leadoff at-bats, and it really helped his overall numbers. While it would be easy to wave this away as small-sample BS, 109 plate appearances is a months’ worth of baseball, and 81 is large enough to judge something. So why was Betts so much worse in that spot this year? Bad luck? Perhaps, and obviously pitchers knew his tendencies more and were more careful with him. That’s where some of the walks and assorted other patience could have come from, too. At the same time, he wasn’t swinging at first-pitch strikes as much, whether hitting third, fourth or first. He wasn’t ambushing pitchers, and in the leadoff position in particular you have a great chance of getting a first-pitch fastball because the pitcher still needs to get into his own groove. By the time he’s into the third or fourth person in the order more has been mixed in, he’s gotten into early game sequences and is much harder to judge. The ambushing tactic is much less effective. Thanks to the madmen at Baseball Savant, we can see what Betts saw on the first pitches of at-bats in the first inning. Since he did bat fourth a bit, it’s not every at-bat this year, but it’s most of them. Perhaps there’s something to be gleaned from his inaction early (and often) in at-bats. In 2016 the breakdown of pitches seen on 0-0 counts was this: Baseball Savant And in 2017, there’s a change: Baseball Savant Last year the four most common pitches he saw to open at-bats were four-seams, sliders, two-seamers and cutters, in that order. Basically, all fastball variants, with the slider being the only true breaking pitch. This year, it’s four-seam, two-seam, sinker and slider. More notable is a drop in the percentage of fastballs he saw. Even if it’s still a lot of fastball-y pitches, it’s less straight[...]



Marty’s musings: hot stove begins

2017-11-14T11:00:04-05:00

The stove is on, now we wait. Welcome to ‘Marty's Musings', my weekly column of numbers summarizing the past week in Major League Baseball. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout baseball, in preparation for Opening Day, 2018. In this week’s Musings, we mourn the loss of a 1990s pitching icon, reflect on Carlos Beltran’s career, take a look at the qualifying offers, and celebrate an outfielder’s achievement in a different sports setting. News and Notes 40 - Years of age for the late Roy Halladay, who died in a tragic plane crash last week. ‘Doc’ started nearly 300 games over the course of his 16 year career, earning a Cy Young Award in both leagues, one with Toronto and one with Philadelphia. Halladay is known as one of the good guys in the game, someone who younger players looked up to, and a genuine nice guy. Halladay spent a good part of his playing career and his retirement working for philanthropic causes. His family worked with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and he was nominated for several Roberto Clemente Awards. 20 - Major league seasons by journeyman Carlos Beltran, who announced his retirement this week. Beltran ended his career on a high note after helping the Astros win their first-ever World Series title. Beltran won the American League Rookie of the Year Award, and never looked back. Over the course of his two decades, he posted over 2,700 hits including 435 home runs and 565 doubles. Per Jay Jaffe’s JAWS system (the most advanced way to measure worthiness into the Hall of Fame), Beltran sits eighth all time compared to other center fielders in terms of JAWS value. His 69.8 bWAR is just slightly less than the 71.2 average for all other center fielders. 223 - Free agents on the market, with Yu Darvish and JD Martinez topping the list. It’s not going to dazzle as much as the 2019 list will, but teams can fill holes in all aspects of their roster with this class. Adding Shohei Otani as a wild card free agent as number 224, and this should be a fun offseason. 9 - Players who all rejected their qualifying offers. The one-year $17.4 million salary did not entice any of the three (likely) departing Royals (Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain), nor any of Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb, Greg Holland, or Carlos Santana. All nine players will become free agents seeking longer-term deals. 300 - The perfect bowling score for Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, who participated in the Professional Bowling Association World Series of Bowling. Betts has long been known for his prowess on the lanes, and he held his own against the rest of the field, ranking 156th out of 195 players. He estimated that this is probably his tenth ever perfect game. 2- Years Alex Anthopoulos spent with the Los Angeles Dodgers before being picked off as the next General Manager for the Atlanta Braves. The Braves are facing discipline for questionable actions related to reaching agreements with underage players abroad. Specifically, John Coppolella is taking heat for signing violations. We don’t yet know how deeply the problems run, but AA will take over a franchise that is very young, and may have sanctions imposed on them by MLB for past transgressions. ---- 137 - Days until Opening Day. *** Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano [...]



Launch angles — 2017 year in review

2017-11-14T09:00:01-05:00

A look back at all the baseball nuggets you needed to start your day. The MLB season lasts half the year, and it can be hard for the average fan to keep up. That’s where we came in. Every day during the 2017 regular season, Beyond the Box Score recapped the biggest action from the previous day — with a sabermetric slant, of course — and now we recap those recaps. Presenting the Launch Angles year in review; featuring the best of the best, and the worst of the worst. The biggest play June 7th: Mike Zunino walks it off against the Twins — +.908 WPA Gif via MLB.com While most of Mike Zunino’s 2016 was spent in Triple-A, his 55 games in the majors provided Mariners fans a glimmer of hope that the slugging catcher might have figured things out. Their patience was rewarded in a big way as Zunino posted a .251/.331/.509 slash line with a 126 wRC+ in 435 plate appearances in 2017. That production was aided by a high BABIP that should regress some in the future, but Zunino’s power potential came to fruition as he hit 25 home runs; none bigger than his walk-off blast on June 7th against the Twins. When Zunino stepped into the box to face Twins closer Brandon Kintzler in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Mariners had a measly 9.2 percent win expectancy. They were only down one run and had the tying run on base, but that runner was on first and there were already two outs in the inning. With his team’s back against the wall, Zunino took the first three pitches — all sinkers away — and found himself in a favorable 2-1 count. Zunino next got another sinker away, but this one caught more of the plate than the previous three and he was able to drive it 437 feet to deep right-center field to lift the Mariners to victory. Occasionally in this section we would include a game’s win probability chart from FanGraphs, usually when it was visually interesting. So naturally, the game with the biggest individual play of the year has a unique chart. How about that ending. Chart via FanGraphs Congratulations to Mike Zunino, the man responsible for 2017’s biggest play. More biggest play notes: A bunch of players won the biggest play of the day two times in 2017, but no player won it more than three times, a feat accomplished by three different players — Jed Lowrie, Jesus Aguilar, and Manny Machado. One of Machado’s plays was a two-run, walk-off home run on September 5th against Dellin Betances and the Yankees that captured a win probability added of .898; making it the second biggest play of the year, behind the aforementioned Zunino dinger. We recognized individuals every morning for previous days biggest play, but what about the teams? Here now are the teams who had the most appearances in this space, both for and against. It seems that despite their last place finish in the AL West, Oakland A’s fans had plenty of excitement this season as they appear on both leaderboards. As you might suspect, the teams with the most appearances in our “biggest plays for” section were among the best teams in baseball, and vice versa for the “biggest plays against.” Turns out that good teams come through in big moments throughout the season more often than bad teams — who knew!? The best game score June 3rd: Edinson Volquez — 100 Gif via MLB.com August 29: Dylan Bundy — 100 Gif via MLB.com Game Score was developed by Bill James as a quick way to evaluate a starting pitcher’s performance, and recently updated by Tom Tango. The score begins at 40, with points added for outs and strikeouts, and subtracted for walks, hits, runs, and home runs. A score of 70 is very good; a score of 90 is outstanding. We have a tie! In 2015 there were seven no-hitters. But that was a simpler time, a time before the balls transformed into the juiced, far-flying projectiles we see today. In the two seasons since then, there has been just one no-hitter per seas[...]



The first annual Vladdy Award

2017-11-10T11:00:02-05:00

A unilateral decision, for a brilliantly pointless award. It’s awards season in the baseball world. Over the next few days, probably two to three weeks later than makes sense, all the myriad trophies will be handed out to variously deserving candidates. From Cy Young to Hank Aaron, the already awarded Roberto Clemente and newly formed Willy Mays Awards, all the big ones but the MVP have the name of a legend attached. That might change, and should because baseball loves history, but right now, that doesn't matter. No, another award needs giving, a new one I created because of the amazingness of one singular player. So here we are, the first and hopefully annual awarding of the Vladimir Guerrero Award! When you talk about Vladimir Guerrero, you’re talking about a future Hall of Famer, a former MVP, perhaps the greatest Expo of all time. You’re talking about excitement, a man with the ability to blow the mind at any given moment. But more than anything, you’re talking about a man with telephone poles for arms that could turn a pitch that most would consider a pitchout or intentional ball into a base hit. Like this: GIF via MLB.com It’s not exactly good what you’d call good (or even extant) plate discipline, but it’s probably a skill. Being able to just put the bat to the ball with any level of authority on a seemingly unhittable pitch needs recognition. Now, with Baseball Savant’s “Detailed Zones,” we have quantifiable evidence of this like never before. Nobody will ever approach Vlad in raw ability, but we can hand out a Vladdy to the man who does the most damage on pitches that, by all rights, should be ignored. It took some thinking on how to quantify the winner for this amazing and austere award. Should it just be for damage done on balls out of the zone? Or more general batting average and whatnot of pitches that were offered at out of the zone? What if I just considered batters who reached across the plate to get a hit? But this seemed wrong — after all, clobbering a pitch way, way inside is just as impressive as smacking one in the other batter’s box. So I looked wide, merely selecting all the furthest most outsize zones on this graphic: Which means zones 21 through 29. (Yes, they do skip 25. I’m not sure why, either.) After doing that, I isolated contributions for only lefties and then only righties, because otherwise switch-hitters would be too unfairly considered — for them or others, I’m still not sure which — in the query. So for righties, the leaders in batting average, slugging, and wOBA on offered-on final pitches of an at-bat are: Interesting. Some quality names there. And for righties, the top five are: Interesting. Not at all the development I expected. Perhaps a Cespedes, a Baez, some kind of wild-swinging and powerful phenom. Nope. Somehow, some way, a man who batted .255/.324/.372 and was worth -0.6 wins by bWAR and -1.1 by fWAR led the way. Somehow Victor Martinez was the best at hitting bad balls in 2017. What a world to live in. To be honest, I’m still not sure what kind of conclusion to jump to here. It’s not as though Martinez did a ton of damage on those pitches. But then, nobody does. That's why pitchers throw out there. Here’s his Plate Appearance Results on balls firmly out of the zone as a lefty: Baseball Savant That home run at the top of the zone is amazing, especially considering the guy is like 60 years old. And here’s what he did right-handed: There's a lot of singles, but also a home run that he somehow got around on. Really quite amazing to see done. Martinez has always been a great bat-to-ball guy — his 88.1 percent contact rate over the last five years is 22nd-best in baseball over that span, while his 82.3 percent contact rate on pitches out of the zone is sixth-best. He's a big guy with long arms, much in the mold of the great Guerrero. He doesn't[...]



The Modern Era Hall of Fame ballot shows some baffling choices

2017-11-10T09:00:02-05:00

The Hall of Fame has done a lot to address the problems with the Veterans’ Committee, but this ballot proves there is still a lot of work left to do. MLB recently released its 10-man ballot for the Modern Era committee to consider for the Hall of Fame. This era considers those whose biggest contributions to the game happened from 1970 to 1987. If a member of the ballot receives at least 75 percent of the vote from the 16-man committee, he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The results will be announced on December 10th. Here is everyone on the ballot with links to their Baseball-Reference pages. (Marvin Miller was the head of the players’ union, not a player himself.) Steve Garvey Tommy John Don Mattingly Marvin Miller Jack Morris Dale Murphy Dave Parker Ted Simmons Luis Tiant Alan Trammell To put this list into context, let’s take a look at some of the players who were omitted from the ballot. The good people over at the Hall of Stats tweeted a great list of players who were left off. Lou Whitaker Bobby Grich Rich Reuschel Graig Nettles Reggie Smith Buddy Bell Dwight Evans Willie Randolph Sal Bando Dave Stieb Keith Hernandez You could make the argument that the list of names left off the ballot make up a better ballot than the actual ballot itself. Some transparency as to how the Hall of Fame settled on this ballot would go a long way. Lou Whitaker is one of the most egregious and embarrassing mistakes that the BBWAA ever made in its history of voting for the Hall of Fame. He is a no-brainer who barely got any votes, and as a result fell off the ballot after one year. Bobby Grich was comparable and met a similar fate. The problem was that they came up in a time where their skills were undervalued. Neither one of them raked, but they were both very good defenders at an up-the-middle position. Sweet Lou was a good baserunner, too. They would both easily have my vote. (I always thought it would be really cool to see Whitaker and Trammell go in at the same time. It’s a nice thought, but it probably won’t ever happen.) I am not going to go over the selected names left off the ballot in detail; suffice it to say that each one at the very least deserves a second look. I would not vote for all of them, but they all have a case worth considering. This especially goes for Greg Nettles, Buddy Bell, and Sal Bando, given how underrepresented third baseman are in the Hall of Fame. Marvin Miller is one of the most important figures in MLB history thanks to his efforts in bringing about free agency. You can imagine how owners and executives feel about him, which might be a factor as to why he has not gotten in yet. He might be the most worthy candidate of any name mentioned here. That is one candidate that the ballot selection committee nailed. Half of the names on the ballot fall far short of the standard set by other Hall of Famers at their positions: Steve Garvey, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Don Mattingly, and Dave Parker. This is true if you are going by JAWS, Hall Rating, or any reasonable assessment of their relevant stats and their careers. They had great careers, to be sure, but there were much better players to consider. The Veterans’ Committee is a great idea in theory. The BBWAA has made mistakes over the years, and giving those overlooked players a second chance is a worthwhile effort. The execution of it, however, leaves a lot to be desired. The Veterans’ Committee has been panned and criticized for decades. It is responsible for some of the most egregiously bad Hall of Fame selections. There have been countless articles written criticizing the Veterans’ Committee, so I will not rehash those. A Google search will turn up plenty of them. At least the Hall of Fame is trying to make it better. Changes I would implement are to make the committee much larger and make those already in the Hall ineligible to serve. Current members might very [...]



MLB again balks at its commitment to diversity

2017-11-07T09:00:02-05:00

Major League Baseball had two opportunities this past week to prove its dedication to diversity, and it struck out both times. During this year’s World Series, Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros sent the message to their fans that baseball is not inclusive. After watching Yuli Gurriel continue to play in the Fall Classic and George H.W. Bush take part in the first pitch prior to Game 5, Asian and non-male fans are left wondering where they fit into the equation and are continually frustrated by the fact that the sport they love so clearly does not love them back. During Game 3 of the World Series, Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel made a racist gesture and remark to Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish. In response, Major League Baseball suspended Gurriel for five games without pay at the beginning of the 2018 season, citing Gurriel’s apology, Darvish’s desire to move forward from the incident, and the differing nature of World Series games to those during the regular season. Manfred declared that he decided on the timing for four reasons: “I felt it was important that the suspension carried with it the penalty of lost salary. Secondly, I felt it was unfair to punish the other 24 players on the Astros’ roster. I wanted the burden of this discipline to fall primarily on the wrongdoer. Thirdly, I was impressed in my conversation with Yu Darvish by his desire to move forward, and I felt that moving this suspension to the beginning of the season would help in that regard. Last, when I originally began thinking about the discipline, I thought that delaying the suspension would allow the player the opportunity to exercise his rights under the grievance procedure.” The problem with this statement and the lax suspension is that the burden falls onto other Asian players and fans. Though racism perpetuated by people of color is more complex and nuanced than the systemic racism built by white people, racism does not disappear unless it is confronted and dealt with swiftly and firmly. Because MLB has tried to bury this issue until next season, rather than using its largest stage to clearly denounce it, the issue has compounded, drawing in many who otherwise may not have been accomplice or victim. During games 4 and 5, Astros fans gave Gurriel a standing ovation, and several of them made the same gesture in the stands that Gurriel made. Each World Series game was broadcast in several Asian countries, including Japan, South Korea, and China. Gurriel’s gesture and MLB’s response are both more far-reaching than the league has indicated with its flippant punishment. In terms of immediate impact, Barbara Moon, an Asian-American Astros fan who typically holds up a Gurriel head during games, stopped doing so, saying her “heart kind of broke a little bit” due to Gurriel’s racist action. She was not alone in this sentiment, though the diversity within the Asian community offered a plurality of opinions on the matter. Fellow Beyond the Box Score writer and Japan native Kazuto Yamazaki tweeted about the nuances of issue, stating that he was unaware of the fact that Gurriel’s gesture was offensive and arguing many people were using the gesture as an excuse to be racist toward Gurriel, who is Cuban. San Diego Padres beat writer Dennis Lin spoke to me on the matter, asserting that his opinion had wavered over the past several days, and though he appreciated Manfred calling the World Series a “different stage” and was “pleased there was discipline on the league’s part,” the nature of the discipline was somewhat disappointing. Other Asian-Americans spoke about how the issue evoked years of racist taunts and gestures directed toward them and played into the same tropes that have always existed for POC in America. It is important to take seriously each of these diverse viewpoints — and that’s something Major League Baseball has neglected [...]



Examining the parallels between Gabe Kapler and Chip Kelly

2017-11-05T11:00:02-05:00

In a cross-sport comparison, let’s make Phillies fans mad by reminding them of the Chip Kelly era across the parking lot of the Philadelphia Sports Complex. The Phillies announced the hiring of ex-MLB player and current Dodgers’ front office member Gabe Kapler as their new manager on Monday, in a move that attracted support from much of the sabermetric community. Across baseball, to sum it up, responses to the Phillies’ hiring of Kapler ranged from “bold” to a “great move.” Kapler might transcend the managing game. He’s only 42, and an ex-player, giving him the opportunity to connect with the current players in the Phillies clubhouse on a personal level. He also is a fitness freak. Kapler runs his own website on how to stay healthy, KapLifestyle.com. He was featured on fitness magazines before even making the big leagues, and he was even the focus of an entire K-Swiss shoe campaign in 1999. Perhaps more importantly, Kapler is known for being very saber-friendly. While working as a analyst for FOX Sports 1 in 2013, Kapler ran two segments: one, “Saberclips,” where he would explain advanced statistics used throughout the game; and two, “In the Cage,” where he would provide advice for young baseball players to improve their own swings at home. Despite having little managerial experience, Kapler was destined to become a big league manager. He finished second in the Dodgers’ manager race to Dave Roberts before the 2016 season. But, on Monday, Kapler became the 54th manager in Philadelphia Phillies franchise history. After doing some research on Kapler, it occurred to me that him being considered a “new wave” manager makes him very similar to another Philadelphia coaching hire from the recent past: the Eagles’ move for Chip Kelly. First, we all know how that turned out. The Eagles had a couple of good seasons under Kelly before he demanded the ability to become the GM of the team, too, and they promptly fell apart. For example, he traded away running back LeSean McCoy and replaced him with DeMarco Murray, who was way worse in that system. I’m not here to droll on about the Eagles — who are the best team in the NFL right now, by the way — but I do want you to know this. Although I am comparing Kapler and Kelly, by no means do I believe the results for the two coaching careers will follow a similar track. We don’t know how the “Kapler” style of managing works in the big leagues, making this all the more intriguing, exciting and nerve-wracking for the Phillies. First, there’s the matter of nutrition. As head coach of the Eagles, Kelly instituted a strict sport-science program. He killed all fast food at the Eagles’ facilities, and instead worked with a specifically trained sports scientist to create specialty shakes for each player. The idea behind this was that players would be able to perform at their highest levels if fed correctly. These players are already world-class at putting on muscle, but with better diets, Kelly believed that they could become even bigger, faster, stronger. Kapler instituted a similar program as the Director of Player Development for the Dodgers. Beginning in 2015, the Dodgers’ clubhouse went entirely organic when Kapler worked with a catering company to bring in healthy food, according to ESPN. There, the Dodgers claimed that they were the “healthiest team in pro sports.” The Dodgers, obviously, have had plenty of success over the past three seasons, but it’s really not known whether an organic food program can take the credit. I’d imagine the differences in the execution of these two organic programs to be fairly significant. Since Kelly was given full GM duties, he was able to quickly turn any player who wasn’t buying into his program into an ex-Eagle. Kapler, on the other hand, may have to learn how to deal with rebellious players,[...]