By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Gabe Kapler era has officially come to an end. The Philadelphia Phillies fired Kapler after only two seasons as manager on Thursday.

The move comes over a week-and-a-half after the season ended.

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Kapler was never able to guide the Phillies back to the playoffs during his brief stay, even after the organization spent “stupid money” this past offseason in bringing in Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura and Andrew McCutchen.

In 2018, the Phillies suffered a late-season collapse after being in first place as late as August, and finished third with an 80-82 record. This past season, the Phillies were 3.5 games up in first place in late May but crashed hard with terrible pitching, an inconsistent offense and a litany of injuries.

The Phillies finished 81-81 in 2019 and 161-163 overall with Kapler in the dugout. The Phils especially struggled in September with Kapler, finishing 20-36 in baseball’s final month of the regular season.

The Phillies let go hitting coach John Mallee late in the season and recently removed Chris Young as pitching coach.

In a statement, Kapler thanked the Phillies organization and said the responsibility lies with him for not achieving their goals.

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“We came into 2019 with very high hopes. We fell short of those, and that responsibility lies with me. The next Phillies manager will inherit a team of talented, dedicated and committed players. There has been nothing more fulfilling in my professional career than the opportunity to work with the players on this team. I will forever value the relationships I developed with them,” Kapler said in a statement. “As I move on, I know that this organization is in a great spot and will see a lot of success going forward. My hope is that I helped contribute to a developing culture in the organization that flourishes in the years to come. I’ve come to care for this franchise and have the best wishes for this group in the future. The passion and devotion of the Phillies fan base both inspired and humbled me daily. It was an honor to grow, develop and learn with this team. I’m looking forward to what the future brings, and I know I’m a better leader and person for having had this opportunity.”

Phillies managing partner John Middleton said he came to the decision to relieve Kapler of his duties after evaluating the organization, both internally and around the league.

“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,” Middleton said.

Middleton also expressed confidence in general manager Matt Klentak, who hired Kapler, in finding the next person to lead the Phillies.

Klentak, who has faced criticism of his own, thanked Kapler “for his tireless commitment to the Phillies over the last two years.”

“When we hired Kap, it was our goal to develop a positive, forward-thinking and collaborative culture throughout the organization that would allow us to compete with the best teams in the league year in and year out. While we have fallen short in the win column for the last two years, I can confidently say that Kap’s efforts have established a strong and sustainable foundation for this organization moving forward,” Klentak said.

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Kapler faced criticism for his handling of the rotation, bullpen usage and the development of players, but fingers have also been pointed at the front office for not giving him the arms needed to compete.