CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — The Chicago Cubs say they plan to interview former Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler. The Phillies fired Kapler last week after going 161-163 in two years with the team.
Following his firing, Kapler thanked the Phillies organization and placed the blame for teams lack of winning on himself.
“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.
During a press conference last Friday after Kapler’s firing, John Middleton, the Phillies managing partner, revealed he started having concerns with the direction of the team in the second half of the season as the Phillies were falling in the standings.
“Ultimately, I felt that if I were going to bring Gabe back, I had to be very, very confident that we were going to have a different outcome in 2020 and those September collapses, I just kept bumping up against them, and I couldn’t get comfortable enough, confident enough that if I brought him back we wouldn’t have another problem, and therefore I made the decision that I did,” Middleton said.
The Cubs also plan to interview Houston Astros’ bench coach Joe Espada this week about their managerial opening.
The Cubs are searching for a successor to Joe Maddon, whose contract expired after Chicago missed the playoffs this year for the first time since 2014. At least four other candidates have spoken with the Cubs about the job: Joe Girardi, Mark Loretta, David Ross and Will Venable.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)