Ethics Dunce ( And Irresponsible, Grandstanding Jackass): San Francisco Giants Manager Gabe Kapler

Yecch, yuck, ugh, gag, pittooie!

Yeah, I knew it was probably coming, and I even should have been able to guess the team and the manager, but nonetheless, this is nauseating. I assume the craven response from Major League Baseball in the coming days and weeks will be even more nauseating. Great. Welcome back, baseball!

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler led several coaches and team members as they did a Kaepernick during the National Anthem before their first exhibition game in the Bay Area Monday. And I had just finished my Smithsonian presentation that night explaining why baseball has been a vital unifying influence in communities and the nation throughout its nearly 200 year history. How ironic.

Rookie manager Kapler, coaches Antoan Richardson and Justin Viele  joined players Mike Yastrzemski (Yes, Yaz’s grandson), Austin Slater, and Jaylin Davis in taking a knee, according to NBC Bay Area. Shortstop Brandon Crawford stood between Richardson and Davis, who are both black, and placed his hands on their shoulders in an apparent sign of support.

Although the Giants did not announce before the game against the Oakland A’s at Oakland Coliseum that some members would kneel,  Kapler said he had informed the team of his plans. Then he blathered out his explanation, which while considerably more coherent than what Colin Kaepenick said after the first time he imposed his political views on his team, the game, and spectators were offensive nonetheless.

None of those cardboard cut-out people in the stands would go on the record later, but reportedly they were not pleased.

Here’s Gabe:

“I wanted to share what my plans were and I did that because I wanted them to know that I wasn’t pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality. I told them that I wanted to amplify their voices and I wanted to amplify the voice of the Black community and marginalized communities as well. I told them that I wanted to use my platform to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with the way we’ve handled racism in our country. I wanted to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with our clear systemic racism in our country. And I wanted them to know that they got to make their own decisions and we would respect and support those decisions. I wanted them to feel safe in speaking up, and so we had these kinds of discussions for the last several days and will continue to have them.”

Asked if he and other Giants would continue kneeling, Kapler said, “We’re going to have 60 chances during the regular season to make the same decision that we made today, to either stand or kneel or do something different.”

I can’t wait.

Rant to follow….

Gee, Gabe, why don’t you elaborate on that? How would you handle “police brutality”? Summary firing and prison sentences without trials? That seemed to be what Colin was suggesting. Have you ever been a cop? Know any?

Why should I care what you, a borderline major league player and, so far, a manager of limited experience and no special success, thinks about that subject, or any subject not related to baseball? What entitles you to inflict your half-baked, vaguely woke views on people who are not watching the game to learn them, but to see the game, quite possibly to get a brief respite from the non-stop political fighting?

Personally, I interpret “taking a knee” today as endorsing Black Lives Matter, and I interpret what Black Lives Matter says as an accusation that I’m a racist. I am not. Meanwhile, you don’t even know me. How dare you announce on a baseball field that I’m a racist?

It is not your job to “amplify the voices of the Black community and marginalized communities.” If you want to do that, fine: start a blog, go on speaking tours, take out ads. I don’t care what you do, as long as you do it on your own time. But just as I will complain mightily and walk out of Safeway if the store allow its clerks to proselytize about racism, the Electoral College, open borders or giving peace a chance from their positions of great expertise while I am trying to pay for beer, cupcakes and frozen tacos, I deeply resent getting the same treatment from someone making over a million dollars to play  baseball.

How would YOU handle racism, Gabe? Being “dissatisfied” is bullshit: that’s essentially, “I don’t have a clue what to do, but do something!” Uh-uh, not buying it, asshole. If you presume to grandstand like this, I expect some substance, not vague and lazy virtue-signaling. In fact, I demand it. Kneeling accomplishes nothing. Nothing. It just divides the public and makes many of them, like me, angry. (The rest it makes smug and unbearable.)

You want to address “systemic racism”? Great: what do you think should happen?  Baseball has a tiny number of black managers, as you know. Hey, I’ve got an idea! Why don’t you go to those “woke” owners of your team, and say that you’re doing a Reddit, and quitting your job so a black ex-player can take over as manager of the Giants? After all, meritocracy is racist—isn’t that what you’re kneeling for, distributing jobs and power based on color? It’s not as if any bat boy couldn’t do approximately as good a job managing your current team as you did with the Phillies the last two seasons. Give up your job to an African American ex-player. Put your money where your knee is, you grandstanding hypocrite.

Sorry, but I had to get that out. Now some more restrained observations:

  • Kapler made it sound like he unilaterally made the decision to lead a kneeling stand and informed the team. It was not his decision to make. The team had an obligation to say, “Nope. When you are in uniform and on the field, you represent the San Francisco Giants, and we have an obligation to keep our product out of politics, especially now. You have our permission to advocate any political views you want within boundaries of civility, making it clear that you speak only for yourself. But if you, or anyone on your team, pulls a kneeling stunt, you’re fired, Gabe. Got that?”
  • It was too much to expect baseball to stay out of the George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck, especially with the NFL and the NBA holding a groveling and pandering competition. That doesn’t excuse this. Now all the teams will have this point of tension and division. That is not good for the game, which means that it was irresponsible for Kapler to provide the precedent.
  • I watched the Boston Red Sox last season fall apart soon after manager Alex Cora announced that he would not attend the White House event honoring his team for its 2018 World Championship—he was angry about the President’s conflict with Puerto Rico. That move instantly divided the team, which proceeded to under-perform all year. Nobody knows if Cora’s self-serving decision actually played a part in the failed season, but it didn’t help. A manager’s duty is to maximize conditions for success.
  • When I said above that I should have predicted that it would be Kapler who brought the NFL-style protest where it was not wanted nor needed, I was referring to Kapler’s origins as the child of liberal activists, his reputation as an outspoken Democrat (in a clubhouse poll while Kapler was a reserve outfielder in Boston, of the 2 5 players on the Red Sox, 24 were Republicans and Kapler was the onlyDemocrat), and his activism  in social issues: Kapler and his wife co-founded the Gabe Kapler Foundation, which focuses on domestic violence. He also has shown that he thinks he’s a lot smarter than he is.
  • The Giants stunt was particularly divisive without a purpose, because nobody living was in the stands or will be when the season starts tomorrow, and baseball broadcasts typically skip the National Anthem now—it just gets in the way of ad revenue.

Baseball has no idea how to deal with this can of worms, and unfortunately its current Commissioner is has proven to be a yutz.  Farhan Zaidi, the President of Baseball Operations for the San Francisco Giants, said the team was “proud of our players and staff for continuing to participate in the national conversation about racial injustice.”

Right: putting your knee on a field contributes so much to a “conversation.”

“We support those who knelt peacefully to protest racial injustice and those who stood to express love of country. We do not see these as mutually exclusive sentiments and believe the freedom to express both is what our country is about,” the statement went on.”As an organization, we reaffirm our denouncement of acts of discrimination and violence against members of the Black community and our pledge to work together with those who seek to end racial justice in America.”

Buzzwords and virtue-signaling, hoping and praying that it all will go away.

MLB responded to critics on Twitter by saying, deceitfully, “Supporting human rights is not political.”

Sure. Doing the lifting for Black Lives Matter while its supporters are topling stautues and trashing cities isn’t political.

To another fan complaining that kneeling during the anthem disrespected the military and the flag, the league said, “It has never been about the military or the flag. The players and coaches are using their platforms to peacefully protest.”

They don’t have “platforms.” A baseball game is not a platform for protest. Teams typically ban political signs and banners at games. How will they justify that if the players are engaged in politics on their “platform”?

Meanwhile,, Los Angeles Angels reliever Keynan Middleton also “took a knee” and raised his fist during the national anthem before an Angels game against the San Diego Padres in Petco Park.

So much for helping the country pull together.

26 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce ( And Irresponsible, Grandstanding Jackass): San Francisco Giants Manager Gabe Kapler

    • Oh, absolutely. I’m sure MLB is going to be all in on BLM.

      I also think Kapler is trying to suck up to his “players of color.” I love Jack’s suggestion that Gabe go back to riding the busses in the minors so a former player of color can take over in San Fran. Ha! Take that, you jar-headed health nut!

      I guess one additional problem with a silly sixty game season is there will probably not be enough time to lose enough games to have any managers get fired. I really think MLB should have just taken a pass on the 2020 season. With no one in the stands, it will be a year of practice exhibition games.

  1. Jack,

    Great article. Though, I don’t think racism is a judgement a person can make about themselves. It’s like a person declaring they “don’t smell bad”, or they’re “not an asshole”. Those are subjective assessments made by others in a group about an individual, not a characterization one gets to decide for themselves. Assholes seldom feel like assholes, just like harassers often consider themselves the victim of harassment.

    In other words, when you declare “I’m not a racist”, others will think you doth protest too much.

    • I don’t care if that’s what they say. That’s exactly how everyone of integrity needs to respond to BLM blackmail. Of course you should protest, just as if you are accused of being a criminal. The current atmosphere asserts that being a racist–or saying something that anyone chooses to claim shows racism—is worse than being a criminal. The objection to the trope that all whites are racist is mandatory, or silence gives consent.

    • So here we are – “stuck in the middle with you” – between “protesteth too much” and “silence is violence.” (Excuse my microaggression. [And my sarcasm.])

    • Racism is not a label someone else can hang around someone elses neck either. Before you can hang that label on someone you better be prepared to prove that the claim that an act is predicated on race.

      I personally feel superior to many people but that feeling is based on other’s behaviors and not their color or mine.

      If you wear your pants around your knees with your scivvies on full dispay or you have a vocabulary that is limited to a handfulI of vulgarisms, then you are not on my level. If you act like trash someone can feel superior to you. Every person that levels the charge someone is racist makes the point they feel morally superior. Does that moral superiority translate to racism? I dont think so. But, claiming moral superiority because the other is a different race is racism.

  2. Unfortunately, Jack, I think going forward the only time you will see everyone standing for the national anthem will be airshows (usually only attended by patriotic people) and military or quasi-military events (unless the military decides to allow kneeling). Colleges and high schools it will be all the rage, remember that graduation where the designated singer decided to sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” instead of the national anthem? Us old-fashioned patriots are destined to be moved onto the ash heap, at least until something happens that reunites the country.

      • Is that the ghost we used to read about when we were kids (I think he was named Gus)? All silliness aside, it IS the equivalent of Debbie Downer, and I apologize for that. Between the pandemic, narrowly avoided furloughing, seeing almost no one in person, complete lack of human physical contact, a feeling that this nation is starting to fall apart, the cancellation of pretty much every event I like to attend to make life worth living, and no end in sight, it’s not doing wonders for my disposition.

        • I’m right there with you, Steve. I’ve heard it referred to as Pandemic Fatigue. I think it’s a real condition.

  3. I am all-in for virtue-signalling grandstanding now. I want to see more of the celebrity-athletes going down to the ground and curling their body into the fetal position during the national anthem – and, ESPECIALLY anytime “Lift Up Your Voice and Sing” is played – in order to use their “platforms” to protest on-demand abortion.

  4. Hey Gabe! Here’s an idea! It’s kind of a throw back kind of solution, you know, like those unis the league makes you wear so they can sell more stuff, but it’s worked before: NEGRO LEAGUES! Tah Dah! You’re welcome.

        • Boy, you would have never made it with a whole troop singing this Boy Scout ditty from my childhood.

          Great green gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts
          Mutilated monkey meat
          Hairy pickled piggy feet
          French fried eyeballs floating in some kerosene
          And me without a spoon.

          Great green gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts
          Scab sandwich, puss on top
          Vulture vomit, camel snot
          Deep dish boogers soaking in a bowl of fat
          And me without a spoon.

          Great green gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts
          Parrot eyeballs dipped in glue
          Petrified porpoise puss
          Flaming ear wax bobbing in a bowl of barf
          And me without a spoon.

          Great green gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts
          Dessicated dinosaur dung
          Percollated pelican poop
          Tortoise turd balls with the little flies inside
          And me without a spoon.

          • Leave it to the Boy Scouts to come up with all those ghastly verses — our version consisted solely of the first grrrreat alliterated line with the last four words grimly groaned twice more, and the first line repeated, then ending with the gloomy spoon. I have to defend our version. It was serious business with each glutinous syllable grunted out grudgingly. It rolled roughshod over our enemies and flattened them, by gum. They had nothing more to sing or say …. just disgorge their dinners. Gory, Gory, Hallelujah!

    • Not to worry — he’ll nuke them before ingesting (although better get your beer in bottles, cans tend to be allergic to microwaves).

  5. Wow, the San Fran Giants (and Kapler) are a racist team. LOOK AT ALL THOSES WHITE FANS !! Not a fan of color to be seen !! Sheeecsh !!

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