Gabe Kapler: interesting and bizarre dude.
By now we've heard dozens of tales of the Phillies' new manager's unique personality and spent plenty of time reading his cooky lifestyle tips on his website, but thanks to Phillies beat writer Matt Gelb, we are now treated to some truly wonderful and wacky tales of Kapler's time as a minor league manager.
Kapler spent one season managing the Greenville Drive, a low-A team in the Red Sox organization, in 2007 when he was recently retired from MLB. Gelb spoke with a handful of players from that team who spoke very highly of Kapler but also shared some fantastic stories worth amplifying.
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Kapler is obviously a health nut but just how far will he go for the sake of his health? Incredibly far. How about bringing his own organic eggs and peanut butter on minor league road trips? How about doing full sprints in the empty city streets late at night after losses to let off some steam? How about beating one of his players in a wrestling match so badly that it made the professional ball player feel like a child?
"He was so into health," Still said. "He's addicted to ice cream. So he would sit there and lick ice cream but have a cup and spit it into it. He would lick it just for the taste but didn't want to eat it. I told him, ‘Dude, that's like Unabomber type stuff.' That's a thing he did."
So there it is, conclusive proof that you have to be willing to lick ice cream and spit it into a cup to have that kind of muscle-builder body.
That's the most ridiculous bit from the story, but it's also worth reading to get a glimpse of the kind of manager of men Kapler was -- and could be with the Phillies.
Many players seemed to have loved just how involved Kapler was on a day-to-day basis, from the weight room to sharing meals to getting involved in batting practice. It's going to be very interesting to see how that translates to the Major League Level.
I guess the moral of the story is: nobody tell Kapler about the free ice cream in the Phillies press box.