Asks TheAthletic.com:

The Phillies’ issues are bigger than a managerial move. They have a perception problem.

As the evaluation of Kapler dragged on, it caught the attention of people around the league for both its length and how it was conducted.

According to sources, GM Matt Klentak wanted Kapler back in 2020, the final year of the first-time manager’s three-year contract. But owner John Middleton was the decider, soliciting feedback on the matter internally, including from Phillies players and others in baseball.

Ownership is always going to have a say. But this process played out very publicly as Kapler remained in limbo. Now that Kapler has been fired, despite the general manager who hired him advocating for his return, it raises many questions, along with concerns about the power structure in the front office.

Why is the owner involved in baseball operations decisions? It’s one thing when it involves committing $330 million over 13 years to one player, but this involved personnel. The focus now largely shifts to questions about the dynamics and balance in the Phillies’ front office. After all, according to sources, Middleton pushed to have former hitting coach John Mallee fired in August and reached out to Charlie Manuel to see if he would serve as the interim hitting coach for the rest of the season.


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