The Phillies parted ways with manager Gabe Kapler last week after the team finished the 2019 season with an 81-81 record, good for second-to-last place in the NL East division. Unsurprisingly, the organization is seeking a skipper that can help shepherd the team through a winning season and a playoff run; as GM Matt Klentak told reporters on Friday, “We’re looking for someone who’s going to appreciate the staff we have and the things that we do, and come in and take us over the finish line because that’s what this is really about. This is about wins and losses and getting us where we want to be — and that’s playing in October, competing for a championship.”
Baker, 70, certainly has the experience for the job, albeit not as much postseason success as the Phillies would like. He served four separate stints with the Giants, Cubs, Reds, and Nationals from 1993 to 2017, amassing a lifetime 1863-1636 record, 14 winning seasons, and seven division titles. He also oversaw nine separate postseason campaigns, though his questionable managerial decisions factored into a number of significant losses along the way.
While the Phillies haven’t explicitly targeted any other potential candidates, it’s assumed that they’ll interview other well-traveled managers like Buck Showalter, Joe Girardi, and John Farrell, as well a number of internal candidates. The Giants, meanwhile, not only gave the Phillies permission to speak with Baker, but are said to be talking to a familiar name themselves:
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 12, 2019