‘No comment’: Rockies were embarrassed, then Gabe Kapler asked for a replay (2024)

Bud Black is a master of banter, always ready with a quip or a story or some polite way to frame even the most sour moments in a baseball season. And on the rare occasion his literary sense fails him, Black leans on a go-to phrase to explain away the pain.

“That’s baseball,” he will say.

On Tuesday night at Coors Field, before the Giants finally routed the Rockies 23-5, Black ran out of words. The Rockies’ manager refused to describe the slight directed his way by Gabe Kapler, his counterpart on the other bench.


“I’ve made a point in my career as a player, a coach and a manager not to comment on any moves an opposing manager might make,” Black said. “And I’m going to stick to that.”

In the seventh inning of a game that long before devolved into disorder, as the Giants led 18-2 with two outs, Giants right fielder Steven Duggar nubbed a groundball back to the pitcher, ending in a close call at first base. The Rockies at that point had managed just two hits. They trailed by 16 runs. Like a boxer who falls out of the ring, there was no coming back.

But Kapler pressed forward. He challenged the umpire’s call at first base and asked for a video replay. In Colorado’s dugout, even behind a mask, Black visibly was annoyed by Kapler’s decision. Umpires in New York needed 2 minutes, 7 seconds, in a game that went 3 hours, 48 minutes, to determine Kapler was wrong. The call stood, Duggar was out, and the inning was over.

In more than a little more than two seasons, Kapler has pushed the buttons of both his own players and his fellow managers, first in a flaming two-year stint with the Phillies and now in a rookie tenure in San Francisco. He has made an intentional habit this season of withholding the name of his starting pitcher until nearly game day, or even near the first pitch. Kapler does this, he says, for strategic reasons, even though it violates a longstanding etiquette among managers to inform their opponents of the starting pitcher.

In response, in an article published in The Athletic in July, Black underlined the manager’s code.

“That kind of ambush doesn’t happen in the big leagues,” Black said. “It’s rare that you’d see any designed funny business. Because if you did, it’s always going to be remembered. And you do not want that tag.”

Two weeks ago in Texas, 21-year-old Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was roundly criticized within the game, including by his own manager, for swinging at a 3-0 pitch in the eighth inning when his team led 10-3. The so-called unwritten rules of baseball suggest Tatis was supposed to pump the brakes in that situation, so as not to show up the opposing pitcher. Instead, he hit a grand slam.


When asked about the swing, Black said that context matters. The Padres’ seven-run lead in Texas might be safe, but at Coors Field, seven-run leads often can flip in an inning.

“You can make a case in our park it’s different,” Black said. “If we’re in a slugfest and it’s 18-11 in the eighth inning, all bets are off.”

His example was a seven-run lead, not a 16-run advantage like the one the Giants held Tuesday.

“Every game is different,” Black said, again watching his words. “It’s hard to say. It depends on the type of game and how it’s playing out.”

The Giants went on to embarrass their hosts. The Rockies stumbled to their worst loss since 1995 when the Cubs crushed them 26-7. That was back before the club installed a humidor at Coors Field to help keep the dry ball from jumping around the yard and Coors Field was routinely setting and breaking baseball scoring records.

San Francisco’s Alex Dickerson hit three home runs, doubled twice and walked once, and his 16 total bases tied a Giants record set by Willie Mays in 1961. Dickerson became the first player in Giants history, dating to their New York days, to finish with five extra-base hits. His 480-foot home run in the first inning off Rockies starter Jon Gray landed three rows deep in the third deck, the longest home run in the majors this season. Gray gave up seven runs in just 2 2/3 innings.

“About 90 percent of the stuff I threw was over the middle of the plate,” Gray said. “That’s probably why they had so much success.”

Jairo Díaz recorded just two outs in relief for the Rockies but not before he gave up seven more runs. And through seven innings, the Rockies’ only hits were two solo home runs from Garrett Hampson off Kevin Gausman. San Francisco scored at least a run in every inning until the ninth when both teams finally emptied their benches.


— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) September 2, 2020

By then, the Rockies had turned to veteran catcher Drew Butera as a long reliever. He became their best pitcher on the night, giving up just one run on three hits in 1 2/3 innings of desperate mop-up duty. And as the Rockies allowed the third-most runs against them in a game and the second-most hits against them, a total not seen since 1999, they lost their fourth game in their last five, a stretch during which they’ve been outscored 55-15.


The Giants, either prodded along by their aggressive manager or on a hot streak of their own making, have won 10 of 13, jumping ahead of the Rockies in the NL West and pushing Colorado further out of a wild-card spot.

If Kapler’s curious replay challenge kicked the shins of the Rockies, it was not any worse than their ridiculous defeat. Black had nothing more to say on the matter.

“We have nowhere to go but up,” Gray said.

(Photo: Isaiah J. Downing / USA Today Sports)

‘No comment’: Rockies were embarrassed, then Gabe Kapler asked for a replay (2024)


Does Gabe Kapler have a job? ›

Front office career

In December 2023, Kapler became an assistant general manager of the Miami Marlins of MLB. He will work under the Marlins' new president of baseball operations Peter Bendix, formerly a member of the Tampa Bay Rays front office during Kapler's time with the team as a player in 2009–10.

Who will hire Gabe Kapler? ›

Marlins To Hire Gabe Kapler As Assistant General Manager.

Who is the ex coach of the San Francisco Giants? ›

Meulens coached for the Giants from 2010-2019 and has since been on the staff for the Mets, Yankees and Rockies. He played parts of seven seasons in MLB, primarily with the Yankees.

What is Kapler doing now? ›

MIAMI -- Gabe Kapler's new role as an assistant general manager for the Marlins requires that he keep tabs on all 30 teams across the league, but he can't help but pay “a little special attention” to the Giants.

Where is Kai Correa now? ›

Kainoa Thomas Correa (born July 14, 1988) is an American professional baseball Major League field coordinator for the Cleveland Guardians of Major League Baseball (MLB). He is the former bench coach/interim manager and infield/baserunning instructor for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Why did Gabe Kapler get kicked out? ›

The San Francisco Giants fired manager Gabe Kapler on Friday after a late-season collapse that dropped the team out of playoff contention and prompted questions about the franchise's direction going forward. The firing was made with three games remaining in the season and the Giants sporting a 78-81 record.

Does Gabe Kapler have tattoos? ›

On Gabe Kapler's left hand is a tattoo of a rose, along with the date “12-20-20.” The ink is front and center -- right where the Giants manager said it belongs.

Who is Gabe Kapler's assistant? ›

SF Giants: How Kai Correa became Gabe Kapler's top assistant.

Who currently owns the SF Giants? ›

Charles B. Johnson

Does Larry Baer own the Giants? ›

Larry Baer is the team's president. The principal owner is Charles B. Johnson, while the chairman of the board is Greg Johnson. The president of baseball operations is Farhan Zaidi.

What is Gabe Kapler doing this year? ›

Kapler, 48, preferred to focus on the present and his new role as an assistant general manager in Miami, returning to a front office role for the first time since he was the Dodgers' director of player development.

What is Dusty Baker doing now? ›

'Never say never' The first baseball spring in the big leagues for Dusty Baker was at the end of the '60s with the Braves, which means nearly 60 years ago. All this time later, he is still in baseball, as a special advisor with the Giants.

Who is the new manager for the SF Giants? ›

Bob Melvin, a Bay Area native and former Giants player who also managed a decade in Oakland, was formally announced as San Francisco's new manager last October, replacing Gabe Kapler.


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