Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler got into a fiery exchange Wednesday morning with 94.1 WIP host Angelo Cataldi over a column the sports talker wrote about Matt Klentak, the team's general manager.
"Matt Klentak is incompetent," Cataldi wrote in a column for Philly Voice that was published on Monday. "How much more patient can he be with a general manager who has no record of success and who just oversaw a debacle reminiscent of 1964?"
Kapler, who has appeared on WIP's morning show every Wednesday morning during the Phillies' season, slammed Cataldi for being "disrespectful" to Klentak and needlessly angry over the team's season, which ended with a disappointing 17-34 finish for a sixth straight losing season.
"Your article, it just wasn't accurate. Had we made the playoffs this year in 2018, it would have been the fastest rebuild in modern baseball history," Kapler said. "If we make the playoffs next year, it will tie the Houston Astros for the fastest rebuild.
"Did our performance the last 45 games of the season suck, Angelo? Yes, absolutely. You're hearing me saying it sucked. I was sick over it every single night, and I will be until Opening Day 2019," Kapler said, claiming Cataldi was overlooking the team's 14-game improvement from last season.
"We played meaningful games in September," Kapler added. "Generating anger for the sake of anger means you end up flat out wrong like you did in that piece. And that isn't what the Phillies need."
Cataldi shot back by defending his column in light of the team's historic collapse over the final two months of the season.
"Basically, Matt Klentak in the three years that he's been here has put two people on the roster that are true building blocks … Rhys Hoskins and Aaron Nola," Cataldi said, turning his criticism toward Kapler's coaching.
"You've got Rhys Hoskins playing in left field when he has a terrible WAR (wins above replacement), should be at first base. You're putting [Carlos Santana] who was originally a catcher as your third baseman, showing a complete contempt for defense," Cataldi said. "When I write what I write, Gabe, it's represented by hundreds of people who think the way I am. So you're perception may be real positive about the team, but that doesn't mean it's reality. It's only your perception."
The back-and-forth went on for nearly 14 minutes, and ended with Cataldi thanking Kapler for being willing to engage in such a heated back-and-forth.
"Gabe, hope we can do it again next season," Cataldi said. "I really enjoyed the exchange today. I think it's two different sides of an issue."