While providing color commentary for Saturday's Cardinals-Brewers game on Fox Sports 1, Gabe Kapler stated that it was "poetic justice" that Brewers' catcher Jonathan Lucroy would start behind the plate for the National League in Tuesday's All-Star game. A questionable phrase considering it took an injury to Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina to get his opportunity.
Though it's not likely that Kapler intended any malice toward Molina or the Cardinals organization, the comment could easily be taken as such given the circumstances. Obviously, it didn't get past too many Cardinals fans, who by Saturday night let Kapler know they didn't appreciate his choice of words.
In response to the backlash, Kapler wrote a quick letter to Cardinals fans owning and explaining his commentary.
Here's what the text says:
Dear Cardinals Fans,
You don't know me from Adam, but I'm one of you. I've been celebrating your organization's superior scouting and player development for quite some time both publicly and privately.
Additionally, I've loved on your individual players consistently since I began my work covering baseball. In particular, I've sung the praises of Yadi. He's one of my favorite men to watch and perhaps the catcher I respect the most in baseball, not only for his productivity, but also for his consistent fire.
Today while covering the game, I said that it was "poetic justice" that Lucroy would be starting the all-star game. Obviously, that was a compliment directed at Lucroy and the season he's had. I stand behind by assertion that he deserves it based on his work 100%.
Those of you with familiarity of my background know that I'm not mean spirited and wouldn't celebrate an injury no matter who it was. This certainly wasn't the best timing or use of he (sp) phrase in general and I fully acknowledge that fact.
This is simply a note to clear up my intentions and to own the fact that my thoughts could have been articulated more clearly.
A couple notable things to take from this.
First, Kapler's choice of words was poor, but it's pretty clear what his sentiment was. He's among the many who believed Lucroy deserved the starting nod to begin with, which is an opinion he's entitled to.
Second, the extent of the backlash Kapler received is unclear, but obviously it was strong enough to illicit a response. Some of it was probably done in anger, too, which is unfortunate. Two wrongs don't make a right, but that's the world we live in today. For every comment there's a reaction, and for every reaction there's a counteraction.
All in all, Kapler handled the hot seat well. And there's no doubt he'll learn from the mistake and choose his words more wisely going forward, because there's always somebody listening somewhere. .
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