The bad news is one of the best parts of Fox baseball coverage might no longer be on television, but the good news is the Dodgers might bring aboard one of the bright young minds in baseball to its front office in Gabe Kapler, possessor of a rare combination of major league playing experience and embracing advance statistical analysis.
The news came from an accidental tweet from Kapler, since deleted, responding to a direct message from Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
It seems like Kapler was trying to send a direct message to someone else (perhaps Andrew Friedman?) but sent it as a regular tweet by mistake. Crasnick later tweeted this:
Kapler is a local product, playing baseball at Taft High School in Woodland Hills, then Moorpark College and Cal State Fullerton. He was a 57th-round draft pick by the Tigers in 1995 but made the majors by 1998. He played parts of 12 seasons in the majors, including a brief retirement in 2007 to manage in Class-A in the Red Sox organization.
Kapler played with the Rays in 2009-2010, when Andrew Friedman was the general manager in Tampa Bay.
He was a non-roster invitee in spring training with the Dodgers in 2011 and hit .244/.277/.378 in 26 games during the spring. He was one of the final roster cuts, and decided to retire rather than continue his playing career in Triple-A Albuquerque.
Kapler coached for Team Israel in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, but since has worked for the past two years as an analyst for Fox Sports, one of the best parts of their baseball coverage.
Kapler's strength has been helping to introduce advance statistics to a more mainstream audience. In a piece he wrote in September for Fox Sports, Kapler explained what he thought the next big competitive edge would be in baseball:
Proprietary information is becoming harder and harder to come by. While there are certainly frontiers of data not yet fully explored, I believe the next real advantage will come not from which team can acquire the most information, but from which team can best put that information into practice. How efficiently and successfully information is shared with managers, coaches and players will equal wins now and going forward.
Then Kapler, with 12 years of playing experience, explained in detail how to share that information. Sounds like someone ready for a front office job.