first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Gabe Kapler, the Dodgers’ new director of player development, has some ideas. Yeah. And Clayton Kershaw has some awards.Kapler’s unusual career path has taken him from being a 57th-round draft pick out of Moorpark College to playing in the major leagues, managing a minor-league team, back to playing, then to writing and broadcasting. Last year, Kapler started his own blog, It is a collection of well-researched observations on fitness, nutrition and lifestyle that amount to a constantly bubbling fountain of knowledge. Even he isn’t sure.“I plan on asking a lot more questions than providing commentary,” Kapler said. “In general, human beings more often than not need to be heard and not dictated information to. To the extent that they ask questions, I’ll do my best to provide useful information.”Kapler says he is still in the “information gathering phase” of his first front-office job. Soon there will be minor-league managers and coaching staffs to hire, prospects to evaluate and lessons to impart. At the moment, the pure excitement toward his new job hasn’t worn off.Along with president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, general manager Farhan Zaidi and senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes, Kapler is part of an eclectic group. He’s also the only one with major league-playing experience. Kapler described the trio as an egoless group, willing to lean on each other, none eager to take personal credit or place blame.“It’s unique to want strong, unapologetic voices,” Kapler said. “You lean heavily on lots of different paradigms. You’re able to come away with this powerful, potent mix of thought and opinion and you really come away with something cool at the end.”Kapler grew up in the San Fernando Valley playing Little League in Reseda Park, high school baseball at Taft, then moving on to Cal State Fullerton and Moorpark. He recalled going to games at Dodger Stadium, sitting in the since-removed red seats at the top of the park. “The Dodgers teams over the stretch of a long time — (Steve) Garvey and (Ron) Cey and Fernando (Valenzuela), that group. Even (Mike) Piazza, that group — (Orel) Hershiser, Kirk Gibson. Those are guys that shaped me as a baseball player,” he said.Now Kapler has a chance to return the favor.center_img And pointed ideas, like these:“Fast food is evil,” Kapler wrote in January. “The goal of the entire industry is to sell the lowest quality food possible in massive quantities.”“Perhaps you’re overweight but strong as a grizzly bear,” he wrote in March. “Celebrate that.”Kapler, 39, once wrote about a time in spring training with the Dodgers in 2011 when he rejected a prescription for blood-pressure medication and meditated instead. “They agreed, with the caveat that they would check my blood pressure every day. Every day prior to the reading, I sat for five minutes, simply breathing.”Now that Kapler is in a position of authority over an entire organization’s prospects, what’s the first nugget of wisdom he plans to share with them?last_img

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