D-backs fired up by Kapler 'quote'

Giants manager provides inspiration -- even if he didn't actually say it

July 27th, 2022

PHOENIX -- Word began circulating in the D-backs clubhouse Monday afternoon about a comment Giants manager Gabe Kapler made following his team's four-game sweep at the hands of the Dodgers.

It went something along the lines of, "Did you hear what Kapler said about us? He said, 'It's OK, we'll go to Arizona and get right.'"

It became a rallying cry for the D-backs, who rode it to a pair of victories in the first two games of the series including Tuesday's 7-3 win.

"When you hear something like that, it's just something that adds a little bit more motivation than there already is," D-backs third baseman Josh Rojas said. "And, you know, there's so many games in the year that you try to look for any little thing you can to grasp onto and give yourself a little bit more motivation. And that side of the ballpark gave us something to grab onto and motivate us a little bit more and I think the boys are rolling with it."

There's just one small problem with it: Kapler never said it. Or if he did, no one can find any audio of it or a written quote.

In fact, Kapler was completely caught off guard when he was asked about it after Tuesday's game.

"Definitely not," Kapler said. "And if I did say something like that, somehow, some way in passing, that's like pretty much the opposite of the sentiment that I've shared with all of our local [media] every single time out. If that's where it landed for some reason, that's what it is. But our guys will tell you that that's not how I view any teams. It's not even registering, it's not on my radar, and it won't be. It's so silly and so not applicable and so sort of out of character that it's not even going to be a blip on my radar screen or anybody else's."

Now, while Kapler is probably right that he didn't make any disparaging comments about the D-backs, he is mistaken if he thinks it's not a blip on "anybody's" radar screen, because it did provide the D-backs with motivation.

Even if, you know, it turns out they made the whole thing up.

"It was just a little something to grab onto and spread around to as many people as you could and give everybody a little bit more motivation and make every little pitch that much more important," Rojas said.

First baseman Christian Walker, whose three-run homer in the third broke a 2-2 tie, was one of the first in the clubhouse to have heard about Kapler's alleged quote Monday.

Walker, though, like Rojas, didn't actually hear Kapler say the words in an interview nor did he see it in print.

In fact, while everyone in the clubhouse heard about the quote, no one seemed to remember who actually started the whole thing.

"I wasn't there for the interview," Walker said.

"I'm not sure who first brought it into the clubhouse," Rojas said. "I know that it started circulating pretty early."

Informed that Kapler told reporters after the game that he had never actually said those words, Rojas could only smile and shrug his shoulders.

"We might just start making stuff up," Rojas said. "So yeah, if you guys want to sort of spread more rumors when teams come into town, we're OK with it. A little bit more motivation. I like it."