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Finding a place for Gabe Kapler

J. Meric

You probably read Gabe Kapler's fascinating essay about sports drugs earlier this week; if not, you probably should. Because it's good and stuff. So good that I was a little surprised to learn that Kapler's somehow hooked up with this operation (via Slate) ...

In the run-up to launch, Fox claimed FS1 would have a different attitude than ESPN, a "jockularity" distinct from that network’s stat-happy wonkiness. This greater sense of fun would, allegedly, be best showcased on Fox Sports Live, FS1’s nightly answer to SportsCenter, hosted by two improvising Canucks, Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole.

You got that? The people running FS1 are guided by the idea that ESPN is too smart.

Onrait and O’Toole also regularly throw to Charissa Thompson, who oversees a panel of retired professional athletes, including Donovan McNabb, Andy Roddick, Ephraim Salaam, and, sometimes, Gary Payton and Gabe Kapler, opining on the sports news of the day. The retired journeyman Kapler had apparently not gotten the memo about jockularity, citing some statistics from Baseball Prospectus about the Dodgers’ and Tigers’ respective chances of making the World Series. I imagine he was forced to sit in front of the studio’s massive scoreboard in a dunce cap repeating to himself, "I will be more jockular."

l'm wishing the best for Gabe Kapler. But I think he'd be more valuable (and valued) at ESPN or, even better, on one of MLB Network's programs that's aimed toward the cognoscenti. I trust that Kapler will eventually find his place in the world. Just seems hard to believe that's with one of Rupert Murdoch's operations.