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Former Rays outfielder Gabe Kapler fired as Phillies manager

Philadelphia failed to live up to the hype following an offseason spending spree highlighted by Bryce Harper’s arrival.

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies have fired Gabe Kapler, nearly two weeks after a disappointing finish to a season of big expectations.

Kapler, a former Rays outfielder, was dismissed Thursday after going 161-163 in two seasons. Philadelphia failed to live up to the hype following an offseason spending spree highlighted by Bryce Harper’s arrival. The team went 81-81, its first nonlosing season since 2012.

The Phillies were only two games behind in the NL wild-card standings after beating Atlanta on Sept. 18 but lost eight of the next nine, including a five-game sweep at Washington. They finished eight games behind Milwaukee for the second wild card and 16 behind the first-place Braves in the NL East.

Last year, the Phillies had a one-game lead in the division on Aug. 11 before going 15-31 the rest of the way.

Kapler completed a 12-year career as an outfielder with the Rays in 2009-10. He at one time was thought to be a potential candidate for the Rays’ managing job.

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