Kapler explains strange Giants-Dodgers delay in first inning


LOS ANGELES -- As the Dodgers began taking batting practice on Friday afternoon, Joc Pederson walked out to the cage to catch up with some former teammates. Two hours later, Giants manager Gabe Kapler ended his team's session by spending an extended period with former coworker Andrew Friedman, Los Angeles' president of baseball operations. 

These teams perhaps have closer connections than they ever have, but it's still a rivalry, and a reminder of that was given just four pitches into Friday's game.

Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior strolled out to the mound to meet with starting pitcher Tyler Anderson, who did not appear to be hurt. Then the umpires huddled and met with Kapler, while first base coach Antoan Richardson spent some time chatting with first base umpire Alfonso Marquez. 

It was an odd sequence, particularly when play resumed without any changes. After the Dodgers won 5-1, manager Dave Roberts explained that his team was concerned that Richardson was relaying signs to leadoff hitter Austin Slater. Giants manager Gabe Kapler said the umpires asked Richardson to make sure he was staying in the first base coaches' box. Asked if he knew who complained, Kapler noted that umpires generally don't mention that.

"I think that is part of their job, is to protect those conversations," Kapler said. "The information that I got was that Antoan needed to be in the first base coaches' box and that they would enforce that for both teams."

The brief moment of confusion brought to mind the first series these teams played against each other after Kapler took over. The Dodgers grumbled about how late the Giants were in announcing pitching probables and lineups, with Roberts saying the Giants were displaying a bit of "gamesmanship."

There was no ensuing drama back then or on Friday night. After the delay, Anderson, who shrugged the whole thing off, struck out Slater to kick off what was a pretty strong night for the former Giants lefty. Richardson had been positioned over near the edge of the outfield dirt for the first four pitches, moved about 20 feet closer to the plate and stood alongside the line painted in the grass.

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The night was pretty quiet from there, until Cody Bellinger's game-winning slam. Afterward, Kapler said he didn't think the Giants had done anything wrong. 

"I can't speak to what Dave was talking to the umpires about, but I think that that's part of baseball," he said. "I don't know that our guy was doing anything there but I understand why it's on the minds of managers around the game."

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