Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dayton, More?

To: David Glass, Owner, Kansas City Royals

From: Rany Jazayerli, Fan, Kansas City Royals

Dear Mr. Glass,

Hi. We’ve never met, though I imagine our paths have crossed on more than one occasion. I know who you are, obviously; you might know who I am, but only because of that little stink I caused in your front office earlier this summer when I had the audacity to be critical of certain members of the organization.

So I guess I should start off by making it clear that you were not one of the targets of my criticism, and in fact, you might be the one member of the front office that I have not been at all critical of in the last three years.

I must admit, that wasn’t always the case – certainly not during the Allard Baird era in Kansas City, not after multiple sources laid bare what was happening behind the scenes. If you’re honest with yourself, I think even you’ll admit that you and your son interfered with baseball operations on many an occasion, and with an almost uniformly bad outcome.

Whether it was nixing a trade of Mike Sweeney to the Angels which would have brought the Royals several top prospects; or cutting the draft budget at the last minute, which forced your team to draft a bunch of college seniors and then offer them $1000 to sign; or whether it was famously giving Baird 36 hours to move Jermaine Dye, resulting in the disastrous Neifi Perez trade, just a few months after you vetoed a trade of Dye to the Blue Jays for a rookie named Vernon Wells – let’s be honest, much of the blame of the Allard Baird era can be laid at your feet. (And the three incidents above are just a sampling; there are other, even more egregious examples of meddling that I have multiple sources for.)

But since you hired Dayton Moore over three years ago, you have been, dare I say it, a model owner. You have opened your checkbook repeatedly, not just to sign major league free agents, but to sign high-priced amateur talent, both in the draft and on the international market. You have given Moore the financial flexibility to hire as much front office talent as he felt he needed, a luxury that was on full display when Moore hired the well-respected Mike Arbuckle, who had been in the running to replace Pat Gillick as the GM in Philadelphia, to a job position that didn’t even exist – Arbuckle’s scouting eye was deemed valuable enough that he was worth creating a job for.

And most importantly, you have empowered your GM to run the organization without interference. They say that in business, success has two ingredients: hire the right people, and then stay the hell out of their way. For whatever reason, too many businessmen – and we’re talking about businessmen successful enough to be able to afford a baseball team – seem to forget this simple rule when it comes to building a major league organization. But for the last three years, you have followed this rule to the letter. Two years ago, when I first started this blog, I wrote a positive review of your new approach to ownership. Despite the team’s struggles since, I stand by my conclusion that you have become a net positive force in the owner’s box, and I hold you essentially blameless for the disaster that the 2009 season has become. This isn’t a popular position to take among the fan base, trust me.

So I hope that in reading the following, you keep in mind that this isn’t just another critical screed from a disgruntled fan who’s had it in for you for a long time. I truly – and some might say naively – believe that you are committed to building the Royals into a winning organization again, and that you are as frustrated by what’s happened this season as the rest of us.

Which is why I think it’s important for you to get another fan’s viewpoint to the unexpected news that you have granted Dayton Moore a contract extension. I believe I speak for virtually all Royals fans, and virtually all national baseball writers, whether they are Royals fans or not, when I say: Why?

Why on earth do you feel compelled to give Moore a contract extension in the midst of what has become, if not the worst, then certainly the most disappointing season in the history of the franchise?

Now, let me make it clear: I am not advocating that you fire Dayton Moore. On the contrary, I feel – and once again, I am taking a position that is not popular with Royals fans today – that Moore should be allowed to keep his job for another season.

It’s undeniable that virtually every personnel decision that Moore has made since the end of last season has backfired, and while a few of those decisions looked good on paper, the majority of them were panned at the time, both by myself and by the general baseball establishment. Now, a general manager is going to make controversial moves – and as long as some of those moves work out, you can forgive the ones that don’t. In Moore’s case, every controversial move (I use “controversial” as a euphemism for “other baseball teams were openly mocking him”) has has failed miserably, and in some cases spectacularly. It’s been a bad, bad year for your front office.

Even so, I think Moore has earned the right to keep his job for another season, if only to prove whether or not he can learn from his mistakes this season, and to give him the opportunity to make amends. A year ago, Moore had earned the faith of most of the Royals’ fan base, and the respect of most of the other 29 major league teams, with a few bold and savvy moves (signing Gil Meche to a five-year deal, trading Ambiorix Burgos for Brian Bannister, grabbing Joakim Soria in the Rule 5 draft) that had helped the Royals to a 75-87 record in 2008. He made a few mistakes along the way, like trading J.P. Howell for Joey Gathright, and surrendering actual baseball talent for Tony Pena Jr. But no GM is perfect; as Moore himself said (quoting Arbuckle), “If we’re not making any mistakes, we’re probably not being very aggressive.”

No one would argue that Moore hasn’t been aggressive. And up until about a year ago, his aggressiveness had done more good than bad for the franchise. Now, it so happens that over the past year Moore’s best-laid plans have blown up in his face like they were designed by the Acme corporation, but I submit that no single season – not even a season as bad as this one has been – ought to wipe out the impression that Moore had made in his first two full seasons as GM. I believe he deserves another chance.

But there’s a hell of a difference between “he deserves to keep his job” and “he deserves an extension.” Particularly a four-year extension. There are three more Olympic Games scheduled between now and the end of Moore’s new contract.

I asked the question “why?” above, and that was meant to be a rhetorical question, but maybe it shouldn’t. There must be a legitimate reason why you would decide, in the midst of one of the worst 100-plus-game stretches in team history, that the man who put this team together ought to be rewarded for his efforts. Particularly since, according to Moore himself, you were the one who initiated the contract talks. Here’s what I came up with:

1) You were afraid that if you didn’t extend Moore’s contract, that he would bolt to another team after next season. I refuse to believe that a man smart enough to run one of the world’s largest corporations would actually be worried about this contingency. Once upon a time, Dayton Moore was the most sought-after GM candidate in the country. Now is not that time. Once upon a time, Moore was respected by most of his peers. After the train wreck of the 2009 season, here’s what one front office person had to say about Moore to my colleague Kevin Goldstein:

“It’s not like they were going to suddenly contend, so I have no idea why they rushed him to the big leagues,” commented another team executive, as far as the Royals’ decision making with Gordon’s development. “But I also have no idea why they traded Ramon Ramirez and Leo Nunez for non-tenders, or why they signed Jose Guillen, Horacio Ramirez, Sidney Ponson, and on and on and on.”

Mind you, Goldstein hadn’t asked about Moore – he had asked about Alex Gordon. The criticisms of the Royals’ front office came unbidden. Three years ago, Moore commanded respect. Today, if this quote is any indication, he commands only derision.

I’m sure you know this, which is why I’m sure you had other reasons to extend Moore’s contract. Like:

2) You felt it was necessary to issue a public vote of confidence for your GM, in order to quell the growing groundswell of sentiment in favor of his firing. You wanted to eliminate any distractions.

This might be part of your motivation, but I don’t really buy it either. Sometimes an organization will need to do this for an embattled manager, to make it clear that the manager has the full support of his superiors, in order to head off a potential mutiny – a mutiny of the players, not a mutiny of the fans.

A manager needs to command the respect of his players above all else, and nothing is more damaging to a manager’s reputation than the sense that he doesn’t have the backing of his bosses. But for a general manager, who doesn’t interact with his players on a day-to-day basis, that respect is much less meaningful. If I’ve got a good relationship with my boss, I don’t really care what my relationship with my boss’s boss is like.

So I don’t really buy this rationale either. Which leaves:

3) You want to make it clear that, by extending Dayton Moore’s contract through 2014, you are committed to building a premier organization in the long term, and you want to make sure that the spectacular failure of the 2009 season does not distract your front office from that long-term goal.

Now we’re getting somewhere. If this is indeed your purpose, it’s a defensible one.

For one, I concede that it would be risky for you to let Moore go into the off-season with just one more season remaining on his contract. Few things are more potentially destructive to a rebuilding franchise than a GM who’s worried about his job security. When your general manager’s interest don’t align with your franchise’s interests, you run the risk that your GM will make bizarre short-term decisions that can hamstring the franchise for years to come.

(The classic example of this – a little history lesson here, if you don’t mind – is Dave Littlefield’s notorious trade-deadline acquisition of Matt Morris. On July 31st, 2007, the Pirates were 42-62 and 14.5 games out of first place, but Littlefield – whose job was on the line – made the inexplicable last-second decision to trade for Morris, a 32-year-old starting pitcher under contract through the 2008 season (at over $10 million a year). Morris had a 4.35 ERA at the time, but was operating on fumes – opponents were hitting .302 against him at the time. The Giants were just looking for a team that was willing to pick up a portion of his salary, and were as surprised as anyone when Littlefield not only agreed to pick up the entire contract, but gave up two prospects – including Rajai Davis, who’s turning into a fine outfielder for the A’s – for the privilege. [Two prospects for a declining major leaguer that no one else wanted. Sound familiar?] Morris would go 3-8 with a 7.04 ERA for the Pirates before he was released the following April; by that time the man doing the releasing was new GM Neal Huntington, as Littlefield was fired on September 7, 2007, in no small part because just six weeks prior he had made a deal which cost his organization close to $15 million for a below-replacement value pitcher.)

While Dayton Moore has made a ton of mistakes this year, the overriding theme that drove his worst errors was the mistaken assumption that the Royals could contend in 2009. I’m not blaming him for that assumption (I shared it to some extent) so much as the execution of his plan, but the point is that if Moore didn’t have job security past 2010, the temptation would be there for him to operate this winter under the short-term goal of building a contender for 2010. We’ve seen that movie before, and it sucked.

So if you decided to extend Moore’s contract because you wanted to make sure that the front office kept its eye on the prize – the prize being a winning team in 2011 and beyond – then I support the decision. And certainly, as a fan I would much rather that you maintain a strong commitment to someone who has convinced you to spend big money on amateur talent, than to clean house and bring in a new GM who has fresh ideas but who doesn’t have access to your checkbook.

But this is a very qualified endorsement. It’s great that you want to insure continuity and a long-term perspective in your front office. But keeping the same general manager personnel in place only makes sense when your general manager knows what the hell he is doing. Frankly, the evidence of that is still lacking. We know that your general manager can spend your cash; we don’t know that he can spend it wisely. I can’t imagine that you look at the millions of dollars Moore convinced you to give Kyle Farnsworth, or Horacio Ramirez, or especially Jose Guillen, and think that you got your money’s worth. I’m sure that you see those transactions as mistakes that should not be repeated.

Unfortunately, Moore’s public comments have yielded no evidence that he feels that way. To question Moore’s decisions is to doubt The Process, and if someone in the media dares to criticize any of his decisions, he risks getting shut out from the organization completely. (I’m not referring to my own situation with ballclub – I’ve heard from national media members who have had similar experiences with the team.)

In all honesty, what I find more concerning than the mistakes made by the Moore administration this year is the sense of arrogance that has accompanied these decisions – an arrogance clothed in insecurity. Virtually every person who has covered the Royals regularly this season – print, radio, TV, whatever – has been struck by just how ridiculously thin-skinned the front office is. Which is a problem. Not because it makes it harder for the media to do their job (it is, but that’s not a problem for anyone but us), but because a front office that can’t handle criticism is a front office that doesn’t broker dissent. It’s a front office that’s unwilling to admit when it’s made a mistake. It’s certainly a front office that’s incapable of learning from its mistakes.

This should trouble you greatly, because you’ve just promised to pay Dayton Moore a lot of money on the notion that he will learn from the mistakes he’s made this season. And my greatest worry about this extension is that Moore will regard this endorsement from his owner as a validation of The Process. Moore has defended the Royals’ performance this year as the consequence of unexpected injuries and unexpectedly poor performances, rather than as an indictment of whatever Process cooked up the idea of Mike Jacobs as an everyday first baseman or Kyle Farnsworth as a highly-compensated set-up man. Moore’s public defense of his actions is understandable; it’s not easy for a GM to admit when he’s wrong, and it’s even harder to do so without offending some of those very players he acquired. But it’s one thing to say it, and it’s another thing to believe it. I worry that, having been rewarded with a contract extension despite his track record, Moore will start to believe his own words, and assume that he earned a contract extension because of his track record.

As fans, we are not privy to the conversations that you had with Moore before this contract was signed. It’s quite possible that Moore bared his soul to you, that he took full responsibility for the disastrous product he put on display this season. It’s possible that he admitted to you that he hasn’t put enough emphasis on statistical analysis, that he underestimated the importance of plate discipline, that he made a mistake in putting together an expensive bullpen full of hard throwers who don’t actually get anyone out. I can only hope he said those things to you, because he certainly won’t say those things to us. It’s not reassuring at all that in his most recent interview, he once again repeats the canard that “I know things would have been drastically different if we would have stayed healthy.” Unless Coco Crisp is the most valuable player in the history of baseball, this is simply untrue.

It’s telling that, on the day the contract extension was announced, we saw the very best and the very worst of the Dayton Moore administration on display. At the major league level, the Royals lost a howler to the A’s, 8-5, in a game which featured two of the dumbest moments by a Royals player in a decade full of them. Three years after he was hired, the major league team Moore has assembled is not just as bad as any roster Allard Baird assembled, it’s also just as embarrassing.

But that night, in Wilmington, 20-year-old southpaw Mike Montgomery, the Royals’ supplemental first-round pick last season, faced 22 hitters, only one of whom reached base safely, and 12 of whom struck out. It was the finest outing in the pro career of arguably the Royals’ #1 prospect. As promising as Montgomery is, he’s unlikely to make any kind of impact at the major league level until 2011, if not later. Moore has been committed to building the franchise with high school talent, preferring to take the long road to the top. Your decision to let Moore finish what he started, to at least see the fruits of his farm system fully ripen before making a final decision on him, is laudable.

Or at least, it’s laudable so long as you don’t wait until 2014 to make that final decision. If the Royals haven’t made substantial improvement at the major league level within two years – and by “substantial improvement” I mean at least a .500 team – then it won’t matter if Moore’s contract extends to 3014, he needs to go. Sticking with a failing GM out of a false sense of loyalty is nearly as bad as not providing your GM with adequate support from the start.

If you don’t believe me, just look across the Truman Sports Complex, where Lamar Hunt stayed loyal to Jack Steadman even as the Chiefs had just two winning seasons from 1974 to 1988. When Hunt finally let Steadman go and hired Carl Peterson to run his franchise, the team’s fortunes turned around immediately. The Chiefs would make the playoffs seven times in eight seasons from 1990 to 1997, but after 1997 the talent dried up, and after treading .500 for the next nine years the Chiefs cratered in 2007 – but Hunt stuck with Peterson up until the day he passed away, and while his son Clark finally brought in a new GM to clean house, the mess Peterson left behind may take years to clean up.

Sam Mellinger points out that by granting Moore this extension, you have made it clear that this is Moore’s show to run – either into the playoffs or into the ground – and that the results going forward are entirely on your GM. I agree, to a point. If the Royals continue to flail and Moore gets canned in 2011, then you can argue persuasively that you gave Moore every opportunity, and every resource, to get the job done. But if the Royals continue to flail and Moore still gets to keep his job for the next five years, then you must share in the blame for failing to hold your GM to the standard of excellence that you profess to have.

I guess what it boils down to is this: I’m fine with Dayton Moore getting a four-year contract extension…as long as it’s really a one-year extension with three option years. The money is guaranteed either way, but let’s be honest: you could fire Moore tomorrow and you’d only be out about $5 million, or about what you’re paying Farnsworth this year alone.

And that’s the point: the financial commitment to Moore is less important than the commitment you’ve made to let Moore spend far more of your money on other personnel. As long as you understand that the contract only obligates you to pay Moore through 2014, and not actually to employ him, then the downside is limited.

Like so many other Royals moves, if handled correctly this transaction has the potential to be a shrewd gamble, and if handled incorrectly this transaction could be an enormous albatross on the organization. Given the team’s history, sad to say, I know which one I’m betting on. But I also know which one I’m hoping for. For a Royals fan, hope always trumps reason. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t be Royals fans.

Thanks for reading,

Rany Jazayerli.


firedayton said...

Nice piece. I've always wanted to know what went on behind the scenes during the Allard Baird era. I hope you or Poz write a book about this someday.

Clint said...

Here's my letter to David Glass.

F U.

I hate you. Spend ALL of the money you get from MLB, otherwise, you're a penny-pinching greedy S.O.B.

Thanks for nothing.


Ryan said...

Like you, Rany, I wouldn't mind giving Moore time to see how his picks develop. But as you stated, his complete disavowal of responsibility for bringing in players like Jacobs and Farnsworth drives me batty. The only thing I can trick myself into believing is that he doesn't want to bad mouth players still on the roster even if he feels differently behind closed doors. I mean he repeats the exact same thing about injuries and not playing up to a potential that was never there to begin with that he's just repeating talking points like a politician.

Anonymous said...

totally agree with the first poster...I really want to know what all went on during the Baird era. there are lots of jokes and things mentioned on the radio, but they always stop short of saying it completely. I think we have a right to know how deeply the ineptness of this franchise runs.

Old Man Duggan said...

I'm on board with you insofar as the new Glass ownership tactics being exactly what they need to be.

If only I had any confidence in Moore...

David said...

How about some comments on the minor league trade yesterday netting Pina and Smith?

Anonymous said...

i was suprised to see they traded gutierrez, but i guess desperation for a catcher can do that do you. i have no idea if this will end up being a good deal for us or not, but besides being small-ish and injured this year, what i remember about gutierrez is people raving about his great curveball. maybe this is more "housecleaning" as with cortes... the report i read said gutierrez was not "getting along" with the organization, perhaps with regard to his injury and rehab? here's hoping it works out in the end.

Tim said...

I'm as angry as anyone about Dayton's moves this year, but letting him go into the offseason and draft as a lame duck leaves him with zero leverage. Who's going to sign with a guy who's about to be canned, so they can stick around for the fire sale? I'm also confused by his public comments, but I think he refuses to badmouth guys like Jacobs and Farnsworth because he has enough trouble convincing players to come here (Orlando Hudson, Rafael Furcal, Torii Hunter) without angering the entire fraternity.

Anonymous said...

Gawd, do you ever stop. There are numerous reasons why Glass should have extended him and I am not surprised why you are too stupid to see why. Jason Stark, Olney and Gammons all said he should have been extended. The Jacobs, Farnsworth and Guillen deals were only temporary attempts at bandaids to give his draft picks time to develop. There is nothing worse than an idiot who thinks he can manage a mlb team.

RyanP said...

Good piece. Amazing that you wrote all than without mentioning the name "Yuniesky".

Anonymous said...

This piece is a real thoughtful response to the unthinking fans who have continued their hatred of David Glass' ownership.

He has apparently learned from his mistakes with Allard - Let's hope DM surprises us with his ability to learn and adjust to his myriad missteps.

wachsKY said...

i've never read your column, but i clicked on a link today and struck gold. well said.

fast eddie said...

Rany, did you print your post and stick it in an envelope, stamp it, and address it to Mr. Glass? If you don't know his home address, I do, just email me.

Now Hillman has been retained and DM blames the players (and of course the injuries) for the bad season. Yeah, but who brought in these players? WE knew these were bad moves when they were made.

JPM said...

Wow! That was long. I stopped after the third paragraph and scrolled to see how much longer it was. Tolstoy would be envious.

leawoodcat said...

What JPM said. Less is more.

Anonymous said...

I'd hate to be in Dayton Moore's position. He has been trying to rebuild a team practically devoid of a foundation. That takes time. But no one... and I mean no one... is patient enough to allow him the time it would take to complete the job.

People think they understand how bad the Royals system was. But they don't. If the Royals Major League team were a house, its foundation would be settling, cracked and leaking water like a sieve.

Until the foundation has been fixed, the Major League team will continue to be the laughing stock of the league. And fixing that foundation will take time. More time than any of the fans or media will be willing to provide. That's the only promise anyone can make about this team.

JWalker said...

Rany, please tell me you actually sent this to Glass. If you haven't, you should.

A few other things:

@ Anonymous 9:35 AM
How are you any different than the idiots you speak of? You're basically saying you know how to be a GM by thinking you have any weight in validating DM. In other words, your're saying "Nananananana I'm right and you're wrong, stupid face!" OMG, the all-powerful Peter Gammons says Dayton is good at his job! Stop the presses! Give me a break.

@ the people complaining about the length:
This blog is FREE, don't read it if you don't want to. If you think you can do better, write your own.

There, I feel better now.

P.S. How about Wil Myers? He's killin' it! Yeah yeah small sample size, I know, but at least for once we aren't using that argument in a prospects favor.

Roy in Omaha said...

Rany, I believe that you are giving these guys WAY to much credit. Nobody that sounds as dumb as Dayton Moore does in public, and, is by his actions, is behind the scenes some sort of genius. You're fooling yourself. And, it follows that the guy who hires him and allows THIS product to be put on the field can't be very bright, either, whatever he has made of Wal-Mart not withstanding since there is a big difference between owning/running Wal-Mart and a major league baseball team. Unless Dayton Moore has some sort of epiphany about running a Major League baseball team he has totally lost my confidence (so has Trey Hillman, I might add) and I'm not going near that park again until they are gone or I proven wrong and have to slink away in shame with my tail between my legs. And, I wouldn't give you a plug nickel for the chances of that happening. These guys are doofus's!!! Nothing, NOTHING is going on within this organization that gives me any hope that things are going to change, or, are fundamentally changing for the better. I have been a fan since day one and I know from past experience what this is supposed to look like when it's being done right and this ain't it! Our recent draftees look like stiffs to me, by and large, despite all the enthusiasm for these players and the farm system being the saving grace and that the "process" takes time. Sorry, I just don't share your perceived vision(s) of the situation. I don't see "it" happening. Perhaps it's because I own and run my own business with a large number of employees, I would just never allow this kind of performance to be going on on my watch, and can't understand how any other owner of a business of any kind could or would, either. Bottom line is that this team has been a laughingstock since it's current ownership took over and I doubt this will change much any time soon since the person with "The Buck Stops Here" sign on his desk is a big part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

As a reader of your blog for several years I must say that pieces like one this justify the time I've spent with you.
I only hope that you will follow it up with your thoughts on Moore's first public pronouncement since receiving his 4 year "vote of condidence"; i.e., assuring us that we'll be stuck with another year of Hillman's ineptitude.
I'm fed up with the injuries excuses, etc. for this years debacacle; fed up with the miserable defensive play (wasn't that supposed to be one of Hillman's points of emphasis in spring training?)and players simply not having their heads in the game when there being paid well to do that for a few hours a day for less than half a year. That's simply bad coaching and managing and to endorse, let alone continue, it is intolerable.

Anonymous said...

fire all media including RANNY WHO IS PROBABLY THE WIFE OF TRUE ROYALS FAN. the people that write about this team are frontrunners anyway

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous above me:

Are you illiterate?

Anonymous said...

>Thanks for reading,

You don't really think Glass would ever read that, do you?

Kansas City said...

Great analysis of what seemed like an inexplicable move. What I'm afraid of is that DM really is not smart. I have not heard him much on the radio (I have heard enought from Hillman to conclude he is nor real bright), but if Moore is not smart, then we are cooked, and he seemed stupid again the Yuni trade.

I think Rany wrote it for his readers, not really for David Glass.

I'm a fan of Glass (primarily because without him the Royals would no longer be in Kansas City), but I think owners generally are overrated in terms of their influence on a team's performance(unless they have big financial resources and use it to cover the mistakes of their GM's).

The most interesting part of the letter was that, FINALLY, someone said what Glass allegedly did during the Baird reign.

I say allegedly because the source almost certainly is Baird, or someone positive about Baird, with the purpose of making Baird look better.

I'm not sure that drafting seniors and offering them $1,000 (I think it was actually $5,000) is such a bad idea. How many late round draft picks make it? And, I think Avilles fell in this category.

As to the alleged trades, who would we have received for Sweeney?

And I always thought the 36 hours to trade Dye sounded fishy. Even if true, it was Baird's job to either find a good deal or go back to Glass and say he needed more time. I remember Baird raving about Nefi when he got him, as filling the need for a SS with Sanchez leaving and the Royals intent to compete for the division title the next year.

Dye for Wells sounds like a trade that should have been made - if Baird is telling the truth.

Carl Willingham said...

Nice post Rany. I'm not just apathetic about the Royals, and think alot of fans are in the same boat. Having Hillman and Moore constantly talk down to the fans realy gets old. Also, quit qualifying your criticism of Moore by saying you know he is "not a dumb man". My mother told me a long time ago that all the words in the world never make up for your actions. And Moore's just like every baseball upper management snob, he's in the fraternity and only those in the business know the right way to do things. Until the Roysls hire someone who is not a career baseball man and think outside the box they are doomed to fail. BTW, be sure to read the star article in which Moore throws Billy Butler under the bus, what a sorry excuse for a leader. Take your flat top and "brilliant baseball mind" and go back to Wichita or Atlanta or wherever you rode in from on your high horse. And take Hillman and Betancourt and Jacobs and Guillen with you.

Kansas City said...

Is Moore dumb?

I usually have tolerance for public people who have to answer questions and have their words published in the paper or played on TV/radio.

However, Moore's criticism of Butler for not making 3-6-3 doubleplays is stupidity. Out of all the guys on this team, how could he possibly single out Butler?

Anonymous said...

nice game, zack (sincere). nice job, rest-of-team (sarcasm).

the ghost of andy sonnanstine's future said...

you lose credibility when you say don't think Moore is dumb. Seattle was a disaster just a year ago, with no farm system, and now their new management has completely turned around the franchise, thanks in small part to dayton moore. They'll be contending for the West last year while the Royals finish 12th or worse in offense again.

The competition among GMs in the AL is extremely fierce, what GM in the American League is worse than Dayton Moore? I don't see how you can defend the man or his contract when I think its impossible to even name a peer to whom he is equal.

Anonymous said...

You should have writtent this to Dan Glass. I am pretty sure David barely even checks the Royals box scores in the paper each morning.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to figure out exactly what talent Josh Anderson has.

Bozo Sapien said...

Rany...I've been following you for a while, maybe too long, since you're a dentist and all. But maybe it's because I'm retarded myself. And because a disproportionate part of my brain is reserved for figuring out what the fuck is wrong with the Royals. And reason. And understanding after that. And ultimately human civilization, by extension. That soon as I take the time to figure out how to do it right, I'm gonna start my own blog. I hope you'll follow, now and then, if for no other reason than that the sabermatrician loyalists in Kansas City should inherit some kind of worthy opposition. Because the problem with sabermatricians is that they're myopic. They're so consumed by the latest acronyms that they can't hearken to the past, no matter how impossible the statistics are to quantify. Hence, more often than not, arguments tend to be one sided, supported by one piece of math after another, blind as a bat, in nepotistic certainty, without ever having to dispute the contrary, or equally likely alternatives. The unholy alliance of Sunday morning quarterbacks in Kansas City is scarcely perceptible to the day-to-day blog-junkies, since protectionist disclaimers are subtly interjected with actual predictions, whereas true accountability and far reaching retrospects are few and far between. No one seems to mention Jorge de la Rosa this year. Granted, I'm not as well-read as I should be, but I'm a fucking diplomat, with bigger concerns and, given my time, I can't scour the blogs as I used to. That said, I'm feeling particularly sleepless tonight, so that's how it goes. Here's the deal, he has more wins than Grienke and a better ERA than Meche. In crazy altitude, mind you. Is it even fathomable to say that he can't be our number 3, 4 or 5? Or that Ramirez or Crisp were better worth it? That Bannister, the boner of Math Town, mayor of the men of numbers, hero to those who praised a consciousness based in numbers, but who descried actual stuff, real ability, as a thing beyond control, was our saving grace? Bannister will never be better than he was in 2007. Every year, he starts off strong, three or four quality starts, until hitters adapt to him faster than he can confuse their bats. Living things can be never quantified by statistics, much less by one as indefinite as BABIP. Numbers will always be indefinite, since even the best mathematicians can't even decide where they even begin. The human experience, and baseball too, is outside that realm of analysis. There is no impossibility of the field, it's part of the elegance of the diamond, the pastoral ease with which one understands and is confused by the game at the same time. Give some credibility to the variables of it all. A life beyond the calculator exists. I promise you.

Anonymous said...


Given your username and the nature of your post, I assume this was a joke. If not, congrats on being the most pedantic retard I've ever come across.

Bret said...

It's always a little surprising when I come here after Poz's blog, because your writing is every bit as good but the comment quality is not. There are, of course, many thoughtful and interesting posters here, but the rash of idiotic (and usually anonymous) comments keep taking me by surprise. I am not a Royals fan, and live nowhere near KC, but I love reading your blog - if there is one thing that Royals fans can be proud of right now (besides Greinke, I mean - and Soria and Butler) it's that they have at least two excellent, thoughtful, deeply caring authors who write regularly about the Royals and know a staggering amount about the team and the organization. You both have such an obvious love for the team that anyone who ever claims different is just not paying attention. Please keep writing, and I do hope for the sake of the fans that Moore makes the most of this puzzling extension and starts to turn this thing around. I can't imagine how painful it must be to be a Royals fan these days.

Fast Eddie said...

Chat with DM today at 3. That ought to be interesting. Bet he never does it again.

He probably will get mad and trade Billy Butler for Willy Taveras, to solve the hole in center field.

Jeff said...

Contract the Royals now!

Anonymous said...

for the first time in months, the royals actually have a couple guys on the BA prospect hot list:

be sure to read all the way to the bottom for a little blast from the past.

Anonymous said...

does anybody besides me find it ludicrous to read Rany criticizing an owner for "meddling" with his own team. my money, my energy, my work, my life. think I'll meddle with my team now. might my meddling possibly give worse results than a. baird or gmdm? does Rany J. "meddle" in his skin practice? I hope not.

Anonymous said...

no more ludicrous than people claiming david glass not living in kansas city somehow makes the team worse. i think the last thing the club needs is david glass being involved in day-to-day operations and baseball decisions.

Charles Winters said...

I was thinking about your idea that there are signature performances that pitchers have that are of such a stature that one game can tell you this is an amazing pitcher (15 strikeouts I think was one).

I am wondering if there is anything like that for a hitter. Probably not on a single game level since there are at most 7 plate appearances and at that level strange things can happen... didn't Stennett get 7 hits in a game? Who's he, right? But since a pitcher has what, about 25-35BFP in a typical game, maybe a hitter would have a week or so to have a similar performance that only the truly great could do in a week...

Billy Butler in the last 7 games has gone 13/26, .500/.548/.962/1.510.... now I don't know that this would reach such a level where you knew the guy was a stud, but NO ONE has seasons like that (well, ok Barry in top juiced form was close). But does a David deJesus ever have a week like that? Does a Yuniesky Betancourt? At what point over a week or say, 10 days... say 30PA's or so does a line make you say - that's signature of greatness?

Fast Eddie said...

Why does Hillman keep fooling around with Yabuta and Colon? And now Colon is the set-up man??? I've never seen anything like this in following baseball for 40 years. At least try using the September call-ups.

Anonymous said...

I like your idea but it seems that really hot spurts can be done by mediocre players, just look at the inflated stats in the first month or two of any season. Case in point: that Detroit player that had a monster start a few years back, I think his name was Chris Shelton (?). I don't think he's even playing anymore.


Charles Winters said...

Yeah, it's true that hot weeks/months can happen for anyone, but.... there probably comes a point where that's not true.

I remember Miguel Dilone having a hot start one year and everyone commenting that he was good. Heck, Willie Bloomquist had a good couple of months - and now he's had his normal season.

But - the point where that is not true may be where a performance is really extreme. To take it on a team level the Royals started 18-11 whioh is good but NOT definitive and then went 5-23 or something which is bad and definitively so. 18-11 not distinctive, 5-23 distinctive.

In players it maybe that a line for a week of .444/.555/.777 is not distinctive (and I'm pretty sure it is not distinctive in 27 AB or something, but maybe a line of .500/.600/1.000 is? Or maybe that is, but only if sustained over 40 or 50 PA's?

You could throw a graph and see the curve of "distinctiveness" as it relates to PA's.... At say 10 PA's pretty much nothing would be distinctive, at 20 very few things would but maybe a streak where someone slugs 1.500 over that time might be, at 30 more things would be, at 50 even more and on to where at 1000 we have even a line of .300/.400/.600 is considered a mark of a great player....

I'm just wondering what would the distinctiveness line be for say 35PA's (Butler's September line in 35PA's .484/.528/.871 is wonderful, true - and not something we expect to continue, but what are the odds that this would be put up by a player whose true performance level is .300/.400/.600?, what are the odds that this could be put up in any 35PA's by a player whose true level is more like .270/.330/.420???)

Anyway, that's the heart of it... as I ramble!

Anonymous said...

"Why does Hillman keep fooling around with Yabuta and Colon? And now Colon is the set-up man???"

I don't think it's Hillman who's calling up players. What other options on the MLB roster does he have? Farnsy = Suck, Cruz = suck and hurt, Tejada = spot starting, and I could go on and on.

Am I the only one who has wondered since spring training why Tejada isn't a starter?

JD in Grain Valley

Anonymous said...

If Greinke doesn't win the Cy Young Award, he can certainly thank his teammates. He has 6 starts where he gave up 1 run or less and didn't get the win.

Brent said...

You’re done, and I'm disappointed. I understand your frustrations. I have been a loyal Royals fan for my entire life. I was just old enough to know that the Royals won it all in 1985, I was 7. My greatest sports hero was George Brett, and/or Frank White depending on my mood that day. In the 90’s I lost touch with the Royals. The Chiefs were the toast of the town, and the Royals only hovered around or below .500. Then a couple of years ago, on a whim I started watching the Royals again as their games became more readily available in my area. I started finding long suffering fans on the internet via blogs, and I started reading the KC Star. The best blog I found was Rob and Rany on the Royals. I was flabbergasted that there were hardcore Royals fans out there; Hardcore Royals fans that didn’t live in the KC area; Hardcore Royals fans in the national media. Then Rob left, but that was okay, because Rany was the half of Rob and Rany that I identified with. Now over the course of this season you have been beaten down, and you have relented the way Rob did. So now the voice of optimism is gone from the Royals blogosphere, and I am not blaming you for burning out. I am just disappointed.

gsmith601 said...

Come on back Rany! Please let us know what you think Robinson will do next year if given a shot in the rotation???

gsmith601 said...

I agree with Brent, I could take losing Rob because I also identified with Rany.

Anonymous said...

Fire Dayton Moore.

Hire Matt Millen.

Go, Royals, go!


Anonymous said...

dear Rany (and readers)
if you think your team is bush...
here's something else to think about
blogger won a prize that was announced on the screen to 30000 people, when he went to claim it found out it was fixed. turns out this is pretty common practice.

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