Sunday, May 30, 2010

In Defense Of Dayton.

The genesis of this story began nearly three months ago, when I read this fine column by Tim Marchman at SI.com. Marchman is a fantastic writer, one of the best of the new breed of baseball writers (I loosely define “new breed” as “anyone younger than me”) who combine traditional command of the English language with an understanding of statistical analysis that comes with growing up in a post-Jamesian era.

(Speaking of Bill James, for those of you who missed it, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing him on my radio show last Thursday for nearly half an hour. You can check out the podcast here, under “Additional Programming” at the bottom.)

I will admit to a visceral thrill when I came to Marchman’s conclusion, that Dayton Moore ranked dead last among the game’s 30 general managers. It felt good to see Moore bring up the rear of an objective analysis of GMs published in a national news source.

But after the thrill wore off, I had to admit that something didn’t sit right with me. I looked at that list again, and there at #29, one slot above Dayton Moore, was Astros’ GM Ed Wade.

This is the same Ed Wade who never met a middle reliever he didn’t like or wouldn’t overpay for, a fetish most eloquently expressed by the time he once traded Placido Polanco straight up for Ugueth Urbina. (Polanco, mind you, was the only player of any worth that Wade got for trading Scott Rolen (who was just 27 at the time) to the Cardinals.) The same Ed Wade who, despite being handed players like Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard by his farm system, couldn’t make the playoffs once in his eight years with the Phillies before he was fired after the 2005 season.

And the same Ed Wade who was hired by the Astros at the end of the 2007 season, and for the last two-and-a-half seasons has been either unwilling or unable to convince ownership that a once-proud Astros franchise needs to be completely torn apart and rebuilt, with the result that the Astros right now have the worst record in the National League and one of the shallowest farm systems in baseball.

Moore probably cinched his place at the bottom of the list this off-season when he signed Jason Kendall to a two-year contract for more guaranteed money than his two incumbent catchers, Miguel Olivo and John Buck, combined to receive. The Kendall signing was widely regarded as the second-worst free-agent contract handed out this off-season. The worst? Wade’s inexplicable decision to guarantee Brandon Lyon a 3-year, $15 million contract.

Yet somehow, Moore was ranked behind Wade. I don’t think Marchman’s opinion was in the minority, either – most baseball analysts I know would likely have ranked them in that order prior to the season.

It was at that point that I began to wonder if maybe the perception of Dayton Moore had crossed a tipping point, and that precisely because so many baseball analysts cover the Royals, and because the mistakes he has made have been so well-publicized, Moore was getting a raw deal. I mean, it’s not just Ed Wade who in my estimation is a worse GM than Moore.

Looking at the other names at the bottom of the list, Brian Sabean (#28) drives me completely nuts as a baseball writer, and the fact that Tim Lincecum fell into his lap with the 10th pick in the draft a few days ago does not make up for the horrible decisions he’s made. Moore signed Jose Guillen? Sabean will cover, and raise with Barry Zito. Don’t like the way the Royals have handled Kila Ka’aihue? The Giants brought Buster Posey up in September last season and gave him all of 17 at-bats, then re-signed Bengie Molina so they could send Posey back to Triple-A another year. Posey was finally, grudgingly called up yesterday, and so far is 6-for-9.

Ned Colletti (#27)? The smartest thing Colletti seems to have done as GM of the Dodgers is to take credit for all the great players scouting director Logan White has given him – that is, when he’s not trading them for marginal veterans. Dayton Moore in his entire career has never done anything as stupid as trading Carlos Santana for two months of Casey Blake’s career.

Omar Minaya (#26)? Do I even have to make a case? One thing you can’t deny about Moore – he has made the Royals a much more professional organization. The Mets are a circus. I’d say more, but I’m afraid Tony Bernazard might take off his shirt and challenge me to a fight.

Granted, if you go up the list from there, the case for Moore becomes harder and harder to make. I’m comfortable ranking Moore no lower than #26, then, but that’s hardly cause for celebration. Still, I try to be as fair as possible when critiquing the Royals, and I think that the argument that Moore is the worst GM in the game is completely unsupported by the evidence.

If that were the end of my argument – Moore’s not the worst GM in baseball, he’s only the fifth-worst GM! – this would be a rather pointless article. But it’s not. Moore may rank only #26 at the moment, but I strongly feel that it is simply too soon to properly rank him. And I feel that his upside on this list is considerably more than his downside.

What finally spurred me to write this article is the recent attention given to Moore’s statement about how long it takes to rebuild a franchise. Here’s the story:

On the day after changing managers, Moore ignited a minor cloud burst in a comment on the Royals’ flagship radio station in Kansas City that was “an 8-to-10 process to get an organization turned around and on the winning track.”

Apparently, listeners grumbled that it seemed like a long time to wait. Moore's rejoinder to them and the media: Do your research.

“Look what Colorado did, look what Minnesota did, look what the New York Yankees did,” Moore said. “It took the Yankees seven years. They committed to it in ‘89, and finally in ‘96 they won with homegrown guys. I’m not talking about getting to .500, I'm talking about winning the World Series when I say eight to 10 years.

“To get your team in the playoffs, that’s how long it takes. Terry Ryan and the Minnesota Twins had a well-built farm system, and they started in ‘94 when Terry took over, and for seven straight years they had 87 to 97 losses. In year eight, they were above .500, and in year nine they were in the playoffs. That’s all I said. It just amazes me that guys don't do their own research.”

In a city where Carl Peterson’s five-year plan became famous, I can understand why Dayton Moore’s comments about an eight-to-ten-year process might became infamous, something they are well on their way to doing.

Having said that, I’m going to do something I don’t do very often: I’m going to cut Moore some slack.

For one thing, what Moore said is technically accurate, if perhaps phrased awkwardly. I’m not prepared to comment on whether the Yankees or Twins needed seven years to truly rebuild their organizations without doing a ton of research. (Don’t put it past me at some point.) But think of it this way: if a new GM focuses on drafting high school talent – which Moore generally does – then he’s generally drafting guys who are 18 years old. Players typically peak between the ages of 26 and 28. That’s eight-to-ten years after they were drafted.

So yes, in a strictly technical sense what Moore is trying to accomplish will take eight to ten years to reach full maturity. That doesn’t mean it will take eight to ten years to be able to adequately judge his performance as a GM, mind you. But it’s true that if Moore was hired with the express purpose of rebuilding the Royals’ organization – not just the major league team, but the pipeline of talent which extends from the draft and the Dominican to the majors – that’s a process that simply can’t be done in three or four or even six years.

Moore was hired four years ago today, and in terms of major league performance, the Royals’ improvement can only be measured with calipers and a micrometer. The Royals went 118-156 (.431) from the day Moore was hired through the end of the 2007 season. From Opening Day 2008 until today, they are 161-214 (.429). This is not progress. This is why Royals’ fans have a legitimate beef with Moore: THE TEAM IS NOT GETTING BETTER.

Meanwhile, in Seattle Jack Zduriencik is hired as the GM after the 2008 season, and in the span of one winter improves his team so dramatically that the Mariners, losers of 101 games in 2008, improved by 24 wins to an 85-77 record in 2009.

What Jack Z did with the Mariners last year, immediately upgrading his team by pruning the dead weight and making shrewd trades for players like Franklin Gutierrez, we’ll call the “Seattle Way”. Moore has shown no ability to build a team the Seattle Way. But just because he has been a complete failure at the Seattle Way, it does not necessarily follow that he will be a failure at building a team the Minnesota Way, or what I prefer to call the Tampa Bay Way.

Tampa Bay has the best record in baseball at 34-17, and virtually their entire roster consists of players who were either drafted by the team, or who were traded for before they had established themselves in the majors. Their only contributors who were signed as free agents were Carlos Pena (who was nearly 29 and had passed through four other organizations before the Rays signed him); the recently-released Pat Burrell; and bullpen reclamation sensation Joaquin Benoit. Four of their five starters and six of their nine hitters most days have never played for another major-league team.

But here’s the thing about the Rays – they had to suck for a long time to get to where they are now. They had to suck for a long time because their previous GM, Chuck LaMar, was only adequate at drafting talent and was a disaster at every other component of his job, which is why he was fired by new ownership after the 2005 season – after eight seasons on the job. The Rays drafted a fair amount of talent under his tenure, though nothing impressive given their perennially-high draft positions: Aubrey Huff in the 5th round in 1998, Carl Crawford in the 2nd round in 1999, James Shields in the 16th round in 2000, B.J. Upton with the #2 pick in 2002. In 2004 the Rays’ first three picks were Jeff Niemann, Reid Brignac, and Wade Davis. And he made arguably the most lopsided trade of the decade when he turned Victor Zambrano into Scott Kazmir.

But it took a new GM in Andrew Friedman to shape that talent into a winning team. He did that in part by trading some of the talent that Lamar left him in a stunning series of shrewd moves: Huff for a minor-leaguer named Ben Zobrist; Seth McClung for Grant Balfour; and the celebrated trade of former #1 overall pick Delmon Young, along with Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie, to Minnesota in exchange for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett. (And yes, Royals fans, he also traded Joey Gathright for J.P. Howell.)

And then Friedman also struck gold in his first few drafts. His very first draft pick was Evan Longoria, taken with the #3 overall pick in 2006; in 2007, with the first pick in the draft, the Rays selected David Price.

My point – which I think I’m doing a poor job of conveying here – is that the Rays didn’t go from being the laughingstock of baseball to a World Series appearance overnight, even though a glance at their win-loss records would have you think exactly that. The Rays were building towards their 2008 AL pennant for a decade, in fits and starts. There were more fits than starts under LaMar, which is why he was fired, but he left at least the framework for the player development machine that Friedman and friends perfected. Today, the Rays don’t just have the best record in baseball. More importantly, in my estimation they have wrested from the Minnesota Twins the title once proudly claimed by the Royals 30 years ago: the title of Baseball’s Model Franchise.

The Tampa Bay Way, by its very nature, takes much, much longer to see to fruition than the Seattle Way. It is a much more ambitious goal. But if a GM of a small-market team has to commit to only one path, the choice is clear. The Tampa Bay Way is the road less-travelled. That is the path Dayton Moore is on, and while I have no idea if he’ll get there, I can’t overstate how happy I am with his choice. The Seattle Way got us the 2003 season. I’m looking for something a little more substantial and long-lasting than that.

After all, while the Mariners went 85-77 last season, as I write this they have a worse record (19-30) in 2010 than the Royals (21-30) do. They have a worse record despite a payroll that is $26 million higher than the Royals’. And most importantly of all, they have a farm system in much worse shape than the Royals do.

None of this is to disparage the job done by Zduriencik, who has been on the job barely 18 months. But that’s just the point: rebuilding an organization for the long haul takes time. And at this moment in time, if the Royals and Mariners had the opportunity to swap all the talent in their organization – every player, in the majors and in the minors, with their existing contract situation – only one GM would jump at that chance. And it wouldn’t be Dayton Moore.

The rebuttal to this is that while it’s great that Moore is going the Tampa Bay route and trying to build a team through his farm system, there’s no law that precludes him from doing both – there’s no reason why he can’t do what Zduriencik has done while waiting for his draft picks to finish cooking. And this is absolutely true. Moore’s attempt at stopgap measures has led to a whole lot of Jose Guillens and Jason Kendalls and even Horacio Ramirezes.

My point is simply that we can not define Moore’s tenure solely by his free agent mistakes. His trading record is actually better than you might think; while he has given up Howell, Leo Nunez, and Ramon Ramirez for almost nothing, those three trades combined are neutralized by swapping Billy Buckner for Alberto Callaspo. Kyle Davies is maddening, but he sure beats having Octavio Dotel for another eight innings. Toss in the Ambiorix Burgos-for-Brian Bannister trade, and I’d argue that Moore’s trading ledger, on the whole, is in the black. The Yuniesky Betancourt trade drives me nuts as much for what it represents as for what it did to the team, but while the trade cost the Royals plenty in money and opportunity, with Dan Cortes struggling to a 4.82 ERA in Double-A this year, it may not have cost them much in the way of prospects.

So I’m going to take the somewhat unpopular stance of defending Dayton Moore, and arguing that he deserves to keep his job at least through the end of next season. Four years after he was hired, the major league team may not have improved one bit – but the minor league system has improved dramatically. The last two months, in particular, have been the most exciting two months I’ve ever had covering the Royals’ farm system.

Moore strikes me as the general managerial equivalent of one of the tools-laden prospects he is so enamored with drafting: he has one top-of-the-line tool in his ability to evaluate amateur talent and build a farm system, but a couple of gaping weaknesses in the guise of an outdated understanding of the mechanics of building an offense, and a fetish for veteran dependability over actual talent.

So here are the unanswerable questions: will he be able to convert those tools into skills, and will he be able to minimize the holes in his game over time? In other words, is he the GM equivalent of Derrick Robinson, or of Yuniesky Betancourt? With prospects, the biggest determinant of their ability to improve is their age, but there’s no substitute for an aptitude to learn. The same with general managers. Moore is still young enough in GM years to improve, but first he has to show a willingness to do so. He's done a much better job at developing prospects than LaMar did at the same stage in his tenure. But if he doesn't show an ability to learn from his mistakes, then he'll meet the same fate.

So here’s the deal I’ll cut with Moore: I’ll continue to defend him as a GM despite the millions he’s spent on useless free agents, and despite his panic trade for Betancourt, and despite – the worst move of his career, even if he was not directly responsible – letting his manager ruin the arm of his second-best (and most-expensive) pitcher in Gil Meche. I’ll continue to make the point that all the free agent signings and trades are just window dressing for his real job, which is to draft and develop players better than his peers, get those players to the majors, and start to kick ass.

But in return Moore has to promise me this: if you want to tell us fans to “trust the process”, then dammit, you need to TRUST THE PROCESS. David Glass didn’t hire you to slap a $3 million-a-year band-aid named Jason Kendall behind the plate and call it progress. He hired you to develop more home-grown talent than anyone else, and then put that talent on the field.

The talent you’ve drafted since you were hired has not arrived yet, and that’s completely understandable. We knew when Mike Moustakas was drafted in 2007 that it would take at least three years before he would be ready. It’s been almost three years, and he’s almost ready.

But where Moore has deviated the most from The Process of building from within is that he doesn’t seem willing to win with talent drafted by the Royals – only with talent acquired by him. Players he inherited from Allard Baird might as well have been wearing Indians uniforms. I’m not talking about the blue-chip first-rounders like Zack Greinke and Billy Butler, although Alex Gordon certainly has been handled poorly. But if you’re a second-tier holdover from the Baird years – good luck.

Leo Nunez was one of Baird’s shrewdest acquistions – pilfered from the Pirates for the last six games of Benito Santiago’s career. He was traded to the Marlins to get Mike Jacobs. Kila Ka’aihue is now enjoying his third year in Omaha. Mike Aviles needed a historic performance by Tony Pena Jr. to get a chance to play – and after hitting .325 as a rookie, underwent Tommy John surgery and came back only to find his job taken by Betancourt. John Buck hit a quietly impressive .247/.299/.487 last season, but was let go because the Royals wanted to give the job to Kendall. Buck signed with the Blue Jays for less money than Kendall got, and is hitting .267/.315/.533 so far.

Maybe it’s just coincidence that almost every young player that wasn’t acquired by Moore has had to play twice as well to get an opportunity. It’s rapidly becoming a moot point, because if and when Ka’aihue gets a chance to play, with Carlos Rosa exiled to Arizona the only legitimate prospect I can think of that predates Moore in the organization is Jeff Bianchi.

What Moore needs to realize is that Royals fans aren’t stupid, and we’re not nearly as impatient as he thinks. We understand that young players are going to take their lumps, and some of them might even be busts, but it’s worth playing them anyway because it’s the only chance we've got to win. Moore thinks Royals fans want to watch Rick Ankiel because he’s a big name, when the reality is that we’d much rather watch Mitch Maier – incidentally, a Baird signing – who if nothing else is cheap, has a very patient approach at the plate, and gives 100% effort all the time. We’d like Maier even if he wasn’t hitting .272/.357/.376, but since he is, we love him, and we’re all dreading the day that he has to go back to riding the pine because it’s time to show off your one-trick pony again.

The Royals may be 21-30 right now, but the saddest part of their record is who’ve they achieved it with. Just nine of the 25 players on the roster are home-grown: four hitters (Butler, DeJesus, Maier, Aviles) and five pitchers (Greinke, Hochevar, Soria, Dusty Hughes, Blake Wood). (I’m not counting Victor Marte, whose stay with the Royals is likely to be brief and unhelpful.) If you include players who were acquired very early in their major-league careers, you can add Callaspo and Bannister to make 11. That’s still too few.

In the same article I linked to above, Moore says, “Our goal by 2013, 2014 is to have the majority of our 25-man roster be homegrown players.” I’ll go further than that: there’s no reason why a majority of our 25-man roster can’t be homegrown players by next year. Dayton, you’re sitting on as much minor league talent as I’ve ever seen in the organization, and you deserve a tremendous amount of credit for it. (And I can’t wait to write about it in my next column.) But if you go out next winter and sign this year’s version of Scott Podsednik because you’re afraid Derrick Robinson isn’t ready or you don’t think a David Lough/Jordan Parraz platoon will work or you just think the Royals need another infusion of buzzwords like experience and veteran presence, I’m going to have an aneurysm.

You might be right, and it might take eight to ten years to build a perennial World Series contender. But we’re not asking you to build a contender. We’re just asking you to play the kids. Stop putting up roadblocks for your young players, Dayton, and Trust The Process. And then maybe we’ll trust you.

80 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice puff piece, Rany. Never thought I would see the day that you would lose your balls. Did Dayton pay you off? So now Dayton is doing a good job? Even though he still has not had a draft pick make the majors? Even though his top prospect is more than likely going to have Tommy John? Even though, today Willie Bloomquist started AGAIN?

You make me sick. It's the in thing to be on the Pro Dayton bandwagon becauseof 6 weeks of prospects doing well? Nevermind the top two are out indefinately......

Why don't you be man enough to revisit this "article" after the trade deadline when, once again, Dayton does not trade a single position player. What will your defense of Dayton be when Bloomquist, Guillen, Pods, and Kendall are starting meaningless games in September (again)?

If you are going to be another Dutton or Kaegal, and slob Daytons knob, then save us the trouble of reading this crap that you just wrote. I'm sure you don't care Mr Dermatologist, but you just lost a fan.

Nathan said...

A measured, intelligent analysis of Moore's tenure so far. Thanks, Rany.

Anonymous, if you're going to blame the GM for every Tommy John, or deny the improvement of what experts agree is now a fairly talented farm system, or condemn Moore ahead of time for this season's trade deadline, then you're the one wasting everyone's time with your screeds. Criticism is one thing, but your comment isn't in hailing distance of reasonable.

Anonymous said...

perhaps the management of the major league team is part of Dayton Moore's genius plan to build the system---after all, it is easier to build a farm system with one of the top 5 picks in every draft than it is the 15th. I think he is worried the kids might be too good.

Or maybe not....

I view the Royals as an outsider with a certain fascination--the major league team is such a train wreck and the moves so counter-productive, I sometimes feel like they are trying to lose--and yet, they seem to be acquiring talent in the farm system and spending money to do so.

Actually, I grew up in Colorado and am a Rockies fan and it reminds me a bit of the early days with Dan O'Dowd. It was never too clear that he knew what he was doing at the major league level (and to some extent what to do with his early draft picks), but you consistently saw progress in the farm system and he seems to be getting smarter and smarter. Now, I wouldn't claim O'Dowd's moves were ever as mind-boggling as Moore's, but there is some hope.

Good luck.

Greg said...

He doesn't write often, but when he does...

Nice job, thanks.

Tom said...

Anonymous

Rany doesn't need me to defend him, but you have completely missed the point, 3 times I might add...

Rany, once again, terrific work.

Tom

castlerook said...

If this piece had stopped about a third of the way through, it could serve as the quintessential example of "damning with faint praise."

Very, very insightful stuff Rany. I don't think I can quite support your conclusion (that Moore deserves to keep his job), because as you indicate, the farm system is already doing fine. Time for someone who knows what to do at the major league level too.

Jayboid said...

At 56 years of age I'm a person remembering baseball well in the 1960s, I lost interest after the strike of 94-95. Quit watching the series, playoffs, and sometimes turned the all star game off.

Must admit, you Rany have helped bring the sport back into my life.

I believe many were and possibly still are in the same position. My view of Major League Baseball was by only following the Royals. Better words, by “half ass” following them.

I can name the starting lineups from many 60s-70s teams, but was surprised while attending an early April game a few years ago. Estaben German was starting for my team. As the kids say nowadays, “Friken Estaben German???” Who, how, and why, never heard of the guy, yet there he was wearing clean uniform with his name on the back. My team the Royals. This was the low point. Rock bottom.

It was easy to give passes to the team if you listened to the propaganda. My Lord, the names going through the roster over the years. I bit like a hungry carp on the bait many times. Justin Huber H.O.F. Nowadays, I think Alex Gordon maybe a situational starter? In short articles like this help me greatly understand the total game much better.

A few years ago a buddy asked me, do the Royals have anybody who can throw a strike? I answered, No, No! they don't! they actually do not have anybody from AA to the majors who can throw a strike. Sadly, it was no exaggeration.

Reading and listening to your insights have brought me back to being an informed fan again. The evaluation of Moore was dead on, and the added evaluations of other GM's quite interesting.

Bryan said...

Very nice article Rany.

Well thought out and well written.

I guess you have to play it out to see what you can get for certain players, but if they moved Podsednik and Guillen tomorrow it wouldn't be soon enough.

I want to see Gordon in the lineup. I want to see what Parraz and Lough might be able to do. I too love watching Maier. He is a solid defensive center fielder and his patience at the plate is fun to watch.

It is frustrating as hell that Dayton not only doesn't like players that aren't his signing, he doesn't value players with patience at the plate. You put those two together and you have poor Kila. Man I hope he gets a shot.

The funniest thing about Dayton's comment is that he asks us as fans to do our research, when I am pretty sure that even the most casual of fans does more research than he ever does, at least when it comes to big league talent.

Brett said...

The reason to fire Dayton s not because he is the worst GM, it's because it is clear that others could do better. It's not like we lose the farm system if we fire Dayton Moore.

Anonymous said...

I felt like the signing of Kendall was more of an effort to get Davies and Hoch to perform up to their potential. Both (in my estimation - and Hoch more so than Davis) have shown flashes of brilliance but they can't seem to string it together.

Greinke had some quote in spring training (I think) where he praised Kendall's ability to work with a pitcher and call a good game even when the pitching is subpar.

If Kendall can somehow get Davies and Hoch to consistency - well, that's worth it to me.

KC Refugee said...

As a KC refugee in Houston, I read the Astros' blogs and complaints about Ed Wade. The consistent theme I've seen for the past year is "at least he isn't Dayton Moore."

Jonah Keri said...

Great post, Rany. You nailed the Tampa Bay Way perfectly - did a better job of conveying it here than I'm likely to after 2 years of studying them.

One note on trying to mimic the Tampa Bay Way: You'd better have great player development people and a sound system for bringing prospects along. The Royals are VERY restrictive in how they let minor league pitchers train, such that top prospect Mike Montgomery has to surreptitiously throw long-toss on his own time, because the Royals are convinced that all pitchers must be thrown into the same box as rehabbing players, whose throw limit is 120 feet.

That alone isn't apocalyptic or anything. But it's symbolic of a franchise that could stand to be a lot more open-minded and analysis-based, as they try to claim the mantle of Model Franchise for themselves.

setupunchtag said...

Nice fair piece. I have adjusted my opinion of Moore twice now. First, I thought he was a genius, then and idiot, and now, somewhere in between. Problem is, the Royals need 'better than in-between' because if they are only able to outspend a few, then they are only left with 'being smarter', and 26th, or 15th or even 8th doesn't really cut it.

I would also bring up the Affeldt and Denny Bautista for Shealy and Brian "Dogh!"-mann, and Jeff Keppinger for Russ Haltiwanger trades as bad ones. His trade of Sisco for Gload further clogged up a clogged up 1st base situation and left Hillman to go with 'the gamer' Gload for 388 AB's of .650 OPS for a season. Also, Octavio Dotel had two pretty good years in Chicago after being traded and would have been every bit as valuable as the inconsistent Davies, imo, and these moves push DM's trades more negative than postive. Moore's trades of his bullpen arms also resulted in the fairly expensive signings of Yabuta, Mayhay, Farnworth, Cruz (and the 2nd round compensation pick he cost them).

I'm glad Rany went into Moore's undervaluing of the players he's inherited. It's a stumbling block the good GM's avoid and use to their advantage, and it's one the bad GM's trip over everytime. Not everything your predecessor did was wrong.

One point I would give Dayton credit for not mentioned in Rany's praise was how he's done on re-signing the players he's got worth re-signing, Greinke and Soria. Both have below market contracts, and I would rank Soria's up there with Braun and Longoria's for value. And he didn't sign Gordon to a long-term deal, which seems wise, now. I think and hope this bodes well for Butler and other players in the future the Royals would like to sign to an extention. Keeping your best players thru their prime will be a key to this franchises success, and in that, DM seems to be pretty decent.

Anonymous said...

Very good again, Rany. Hopefully you can disregard the haters.

I have some serious concerns about DM's ability to make FA moves to fill out the roster that the major league level. However, this year does show some development. He took risks on Podsednik and Ankiel, but only one year risks (with mutual options that have no real chance to be exercised). Kendall is tougher because of the two-year guarantee, but no 3-5 year signings of mediocre players.

Can he make trades? In some capacity. The trades that work are not for established ML "talent." They are trades where we receive young talent in return. Those have netted some nice pieces (Pina, Tim Smith, Parraz) in the farm system (though Dan Gutz could turn out well after he returns from the PED suspension). The bad trades almost always are ML player swaps (Crisp, Gathright, Jacobs) or where we receive the established ML player (Betancourt).

However, you are so correct to say that he has shown the ability to hire the right people and to make shrewd moves in young player acquisition. He has been given the money, true. But other GMs have done much less with equal or better resources. I keep track of twitter this time of year, and someone asked Keith Law (I think -- might have been Goldstein) if any farm system had as many prospects really performing the way the Royals did. The short answer was: "No." In a few years, the farm system has started to really look good (besides the Burlington A team this year).

In the next year, the players should come to the big league club, assuming Moore will unblock them. Then, we will see if he can really trade (getting rid of pieces we no longer need in exchange for MiLB depth) or make good FA signings when not pressed to do too much with not enough.

I will also say that I have an easier time rationalizing the veteran signings this year (Kila is blocked from an early mistake): they have to put a product on the field to generate some revenue in the "new" stadium. It won't be in the postseason, but fielding a team in the Central that can win 70-75 games will keep people coming all summer, and long term, that is important for building a stable revenue stream for the team. I lived in Pittsburgh the past few years. It sounds nice to play young people and assume the fans will understand, but in reality, it does not work. PNC Park is awesome (much nicer than even the "new" KC digs), but is always empty. The hardcore fans might want to see the young guys play, but the average fan seems to care less -- they just want to see a team win. So, in my opinion, KC is doing the right thing: sign mediocre vets, let prospects develop somewhere and have success, push back arbitration clocks until to maximize player value, and generate a little extra revenue to spend in the draft or in the Dominican.

All that being said, thanks for the piece Rany. Love reading (and listening) to reasonable Royals coverage.

Jeremy McNeal said...

Great Article.

Moore's good acquisitions: Bannister, Davies, Callaspo, Meche, Soria; His bad ones: Guillen, Jacobs, Gathright, Kendell.

Is Moore's only weakness his ability to evaluate ML position players? Is there a chance that he'll ever be good at that? Can you turn an organization around without being good at that?

I guess we'll find out in 2 years.

Anonymous said...

So I guess everyone who knows anything about baseball is wrong about how awful Dayton Moore is?

So, Rany, if every dermatologist around was saying how awful you were and a big joke in your community, I guess that means nothing? Just disregard? Nevermind the win loss record which is still bad- an entire presidential term length later...

Improvement at the major league level? Zilch. But hey, we got a good AA team so all is forgiven.

Real hard hitting stuff here Rany. Hope you enjoy the Press credentials or season tickets or whatever Dayton gave you.

Rany=Sellout

KCDC said...

This is exactly where I've been at on DM this year. He's got one potential strength and a bunch of holes in his game. Because of the nature of the rebuilding process, we were always going to see nothing but DM's weaknesses affecting the MLB team for the first 4 years, but that doesn't mean DM can't build a winner here. If DM successfully implements his strategy, the major contributors at the MLB level will be home-grown by the time the Royals could be decent, and all of a sudden, Moore's penchant for overpaying veteran stopgaps won't seem so important. If Moose et al turn out to be the players we think they are, the spotlight will shift to DM's ability to sign, develop and retain talent. And I think that light will be much more flattering.

KCDC said...

And Anon, just chill. I stopped reading your comments when you incorrectly suggested our top prospect was going to have TJ and then mispelled 'indefinitely,' but it seems like you're angry over nothing. The point isn't that DM is good; it's that the results aren't in yet. It's clear that DM's plan when he came in was to build the farm system for a few years while treading water at the MLB team. The MLB team didn't have much hope, so I think we can agree that this was a reasonable plan. Since the plan didn't involve big improvements at the MLB level for the first 3-4 years, we can't really get too upset that it hasn't been there. What we should demand is improvement in the farm system, and that appears to be there. The last step is turning that AA improvement into MLB improvement. We're just 1 to 2 years away from having a good idea whether that will happen. We just have to wait till then to make an fair judgement on Moore.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being a voice of reason- until this article. I will also not be back.

Have a good one, Rany "Benidict Arnold" Jazywhogivesacrap. Enjoy losing 100 games in 2012, all the while waiting for the mythical " prospects" that will still be blocked and not called up.

Anythingneverything said...

Rany,

Ignore the anonymous attacks. It's fair to criticize your column but anyone who has to do so under an "Anonymous" name...well, I think they are the ones who need to take a look at themselves in the mirror to see if they lost their balls, as the first idiot commenter on this thread so crudely puts it.

I really enjoyed your column and I agree that Moore deserves more time. I also agree that the farm system in terms of depth is stronger than it has been in literally decades.

But, may I offer a suggestion that you may be too optimistic here? Prospects are two things - they are fungible and unpredictable. They can both be exchanged for talent to fill other needs, or they can fail miserably before they provide any real returns for the MLB club.

Dayton Moore, unfortunately, has not understood the fungible nature of prospects. He has traded young talent for older players that have made the team worse (see Nunez, see Howell, see Saito and Cortes, see Cordier), when the real value of prospects when you are rebuilding lies in trading them for other young talent. With the exception of the Bannister and Callaspo trades, Moore has not done this.

Second, it's really premature to be this excited about the farm system. I know that early returns have been outstanding for the first two months of this season, but other than Gordon and Ka'aihue there are no prospects ready to immediately impact this team. Injuries will always, without fail, rear their ugly heads in one way or another and may already have in the cases of Montgomery and Moustakas. Hosmer has cooled off and is still a long way off. Danny Duffy inexplicably retired. Are we really going to get this excited about Derrick Robinsons .307/.404/.401 line, this early in the season???

My point is that until I see these prospects start to perform at the MLB level, count me as skeptical. Until that happens even the 8-10 year plan is open-ended. The problem with prospects is that for each success, there are a multitude of failures. The Royals are hinging on a long-term bet that may or may not pay off, and Dayton Moore has done very little at the MLB level to help them out.

Anonymous said...

Year 5 beginning and the starting lineup includes Betancourt, Guillen, Kendall, Podsesnik, and increasingly, Willie Bloomquist. Good acquistions.

Baird takes a lot of crap- rightfully so. But take away Bairds picks- Greinke, Butler, Aviles, Maier, and DDJ......and the team Moore put together loses 120 games without breaking a sweat.

I just don't understand the lovefest between the KC media and Moore. He would be crucified anywhere else. Mellinger is too busy writing about Manute Bol, Whitlock doesn't care, Dutton and Kaegal are complete tools. Now Rany is switching sides? KC deserves some real journalism not these Dayton Moore puppets.

Anonymous said...

I find myself, once again, in the unusual position of mostly agreeing with Rany; in the KC market, the most logical approach to building a consistent winner is to maximize "home-grown" talent.

While a MLB gen'l mgr has many roles, the 3 most important (in no particular order) are 1) building a farm system 2) making trades, 3) F.A. acquisitions. Granted that these can/do overlap; you help build a farm system through trades. But in the purist sense, these are how a GM will define his success/failure.

I agree with Rany that, to date, Moore seems to get a very high grade in building the farm system, he's around a passing grade in trades (Rany says "in the black"; I might quibble with that, but he's close), and he's a total failure at F.A. acquisitions. The good part of this is that, given the direction they've chosen (the Rays/Twins/Rockies-way), he's succeeding at the most important role and failing at the least important.

Now, where I have to disagree with Rany is in his comment that "What Moore needs to realize is that Royals fans aren’t stupid, and we’re not nearly as impatient as he thinks." Actually, all you need to do is sit through most home games and read some blog responses to realize that most Royals' fans are in fact stupid or at least blind to what constitutes winning baseball.

I won't defend giving Kendall a 2-year contract (we were seemingly bidding against ourselves), but I will suggest that our young pitchers were less likely to grow/progress with the ole' duo of Buck/Olivo. When a pitcher won't throw a breaking pitch in a 1-2 count for fear that it'll end up at the screen, a staff has real problems.

Don't judge Moore if he doesn't trade Bloomquist, Guillen, Pods, Kendall ... at the trading deadline. Remember, there has to be a team looking to acquire those players (doubtful!). No, if you want, blame Moore for acquiring and over-valuing these players in the first place.

I enjoy watching Mitch Maier, but will be happy when he's in his more suited role as a 4th outfielder. This would mean that we have a legit OF of perhaps Gordon/Robinson/... Hosmer? (DeJesus will be gone, I'd love to know that Butler/Kila is our 1B/DH). The reason moving Gordon to the OF makes sense is that we have a dearth of OF talent in our system and Moustakas isn't athletic enough to ever play there.

I hate when folks point out what an advantage the Royals have when they're picking near the top of the draft - this is only an advantage with their first pick. After that, our next pick (say #35 after sandwich picks) is comparable to the Yankees #30 pick and remains that way for the remainder of the next 40 or so rounds. If you look at the history of the draft, it's much more important what they do in the first 10-15 rounds, than what they do with their first pick. I love that Moore is picking players such as Melville and Myers when they slide below their expected slot and then tossing lots of Glass' money to ensure their signing.

The most glaring of Moore's mistakes and the one that gets the least criticism from the average fan is his failure to utilize advance statistical analysis (sabermetrics, "the analysis of baseball through objective evidence, especially baseball statistics that measure in-game activity rather than industry activity such as attendance"). I understand that a good talent evaluator should use both his eyes and statistical analysis; Moore tends to side much more heavily on the former than the latter and occasionally completely ignores both (Jacobs, Guillen, H Ramirez, Bloomquist, Farnsworth, Betancourt ...). Yet he has the nerve to state "That’s all I said. It just amazes me that guys don't do their own research.” This is the one area where he will need to change/grow if he's going to make it 8-10 years and see the fruits of his player development acumen.

25 years and waiting!

Anonymous said...

Looks like Rany got some free season tickets.

24 years and counting said...

In Defense of Betancourt

While Yuni has been the whipping boy for the advanced stats/dayton sucks crew ever since he was traded for last year, it has to be said that he's actually having an acceptable year this year, while of course things change and we want to talk about sample sizes, his updated UZR/150 is 3.2 and he has an OPS of above .700 which ranks him as an above average SS this year all for a whopping $2mil. Since when is $2 mil expensive for an everyday SS, barring injuries he will more than earn this salary?? We owe him $3 mil next year plus a most-likely-to-be-exercised $2 mil buyout in 2012 (unless I've misread the contract). This all seems cheap to me, almost half of the contract of Marco Scutaro - yes, he's better defensively but also older and was coming off of a career year - would we be that much better with Scutaro out there?? No one could have believed in Aviles' rapid come back and we were in desperate times with TPJ not to mention that our best SS prospect went down with injury this year and the only one now being hurt is Chris Getz not Mike Aviles. With all of that being said can this trade really look that bad given the fact that this year he has been MUCH better than say...Jason Bartlett from the beloved Tampa Bay organization??? What's a guy got to do to get a break?? Next year might be lost money, but nothing that will cripple the team and Aviles could easily have been out until then and Bianchi will not be ready by then in this light the trade may actually prove to have been a prudent move.

Anonymous said...

KCDC- So the plan didn't include improvement at the Major League level for 4 years?

I bet the season ticket holders wouldve been interested in that.....

gbewing said...

Dayton's comments to media and fans in KC continue to be condescending and arrogant. I will do my research thank you and all the research in the world won't explain how Guillen, Yuni, Mike Jacobs, Bloomy et all have helped the franchise do anything. I will agree that Moore has shown some acumen on minor league development but that suggests he's a better fit at scouting director than gm.

On the major league level the greatest flaw to suggest he can't take us to the WS level is he values the wrong skills. Look at his FA signings and trade targets. He buries younger players for expensive replacement level players. Right now we could be a better ML team with some Omaha players being called up. He's a primary reason out ML team has not progressed an inch. The fact the the Royals remain one of the most unsabermetric friendly franchises suggests the franchise is still too faith based in philosophy, science is a bad word.

Anonymous said...

So what will Rany write about next?

"Betancourt wrongfully passed over for AllStar game?"

"Kendalls power coming around"

"Royals fundamentals are envy of baseball"

"TPJ was not given a fair chance"

"Ross Gload- the complete First Baseman"

How about the headline everyone hopes to see: "Rany retires from blogging in pursuit of a career he doesn't suck at"

Kenny said...

Your constant criticism of the Jason Kendall acquisition doesn't always hold water. I don't think you can begin to compare John Buck with Kendall defensively. The knowledge that Kendall has of hitters, calling games, and managing pitchers is probably what Dayton Moore paid for. Kendall's rate of throwing out runners at 2nd isn't great, but neither was Buck's. Our passed balls has been reduced drastically, and the confidence pitchers can now have throwing what they want and knowing pitches in the dirt will be stopped is immeasurable. Perhaps that's why you can't properly critic Jason Kendall. What he does for the team can't be measured - the leadership, teaching younger players, providing the starters with stability behind the plate so that they aren't trying to out think the catcher who's calling balls and strikes - where are your stats to measure all of those things? And a catcher's true value to a team comes more from defense than offense, so there's no need for you to keep comparing Buck's stats vs. Kendall's offensive stats, although Kendall is better than Buck in some areas. $3 million is a nominal amount to spend for a position that probably requires the most leadership on the team.
Ken

Anonymous said...

Great. Because there aren't enough Dayton apologists......

Thanks for nothing, Rany.

Anonymous said...

Kenny- so it's Kendalls leadership we have to thank for the highest ERA in the AL?

First the Rany garbage and now Yuni and Kendall being defended? Unreal.

Anonymous said...

I think all of the angry anons are just one person. He/she does not appear to be all that smart--but what he/she lacks in reason, he/she makes up for with anger. PS - that person is not me.

This piece is accurate, if not obvious. Small market teams have success when everyone comes up together and gels. It really is not all that complicated. How people do not understand this is beyond me. If the Royals are going to succeed, Hosmer, Moustakas, Montgomery, Crow, Myers,et al need to be successful together.

JPB said...

Rany,
I love your blog and the show on WHB. That said, no evaluation of Moore in his capacity of GM can be complete without taking into account the disastrous hiring of Trey Hillman. Maybe with some seasoning on his part and a roster of young manageable players, Trey could have had a chance at success.Given a club top heavy with either aging 2nd rate talent or questionable attitudes, the process had no chance of working. We fans saw it clearly, but Dayton refused to understand that he had as bad a mismatch between team and manager as existed between his espousal of defense while fielding a team that many of its members rivaled Dick Stuart for the title of Dr. Strangeglove.For me the test for Moore is whether he lets the talent he has in Aviles, Mitch and Kila have a fair chance at proving themselves. If he continues to protect his FA signings at the expense of these guys, this Kansas City fan who has been there since opening day in 1955 will find other summer pursuits.

Thompson said...

Great piece of work. Extremely insightful and well written, echos my thoughts on the way Dayton has handled this organization for a while now, thanks for writing it.

Fast Eddie said...

Before anyone starts wringing their hands about Olivo, remember the Coors field effect. His overall line in 2010 is .315/.378/.575, but at home it's .455/.479/.833 (!), and on the road it's .164/.271/.295 (!!).

Fast Eddie said...

Buck's home field advantage in Toronto has been less evident, but still there: Overall .259/.307/.518; home .286/.343/.571; away .237/.275/.474. Of course these are small sample sizes and don't mean much, except in the case of Olivo there is no doubt some improvement because of Coors.

Anonymous said...

would be interesting to see who scores better between Buck, Olivo, and Kendall at passed balls, wild pitches, and bases stolen. Kendall's inconsistency with basestealers seems to be moving as many men as Olivo's passed balls.

And if you can't trust Dayton to judge major league talent, why would you trust him to judge who is going to be major league talent?

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

have to agree with anonymous. Moore may be the best drafter in the world, but he is not able to evaluate professional talent, he has no idea how to push edges with the roster. The worst major league players have all passed through the filters of the 29 other teams and have found their way to the Royals.

Again and again, Dayton has shown the propensity to seek out the worst players, and then even worse, to actually play them (at least hiring a manager dumb enough to do that).

You talk about the "Tampa Bay Way", but the reason why the Rays win is not only because they've developed a great minor league system, but because THEY IDENTIFY AND PLAY THEIR BEST PLAYERS. Would Ben Zobrist even be in the major leagues if he had been in the Royals organization? John Jaso was identified as talent, he started to prove his talent, and now he is playing every day. The Rays under Friedman have never touched a player like kendall or Podsednik or Fields or Guillen or ON AND ON AND ON. There are thousands of people in this country who are more qualified to be GM of the Royals than Dayton Moore.


You are suffering from stockholm syndrome. Get a hold.

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

you are talking about a division, that at the beginning of the season, was possibly weak enough, even with their complete crap roster to put the Royals in contention if they had found a way to play Kaai'hue and B. Pena. The reason the Mariners were able to get to 85 wins in a year is because building a decent team at the major league level is EASY WORK, because of GMs like Dayton Moore and Ed Wade, who are perennially blind to free talent.

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

oh how could I forget, Moore has somehow managed to put the best two hitters in the organization on the Omaha Royals. There's enough talent in this organization to add another 6-10 wins to the bottom line, but Moore is either ignorant or negligent. He has had 4 years in an always competitive (weak) division, and has found Brian Bannister and Alberto Callaspo. Really?

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

fine, one more post, I realize I can be misconstrued as NOT READING THE POST. But it just seems desperate to be flailing for ways to be optimistic about GMDM's tenure with the Royals. It's hope without much rational reason to hope.

It's being a fan of the Royals and trying to convince yourself that what you see is light at the end of the tunnel, when all you've done is rub your eyes, so desperate are you to see hope.

Dayton Moore is crippled by his
own world-view, he has never done anything to show that he has adjusted his blinders.

I understand it's sad to be a Royals fan. I understand it's hopeless. But when one gets to the point where failure must be swept under the rug, when every quote is analyzed three ways to see if GMDM has maybe just maybe learned that a sub .300 OBP does not create runs or move runners along, you've entered an abusive relationship.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I can't get past what you said ghost, that the best two hitters in the organization are in Omaha. Is that a serious statement? I'm assuming you are talking about Kila and Gordon...

Have you not seen what Gordon has done whenever he's been in the majors? You are clearly looking only at Gordon's AAA numbers. He's been an average hitter at best in the majors. And Kila hasn't proved anything at the majors, but of course he hasn't been given a chance yet.

You do realize we have a player in the majors hitting .340, right? I'm not saying Gordon and Kila don't deserve to be with the big club, they do, especially Kila, but they're not the 2 best hitters in the organization. Don't spout crap just to be negative.

Matthew T said...

Methinks most of the complaints have come from readers who didn't read much past the post's title.

Or, to put it another way: If you think this post is an example of a ringing endorsement, I hope you're not married.

Anonymous said...

Take it from me as a Phillies Phan. Ed Wade is the worst GM in baseball. That's why he wins Jon Heyman's ED WADE AWARD annually for worst GM in baseball.

skeptic said...

I'm not saying Kendall was a good signing, but an overlooked attribute he has is is ability to catch a throw on a play at the plate.

Olivo would take a throw so far in front of the plate that he couldn't get back to make a tag. Buck just couldn't hold on to the throw while attempting to block the plate.

Zach said...

I'm completely shocked by some of these comments. Rany, and the commenters in support of Rany, are not saying that Moore hasn't been bad, just not as bad as has been told to us. He's still a jerk to the public and I will enjoy it when he gets fired, but come on, we could be the Astros or the Mets, and that would suck hard.

FTAListCom said...

Thanks for the post, Rany. They naysayers are idiots. Like most of us, DM has made good decisions and bad ones. There's no question that the farm system is much better now than when he was hired.

I think we'll know more of what to think of DM by the trading deadline. If it passes and we see Guillen and Ankiel and Pods all still on the roster, then he might be fatally flawed. If two or more are gone with young talent taking their place, then it's possible that DM either knows what he's doing or is figuring it out. Till then, we're just going to have to be annoyed at all those veteran stopgaps.

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

anony 9:30, yes I was referring to Kila and Gordon.

It's fine and dandy that Butler is hitting .340 with a .370 BABIP, but with his 250 LB. frame, his days of hitting .300 will be very short, and are probably already over. Perhaps his string of good luck would have been of some use if he had real hitters like Gordon and Kaaihue in the lineup.

Gordon has not had a chance to produce at the major league level since 2008, when he did produce at the major league level. He's gotten a little unlucky at the plate, but is even less fortunate to be in an organization that shows no patience with anyone under the age of 29. Ka'aihue has a .930 OPS in 3 seasons at Omaha..which may not be proof enough for you but its proof enough for me that he can be productive in the majors.

LF Podsednik
3B Gordon
1B Butler
DH Kaai'hue
RF DeJesus
2B Callaspo
C B. Pena
SS Aviles
CF Maier

This is their best lineup. This represents 5-10 wins over what they're playing. They will never ever play this lineup. They will never play an optimal lineup as long as DM is GM.

I understand what Rany is trying to say about giving DM a chance to play his best players, and giving him time to develop. My point is, he's never played his best players, he's never went after the best available players, so why continue hoping he will? Why hope and be miserable, when you can be cynical and laugh at the "intelligent design" dayton moore's roster.

Chris said...

Rany just went 440' with this one. Well done!

Anonymous said...

Ghost - I'm all for that lineup! I have no problem with that.

But, really? Butler's days of hitting .300 will be short if not already over! WOW. I bet you won't find a single person that agrees with that statement. He's been a hitter all his life, and weighing 240 pounds isn't going to stop him.

A quick comparison:

In a little over 300 more career ABs (about half a season), Butler is hitting 50 points higher, has about 80 more RBI, more homers, a better OBP, and has struck out 70 FEWER times than Gordon.

Yet, you still think Gordon is a better hitter? You mention 2008 as a year he produced: he hit .260 with 16 homers and 59 RBI with 120 K's. I'm sorry, for an overall No. 2 pick, that's not producing.

Listen, I haven't given up on Gordon and I hope he still ends up being a good, reliable player, which I think he can be, but to suggest he's a better hitter than Butler is plain lunacy. At least try to throw some facts out there next time.

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

Gordon hasn't had consistent playing time in the majors since 2008, yet he has hit more line drives, more fly balls, a better HR/FB rate, and takes more walks than Billy Butler.

Butler's stat line is pretty and all, but Gordon will be the better hitter going forward, I WILL BET YOU

Anonymous said...

I know Gordon hasn't had consistent playing time since 2008. Remember, I showed you his mediocre numbers from that season.

I would love to bet you that Butler will be the better hitter going forward. Seriously, would love it.

And who cares about the line drives and fly balls hit? (Wherever you're making that info up from). LOOK AT THE ACTUAL NUMBERS. BUTLER IS NOT A FLUKE.

Are you somehow related to Gordon? For a No. 2 overall pick who has been - yes, I'm aware his career isn't over - a bust to this point, you have an odd amount of faith in him.

Anonymous said...

And when I say "wherever you're making that up from," what I mean is that there is no way Gordon has hit more line drives than Butler.

Anonymous said...

Im not anonymous. MY name is Mike Garvin and I'm a member of the Royals Review under Gobble for CyYoung...yes its a joke

All I have to say Rany this is my first time posting and how dare you!

How can you compare Moore to someone like Omar Minaya and Brian Sabean. Atleast they sign/and or draft players that can make the majors!!!! How many years can you give this guy! I know nepotism rules in this country where its who you know, etc...but god, this guy is terrible at his job!!! Do I need to list Guillen, Yabuta, Tomko, Jacobs, Crisp, Nomo, Bloomquist, Kendall, Meche (who sucks now) etc etc

All I have to say is a KINDERGARTENER can make due with the increased payroll Glass authorized, and multiple top 10 picks (3 that were top 2 I might add) YIELDED NOTHING THAT IS HELPING US

I have to watch Bumgarner and Posey hit the majors, i have to watch Wieters and Matusz hit the majors, mike leake, jason heyward, justin smoak

THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN ROYALS!!!

Moore is absolutely, 100% horrible at his job and comparing him to someone just as bad in Minaya won't get you anywhere

I feel bad for you man

Anonymous said...

Seriously you deleted my comment

Moore is pathetic, please don't be as pathetic by deleting an OPINION piece!

Oh BTW, so Callaspo and his below average defense and sub .330 OBP makes up for trading Howell, Nunez and Ramirez

Ok got it

And Moore is so good at developing talent that his 3 top 2 picks and #9 overall have yet to make the majors (except Hochevar)

Meanwhile a dozen other teams are touting their top picks from 07, 08 and even 09

yeah got it

Anonymous said...

1) How exactly can Soria count as being home grown when he was in the Dodgers and Padres system before he became a Royal? Unless there was a rehab stint I forgot about he didn't pitch one inning in the Royals minor league system. He probably will go down in history as one of the best rule 5 picks ever, but that doesn't mean he's home grown.

2) He didn't sign Ankiel because he thought the fans wanted to see a big name. He isn't one. He was a nice human interest story a couple of years ago. That's all. I'm guessing the reason he signed him was because they doubted Guillen would return and even with him there was a fair chance that no one on the team would hit over 20 home runs this season. So he got Ankiel and Fields, guys who at least had the potential to hit for power (By Royal standards, anyway.)

3) Mitch Meier is just Shane Costa in a different jersey. He seems like a nice guy and he plays hard, so the radio guys and internet fans are on his side. That doesn't mean he should be an everyday starter. See also: Guile, Aaron, Pickering, Calvin and Hayes, Chris.

4) Have you considered letting someone edit your posts. There is a difference between making a point and beating it to death with a stick.

Anonymous said...

>>Perhaps that's why you can't properly critic Jason Kendall. What he does for the team can't be measured - >>

I doubt that anyone would have complained if they signed Jason Kendall to a coaching contract. He probably will make a very good coach someday if that's what he wants.

The problem is he's not a coach. He's our starting catcher.

Anonymous said...

Rany is such a hack.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that people say are going to stop reading because they disagree with Rany's opinions. Your reading material will be very limited if you only read what you agree with. Like your opinion is the only one that is right.

kcghost said...

You know when your I.Q. doesn't exceed your shoe size you should not reply so many times to an article that your replies exceed the length of the article. I thought some of those post were quite witty, then I realized I was only half-right.

I don't know where Moore really ranks but it isn't high. We also know that after years of drafting high he needs to hit a home run this year just to get our system rated in the Top Ten. And it is not a good sign that no one from last year's draft is doing much yet.

Dave said...

You know why this is a good article? Because it's got everybody pissed off and arguing. That's a good thing.....passion means you still give a shit. I'm with Rany, it's too soon to tell. The trade deadline will be interesting this year.....one of Pods or DDJ will be gone, Bloomquist, hopefully Guillen and Farnsworth, and one of Davies or Bannister. Did anyone actually think this was THE year?

Anonymous said...

Moose and Montgomery out for the forseeable future
Duffy retired
Hosmer slumping and still shows ZERO HR power
Crow awful
D Robinson coming back to Earth
Kila and Gordon "blocked" and DM shows no sign of changing that
Myers 4 years away


Yeah Rany, how's that farm looking now?

Anonymous said...

Never thought I would see the day. I feel like the Boston mascot in that ESPN commercial when Ortiz put that Yankees hat on......Rany the Dayton Apologist? Wow.

Rany, you used to be a voice for the fans- fans with no voice who are continually insulted and talked down to by this crap GM. A GM whose failures literally could fill an entire book. This guy treats Royals fans like absolute garbage. And your voice actually was a voice for the people. One of the few rays of light for the average fan who obviously "can't be educated".

Now, Rany, you are part of the problem. But I guess you don't have time to educate me now, do you? I hope you are happy with your decision. You are a two face, turncoat.

Hendo said...

It was right to write this piece in the name of fairness. There are already enough Jay Mariottis in the world.

That said, Moore is hardly the poster boy for a customer-focused front office. His remarks have done himself and the Royals no favors with the fan base or STHs.

No, it's not the GM's business to be a PR shill, but when you get into pissing contests with the fans and bloggers, you're taking time away from doing your job (including the job Rany suggests Moore should be doing).

The Royals should cut their losses at the end of the season. There'll be some decent young candidates out there.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a draft primer. I'm interested........it will also give some of you losers another article to complain about.

Chance said...

I don't have to agree with everything I read to appreciate the insight and evaluation that the opinion represents. The day I think I know everything is the day I will start to die intellectually.

And, if anyone read this post and thought that Rany was completely defending Dayton Moore or nominating him for GM of the Year, well, I don't know what to tell you. You wouldn't listen anyway.

What I read is that Rany beleives GMDM is about the 25th best GM in baseball. Now, argue that point...

p.s. put your name on the comment, chickenshit.

Anonymous said...

LOL Great post above. The Farm system is nothing! NOTHING!

I didn't realize Duffy retired! Wow, good job selecting another HIGH SCHOOL PHENOM! Moustakas is out for the year? WTF!

Hosmer can't hit a homerun. Wait, so Moore is not only absolutely horrific at his MLB moves (too many to name, bullpen, jacobs, crisp, guillen, yabuta, tomko, cruz, farny, etc etc!)

His drafting is absolutely terrible as well! WE could have had Heyward, Bumgarner, Smoak, Wieters, Posey, Matusz, Leake, etc etc etc

Dayton Moore should not only be fired, he should be put in jail for negligence, and torture of the Royals fan base. This hick is so inept I don't know where to begin

I don't know whats worse, Moore at his job, or you for even attempting to defend him

This post reminds me of the rich kid that is given every advantage in life, trust fund, tons of money, resources, guidance and totally messes up life - Moore was given higher draft picks and just as much cash to spend on them than any other GM in baseball. Yes, Moore higher selections than any other GM and meanwhile the only guy who looks halfway decent, since Moose and Duffy are not done, is Montgomery.

Sorry Rany, I hope whatever kickbacks you got from the Royals is worth BECAUSE I WILL NEVER RESPECT YOU

Anonymous said...

Oh I forgot to add how much of a piece of crap individual Dayton Moron really is. I didn't realize he told the fans, "F off do some research!" LOL, like he has the intelligence to do any type of research on his own. His most advanced reading material is probably See Dog Run, or Goodnight Moon.

The best was last year when he was under fire when his two controversial moves were blatantly backfiring: Crisp and Jacobs trades. I REMEMBER HE SAID SOMETHING ALONG THE LINES OF, THE FANS DON'T KNOW AS MUCH AS I DO, LOOK HOW WILLIE BLOOMQUIST TURNED OUT! Keep in mind he had an OBP of around .340 at the time and was playing pretty well, and then slumped to the .625 OPS we all love.

He was also hyping the Meche acquisition as PROOF of his skill level as a GM. Look how that turned out!

John said...

This is one of the best articles I've seen on here in a long time. Dayton Moore's biggest weakness as a GM is the same one that his mentor, John Schuerholz, had. He puts way too much stock in veteran players. When Schuerholz took over the Royals, he dragged in a bunch of washed-up vets like Gaylord Perry, Vida Blue and Jerry Martin, trying to jump-start a rebuilding process. The Royals didn't become terrible, because they still had George Brett, Frank White, Hal McRae and some other good players, but they didn't win anything, either, until Saberhagen and Gubicza came up from Triple-A and they won it all in '85. (Although Schuerholz deserves a lot of credit for rescuing Charlie Leibrandt from the scrap heap.)

I'm sure Moore has been just trying to stabilize the team and win a few games while his prospects develop, but it's absolutely pointless to play people like Kendall, Podsednik and Bloomquist. They can't help you very much now, and when the young players are ready, they aren't going to be there because they're already over the hill. Rather than waste time with these guys, give the ABs to someone younger, and give them a chance to surprise everyone. The worst thing that happens is that you win 65 games instead of 70. But if even one of the kids turns out to be a player, then you still win 70, and four years from now that player might help you win 92 games instead of 88, which usually means playoffs instead of staying home.

Four years from now, Jason Kendall will probably be managing someone's Double-A team.

Wabbitkiller said...

Good post Rany. You're willing to give Dayton more slack than I am though. He is a DISASTER when it comes to free agency or trading for MLB ready talent. Ankeil, Kendall, Farnsworth, Jacobs...the list of Free agency/MLB trades goes on and on and on.

While he's done some really good work at the minor league level, he's been a complete and utter failure at he MLB level. He simply can NOT continue to make some of the stupid decisions he's made at the MLB level if he wants the Royals to get where we all want them to go.

While the Royals will certainly develop MOST of their roster through their farm system, they won't develop ALL of it. No one does. The Royals will fall short if they keep signing guys like Farnsworth, Kendall, Ankeil, etc.

Anonymous said...

Stick to dermatology punk. You obviously are in denial. Why don't you just close your eyes really hard and click you heels together 3 times and maybe Dayton will become the groundbreaking GM that you think he is.

Worst article you have ever written. Now go away coward. Go have your ProDayton circle jerk with Kaegal and Dutton and the clowns at Royal Corner.

Anonymous said...

Ranys choice of GM, the best GM in baseball:
Gload
Bloomquist
Betancourt
HoRam
Ponson
Kendall
Ankiel
Podsesnik
Mendoza
TPJ
Hillman
Owen
Freel
J Anderson
B Anderson
Cruz
Jacobs
Guillen
Gathright
Crisp
Shealy
Farmsworth
Rupe
Bale

Need I go on, Rany? Funny you mention Posey since Dayton passed on him in the draft. Crow sure is doing well too. Moose and Monty haven't played in a week and will more than likely be out the rest of the year. Hosmer has 1 HR. And let's just not even mention Hillman. Thank God Glass made him fire Trey. It's quite obvious how bad Trey was...

How can you with a staright face defend DM and his ability to evaluate talent of any kind?

Anonymous said...

Remember when you wrote the "I'm done" article?

You should have meant it.

Anonymous said...

You guys are all a bunch of dumbasses. Since when he say Moore was the best GM in baseball.

And who says Montgomery and Moustakas are out for the year? You guys are just looking for excuses to rag on Moore. Shut your damn mouths.

gbewing said...

I'm debating if anonymous is SabreTrey or Kietzman -I could go either way on this one. Reptition and stuckness suggest KK, but the thin slicing singular focus it could be SabrTrey. Hey anon friendly advice, less bat head more slug

Jeff said...

Wow "anonymous" is really one miserable human being. Not only is he ignorant and retarded, but he's also an angry waste of life. You know nothing about baseball or drafting and player development for that matter you stupid loser.

Seriously this guy is so stupid he literally defies science. Go back and cheer your Rockies on and stop trolling a Royals fan website if you don't like them tool.

P.S. Hang yourself when you get a chance and do your family the favor they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Hell, another article this bad and people will start hanging themselves. Keep trusting the process, fools!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I"m a miserable human being, says the guy who told me to hang myself. Classy stuff.

And I'm as hardcore a Royals fan as anybody. I am in no way saying Moore is a good GM. He's been terrible in his free agent pick-ups and trying to make the big league club better. There's no denying that.

But, you know what? He has built up the minors, as much as people don't seem to want to admit it. He's paying way over slot for guys that have talent and some of those guys are emerging. Yes, it's taking time. That's what happens when you draft HS guys.

So you think guys like Montgomery, Lamb, Sample, Crow, Caldera, Arguelles and Mehville (to name a few of our pitching prospects that are regarded nicely) are just no good? Not to mention guys like Moustakas, Hosmer, Giovatella, D. Robinson, Kila, Parraz, Bianchi. You're ready to give up on those guys already? You are the worst kind of Royals fan. Give me a break.

Like I said, in no way is Moore one of the best GMs in the biz. If nothing changes soon, he needs to go, but lets at least see if these guys get to the Show and make a difference.

Hemlock Guy said...

Anonymous should drink hemlock!

Anonymous said...

A lot of the blame needs to go to the scouting department. They are the ones feeding DM info on these players.

Mike said...

I'm going to have to disagree that GMDM's trade record is in the black. Callaspo, Bannister, and Davies I think are good trades, but I don't think they outweigh the waste that were the trades for Jacobs, Crisp, and Yuni.