• December 13, 2017 at 10:26 am


    The lifecycle of baseball franchises necessitates lean years following successful ones. Degrees of how lean those years must be varies according to the franchises resources. The Red Sox will finish last some years, while the Yankees seem to have a floor of 75 wins. Yet, all teams go through this. For baseball, this is especially true as one iconic figure cannot carry a franchise whose roster has aged beyond its useful years. (Think of some of the rosters that Lebron James took to the finals, or Aaron Rodgers led to a playoff.)

    Of late, baseball has really seen a surprising number of teardowns leading to the ultimate prize. The poster child of this is the Miami Marlins. Twice, they built a team that went on to win the World Series only to blow it up and start again. The Chicago Cubs ended a century’s long drought by holding back resources and bringing in talent through their own system. A little over a month ago, Houston Astros won the World Series after several consecutive seasons of dwelling in the cellar.

    Now the Kansas City Royals face their fall from grace. After appearing in the World Series in back to back years, winning one, they now gaze at a bloated payroll that resulted in two right at .500 seasons. Controllable players that led them to the promised land now seek their rightful paydays in free agency. The question now facing the franchise: how do you get back to winning as quickly as possible without alienating gains made with the fans?

    For the aforementioned franchises that are not the Royals, it seems like the Marlins have done it the wrong way. Despite winning two World Series in constructing a new stadium that moved them from co-occupancy with an NFL franchise, the fan base has revolted. The third tear down, which is ongoing and is not coming at the heels of a World Series victory, seems to have the new ownership and hot water.

    One could make the case that the reason the first to fire sales failed was the failed ownership of Loria. His management of the team made him one of the most toxic figures in ownership and arguably led to the selling of the franchise, a rarity in an era of profitable professional sports.

    Perhaps unlike Loria, David Glass built enough goodwill up to survive the upcoming lean years and maintain a fan base. Even after 30 years of wandering a wasteland, the fans returned as soon as the team started winning again. This is after Glass bungled rebuilds under general managers not named Dayton Moore. This is after many loyal Royal fans feeling as though he fleeced franchise and purchasing the team. This is after endless complaints of him running a franchise like a Walmart and being an absentee owner living elsewhere.

    Time will tell how the fans handle the losing that is certain to besiege this franchise. Casual fans may go but the true diehards stay regardless of how the team performs. The diehards will gripe along the way, but their overall allegiance will persist. And, if the past is any predictor of the future, the casual fans will return as soon as the Royals start winning again.

    This leaves the diehard fans assessing when it is time to pull the plug on Dayton Moore. It seems clear that Moore is going to get a shot at rebuilding the team. Glass doesn’t seem to have an appetite for a change in leadership. Quite frankly, he shouldn’t have one yet.

    Dayton Moore has delivered sustained excellence in Kansas City over the last five years. Only the Cleveland Indians have more wins in the American League. Parting ways with more now to see if another General Manager can deliver similar goods relies on the foolhardy assumption that a vast number of capable front office talent exists and would come to Kansas City and right the ship. If this were true, then a great many number of fan bases would not have prolonged suffering. The Padres and the Reds are not winning anytime soon. The Giants have spent so much money into the future that the only World Series logos they will be seeing associated with their team are on their memorabilia from the recent successes. The Mets managed to take what seemed like the rotation of the decade and crumble and shambles. Most general managers do worse than Moore and his successes have bought him a couple years to try to rebuild.

    So what benchmarks should Moore’s rebuild the evaluated upon? The clear answer is to assess the upcoming moves he makes through a lens of how it helps the team in 2020 and 2021. Any deal with talent sign this year that makes financial commitments to players during those seasons is an absolute mistake. It is also an error to make large financial commitments to players in the upcoming years to try and get a couple more wins. Not only does that hurt future drafts, but it also drains resources in years where holes may need to be plugged in order to be successful.

    As I look to the next season or two, I’ll be looking at roster moves with an eye towards the future. So should all Royals fans.

  • December 13, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    He has shown what he can do for 11 years.
    I have seen enough…I would fire him.

    Everyone can have their opinion. Mine is right though. 😀

  • December 13, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    @gene said:
    He has shown what he can do for 11 years.
    I have seen enough…I would fire him.

    Everyone can have their opinion. Mine is right though. 😀

    So given Moore’s record is one that you think should be fired, who then wouldn’t you fire?

  • December 13, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Also, I’m going to try and write some longer posts that are a little more stylized to try and spur conversations around here. Most will be baseball. Some will not.

  • December 13, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    @southpaw1188 said:
    So given Moore’s record is one that you think should be fired, who then wouldn’t you fire?

    I don’t follow other teams closely enough to answer that question.

    Seems to me that a G.M.’s main job is to ensure that the teams scouts and player evaluation and development people are getting positive results.
    I don’t see much evidence that the people Dayton has in key scouting and development roles are getting these results. With Dayton at the helm they all seem to have some sort of old boy’s network tenure though.
    Maybe Dayton is learning something. If he is it is much too slowly for my taste.

    There seem to be a few well run front offices who are getting these fundamentals right.

  • December 14, 2017 at 10:04 am

    So if few are well run aren’t the odds of us finding one that is not employed currently low?

  • December 14, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    @southpaw1188 said:
    So if few are well run aren’t the odds of us finding one that is not employed currently low?

    I would think it would mainly be a question of money. Top baseball operations people are getting a lot of money these days.

    The other related issue is how on top of things are the Glass Family.

    Top business people usually have a good idea of;
    1. whether their CEO is getting results from his staff.
    2. how the industries they are involved in are changing, and what type of leadership you need to have in place to maintain a competitive advantage.
    In MLB the trend is clearly toward very smart younger executives with a good understanding of how to integrate advanced analytics into baseball operations.

    Is the Glass family on top of these things?
    Or are they very hands off?

    I don’t know the answers to these questions…….do you?

    From afar I get the impression that they bought Dayton’s spiel hook line and sinker for quite a few years. They liked Dayton’s promise of a top-notched pipeline of younger cheap talent fueling a perenially competitive major league team.
    I think they are much more skeptical of Dayton’s competence now.

  • December 14, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Two more questions for you SP;

    Would you see signing Hosmer a terrible mistake by Moore? (I assume so given your initial post)

    Do you trust Glass / Dayton to get value for the salaries they are trying to dump?

    (My impression is that Glass is mainly concerned with getting out from as many of these expensive contracts as possible and wants to see at least 20-25 million off the books by April)

  • December 14, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I think the Glass family learned they lack expertise and delegate. Let someone with baseball knowledge take care of things day to day and just provide resources. Much like how Magic Johnson et al. are not telling the Dodgers front office what to do.

    Also, if you do what everyone else is doing you end up competing with people with more resources and you lose. The reason the Royals model won was they placed different values on parts of the game. Look around at the league. The Red Sox have three CF in their OF every day. Pen guys are getting big pay days. It’s about seeing the next innovation, which Moore may or may not do. But at least he did it once.

    Hosmer is a mistake at what the market is going to pay him. If they could do AAV 15MM for seven or eight years, then go for it. He’s gonna get more than that.

    Salary dumps are not about value in return, it is about getting guys off the books to free up money. To that end, it is moving the Sorias of the roster, not the Duffys. If he can get the dead money off the books, then he should do it. It won’t matter much though because the real dead money is in the Kennedy and Gordon deals. I worry some about his moving good players, but he did turn the Grienke deal.

  • December 15, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Dayton Moore has presided over a franchise that in 11 seasons has had 3… three winning seasons.

    You can sit there and drink the koolaid and keep trying to suggest that in the history of the baseball world nobody has ever, and I mean EVER taken over a team that was as bad as ours but we all know that’s a joke.

    And yet still the bottom line is no matter how you slice it Dayton has managed 3 winning seasons with HIS draft picks, his team…. and then 2 very subpar .500 seasons with those same guys when the luck disappeared.

    His choices failed. None of his draft picks became the sort of star that you saw other teams draft in that same time. He has failed miserably to produce quality starting pitching. Miserably. And that’s so far from debate that you might as well just give up after you consent to that fact because if you have someone in charge for 11 years that has failed as miserably at something as Dayton has at that…. why would you argue he stay employed? That’s a serious question.

    You can sit and point out that he took the franchise back to the World Series. I can argue that probably anybody would have given the same circumstances. You can argue that some of his moves worked out. I can argue most of them haven’t and that especially his lack of producing starting pitching is obviously a HUGE problem for a small market club.

    What else do you have left to argue in his favor? All it ever goes back to is World Series. I can argue lack of bats, lack of pitching, lack of OBP, bad contracts, bad trades… on and on.

    Yep, you sure do take a risk that if you let someone go the next guy isn’t going to be better… but it’s a good thing there’s like billions of people in this world so that you can just keep that revolving door open and move on to the next one.

    When the guy you have isn’t working out…. you fire him.

    Pretty plain and simple.

  • December 15, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    By the way, suggesting Dayton Moore was some guru genius by putting together a competent bullpen as if it’s never been done before in the history of the game is complete and utter bullshit.

    And you know better.

    Plus, giving him credit for Wade Davis is disingenuous, since it was made very clear that when he traded for Davis HE said that he was going to be a starter AFTER Tampa had already moved the guy to the pen because he COULDN’T start…… yet Dayton thought he knew better (and he didn’t) so he put him back in the pen and then the KC media and fans pretended that it was his plan all along and how great Wade Davis became after Dayton made that move….

    Crap. Total crap.

  • December 16, 2017 at 8:08 am

    The idea that anyone would have brought KC to the World Series is total nonsense, perhaps the hottest crap take I have heard on here. Winning isn’t reandom in baseball. You have to be good to win.

    You can cite Moore’s entire tenure, which includes the mess he inherited. Last five years only, one team has more wins in the AL. That isn’t luck. He’s done good things here.

    There is a good chance that the top three players during his tenure are going to make $200MM this winter paid by other teams. That seems to suggest that the market thinks positively of those players.

    Let’s be objective. How many quality pitchers should a GM develop every ten years from the draft? Because here is the thing, if you only get credit for who you draft, and then those guys pan out, it is 10 years of time for that player with the franchise. Next to no good team has most of its rotation from guys they developed. Look at last years playoffs teams. Dodgers have one (and he’s a good one). Red Sox have no one? Maybe their #5 guy. Yankees had Severino. Cubs have one. Nationals had 2. Diamondbacks 2. Indians have 4, but they are the exception not the rule.

    Think of it even more abstractly. If the average time in the big leagues for a starter is 5 years, then only 30 or so new guys start their careers each year. If you hit on one and three, then over ten years you have 3 or 4 guys stick in the bigs. And you might have one of those guys walk in FA. Moore hasn’t bombed on this front. He’s been average.

    Your bloodlust for Moore’s head has corrupted your objectivity. I can say Moore has made mistakes. You can’t acknowledge anything positive about his tenure, and go through remarkable mental gymnastics to excuse away a World Series win and appearance.

  • December 16, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Southpaw, if you owned the franchise would you want Dayton as it’s top baseball guy?

  • December 16, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Given the choice of all other baseball people out there, of course not. But that is a meaningless question because the Royals don’t have their choice of all available baseball people. The ones I would want are under contract with franchises with deeper pockets and richer histories. My point through all of this is that warts and all, Moore is a better bet to have success than whoever is available that has either done the job before and failed or hasn’t ever been a general manager. Doing it once is one more time than whoever is next.

  • December 16, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    @southpaw1188 said:
    Moore is a better bet to have success than whoever is available that has either done the job before and failed or hasn’t ever been a general manager.

    I don’t understand this. Was Ross Grimsley a better bet to win 20 games after 1978 than anybody who had never done it?
    I would say that about the same amount of luck was involved.