2014 Royals Don’t Need Moore of the Same

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Dayton Moore made the unfortunate, if not inevitable, announcement that NedYost was getting a new contract.  Then, things got kind of weird.

“Theres an emotion and an expectation and there’s an excitement around this group of players, and in a small way, I feel like we’ve won the World Series.  Because we have captured a fan base that is excited. Young people identify with our players.  A lot of the elderly that tune into our games night in and night out are enjoying what we are doing. We’re bringing a lot of joy.  To me, that’s very satisfying.  It’s very fulfilling”

Moore was “World Series Happy”, yet managed to alienated everyone in the room, not named “Ned”.   Moore is fulfilled and satisfied with this year, and speaks as if he’s doing God’s work.

Moore’s demeanor has changed.  He’s uncomfortably political.  He’s been evasive, inconsistent, and dishonest.  This is Moore after the frustrating 2008 season.

“We’re at a point now where you will never, ever hear me say again that we have young players who are improving. You will never, ever hear me say again that we are rebuilding. That stuff is over. I’m sick of all that.  There are no more excuses.”  

Where did that guy go!?  Moore has since asked fans to be patient with his process, saying it takes up to 10 years to turn things around, waxing sonnets about children and the elderly.

If I had to guess, he’s probably that great guy everyone says.  You know what?  Great guys do crappy things when desperate. Being this is the last year of his contract, Moore is professionally desperate.  Seems he is personally stubborn too.  This is worrisome.

Moore seems to think stubbornness and resilience are synonymous.  They are not.  When you change your mind, you allow yourself to become smarter.  That just doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen.

Moore has reinvented the timetable for “the process” several times.  He insists the team’s entire offense is trending up. Not true, and insulting to anyone paying attention.

What’s that mean for a team that can’t possibly duplicate this year’s pitching performance? After James Shields, the most valuable starter was Ervin Santana.  He’s going to be gone via free agency.  The same should be said for Bruce Chen.  Even if Chen is re-signed, it would be foolish to expect him to replicate his second half of 2013 performance.

What’s that mean? It means Wade Davis in the middle of your rotation.  It means they will be looking for unproven young starters from within the organization, while hoping to find another one year bargain, like they did with Santana. The starting pitching will take a step back, putting new stress on an excellent bullpen.  That’s going to happen, so they need more bats.

Not so fast.  Moore made it clear they believed in all of their positioned players, and said all of their players were trending up offensively .  He then turned his back to the room as his nose grew 13 inches.

What does that mean for 2014?  Does that mean a Justin Maxwell and David Lough platoon in right?  Their combined OPS, projected over a full season is 725.  That OPS would have ranked 18th overall for MLB Right Fielders.  Not good enough for a playoff team.

Does that mean they gamble on Lorenzo Cain staying healthy?

Doe’s that mean nobody new to challenge Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar? Does that mean Emilio Bonifacio is the starter at second base?

This year, he insisted Jeff Francouer would have a bounce back year, and Chris Getz was an everyday second baseman.  They stuck with Wade Davis for at least 5 starts too long.  How many wins did that cost the Royals?  It probably cost the Royals their first postseason in 28 years.

Dayton and Ned never made any mention about lessons learned from mistakes.  They never articulated a need to improve on their specific jobs.  On the contrary, Moore and Yost may open next season on the DL from their vigorous back patting display.

Moore and Yost have done a great job creating team unity and chemistry.  Their guys stick up for one another.  They don’t quit.  That’s what is scary about Moore and Yost acting as if they have graduated. They may compromise their best strength.

It’s the last year of Moore’s contract.  What happens if this stubborn plan starts to fail early next season?

Will Moore ask Willie Wilson back to be a bench coach? Will he trade Adalberto Mondesi and Kyle Zimmer for a veteran starter with just two years left on his contract?  No!  He would never sell out the team’s legacy and mortgage it’s future……wait a second.

Small market teams must have progressive leadership and strategy to succeed. Moore is intelligent, but he refuses to accept he has weaknesses.  It’s too bad he’s not willing to learn, change, or delegate some brain trust, because they won’t keep winning this way any Moore.

Topics: Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals, Ned Yost

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  • jimfetterolf

    Dayton Moore seldom tips his hand, so I pay little attention to his words. I accept that the 86 wins was real and think the team on the field at the end is capable of being even better, so wish for a Santana re-signing and a little more maturation from the youngsters and a return to ’12 for a couple of the veterans.

    • Ed Connealy

      I think his words are, and have always been, very revealing. I think they lose 90 games with this EXISTING roster sans Santana.

      • jimfetterolf

        Fourteen game swing, that’s a unique suggestion.

        • Greg Smith

          I remember all the bashing during the off season for spending $12 million on Santana. Seems like that worked out rather well….

  • Dave Lowe

    Why are we bashing Moore for things that haven’t happened yet?! Let’s see how he addresses the loss of Santana before bashing him.

    What if he re-signs Santana?

    Let’s see how he addresses the HORRIFIC offensive seasons posted by Escobar and Moose.

    What if he trades one or both of them in the offseason? What if he acquires a free agent at those positions? The point is, let’s wait before we bash him.

    Having said that, should we bash Moore for trading away 6+ years Wil Myers? Absolutely. Should we bash him for drafting Christian Colon in 2011 instead of other better choices (Matt Harvey, Chris Sale)? Of course. Should we bash Moore for drafting Aaron Crow in 2009 instead of better choices (Shelby Miller, Mike Trout)? Indeed.

    I also bash him for re-signing Franceour, and for playing him. I bash him for playing Chris Getz and for allowing Chicago to dump him on us. I bash him for a lot of bad moves. He has, however, made some good moves, such as locking up Salvador Perez, drafting Eric Hosmer, Greg Holland, and others. I think the 2013 draft strategy will ultimately pay nice dividends (getting both Hunter Dozier and Sean Manea). The international draft has some nice names (Mondesi, Bonifacio, Hernandez, Almonte, Calixte, Rivera, etc.)

    I don’t want to bash him for 2013 offseason decisions that haven’t been made.

    • Ed Connealy

      You make some great points Dave. He deserves props for buttoning up Sal, waiting out Hosmer, and drafting Holland. However…it’s not harsh to forecast based on consistent data. We all knew Frenchie and Getz were unacceptable going into last year. But it happened. We all know that not upgrading the lineup for next year is unacceptable ..it’s ok to point that out. Nobody will be happier to be wrong than me if Moore does make the right moves.

      • Dave Lowe

        Agree. I am one of the biggest DM bashers there are. I even named one of my fantasy baseball teams, “No Moore,” b/c I want him to be gone. Do I think he will be gone? No, and in fact I think Glass will extend his contract.

        He makes a failed investment and then REFUSES to admit mistake and cut bait. How? Examples include Jeff Franceour, Chris Getz, Kyle Davies, Luke Hochevar as a SP, and Wade Davis as a SP.

        He needs to improve by not being married to the players. This is very hard: to make callous, cold, and difficult business decisions and admit you made mistakes in the past.

        It’s just like investing in stocks: ride your winners (Sal, Gordon, Hosmer, Holland) and cut your losers (Frenchy, Getz, Moose, Hoch, Davis). If he can learn to do this, he will succeed.

        Drafting Christian Colon instead of better options (Sale, Harvey) is a tough call, b/c you can’t predict the future. Maybe Colon will get a chance to win the 2B job in spring? We shall see.

        • jimfetterolf

          Colon was questionable at the time but it was quite clear that 2nd was an organizational weakness and he drafted for need at a time when he thought he was stocked on hot young arms, before Monty, Lamb, and Duffy were hurt and Odorizzi was exposed by better competition. Sale was talked about but I think what scared GMs away was his mechanics, it’s a miracle he hasn’t had TJS yet.

      • Dave Lowe

        Oh, and another thing I bash DM for: firing Kevin Seitzer. Almost every Royal hitter regressed in 2013 from 2012 with the main exception being Eric Hosmer.

        The two ding dongs he hired to replace Seitzer were not the answer, and I question whether Pedro Grifol is the answer. A very BIG test will be if he can fix Mike Moustakas in winter ball as they will be on the team together.

        • jimfetterolf

          Seitzer, like Maloof, was fired because Hosmer and Moose wouldn’t listen to him. Hosmer listened to Brett and returned to his old swing and form, Moose didn’t, so may be on the road to Omaha and bust if he doesn’t accept coaching. I could see Gordon back at 3rd with an OF of Lough, Cain, and Maxwell with Dyson as 4th. Moose might hit 60 homers in Werner park and enhance his trade value to a team with a short RF porch like the Yankees.

    • kcmark

      Do you think Tampa wished they could undo the trade? With James Shields instead on Wil Myers Tampa may have won the division. Do you think Tampa would have liked to have Shields on the bump for one of those starts in the ALDS?

      • Dave Lowe

        No, Tampa Bay fleeced Moore and will be laughing all the way to the playoffs for the next six years with Wil Myers. They would much rather have Myers for 7 years than 2 more years of Shields ending in 2014.

        In addition to Myers, the Royals lost Odorrizi (already making major league starts), Montgomery, and Leonard. All with 6-7 years of minimum wage/arbitration salaries. All the Rays gave up was 2 years of James Shields and a decent reliever in Wade Davis.

        Of course, the Royals made it even more of a disastrous trade by trying to reconvert Davis into a starter, which ultimately cost them a playoff spot.

        • Greg Smith

          Odorizzi did make some major league starts, they just weren’t good. Like he did in Omaha he did not pitch deep into the games. As a starter he did not make it to the 6th inning before being sent back to the minors. Tampa had some injuries to their starters this year but Jake spent most of the summer again in AAA. When he did come back up, he only saw action in a couple games in long relief.

  • Dirty Harold

    No faith in Smith, Paulino and Duffy to round out the rotation? All 3 have proven that they have good stuff and are all on the up&up. What do you see our rotation looking like if Santana chooses $ over KC?

    • Ed Connealy

      I’ll be bummed if Duffy and Ventura are not in the rotation next year. I hope we see

      Shields
      FREE AGENT
      Guthrie
      Duffy
      Ventura

      Then you have Davis, Paulino, Zimmer, Smith and Co as insurance. Interesting question..should Hoche get a look at starting again?

      • Dave Lowe

        I totally agree with this scenario, Ed.

        So the question is who Moore fills in the ‘FREE AGENT’ with? I want to remain positive based on his ability to grab Ervin Santana last year, and believe he can do it again.