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?
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.