December 12, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore (left), newly acquired pitcher James Shields (center), and manager Ned Yoast display Shield

Royals Leadership Showing Optimistic Cracks

Everything about James Shields was outstanding Tuesday night.  He dominated a hot hitting line up, in a series opener, and registered his 1,500th career strike out.  When the game was stopped to acknowledge the milestone, he was annoyed.  Dude was so locked in, he didn’t want to pause and celebrate his individual moment.  Would be nice to see more of that behavior from other players.  Some of them celebrate broken bat singles harder than James did his big K.  James is a winner, a leader, a guy who belongs in pennant races.

Meanwhile, Dayton Moore, and the rest of the team’s leadership, continues to show how ill-equipped the are to take this organization to the next level.  This week we got very different opinions on why Mike Moustakas continues to struggle and why he should not be sent to Omaha.

Moore thinks Moose is mentally fit, Brett thinks he’s doomed once he makes an out in his first at bat, and Yost think Moose’s defensive value outweighs his short-comings at the plate.  Rusty Kuntz called out Billy Butler for not turning the corner hard on singles, saying they have not been able to get Butler to do that for a long time.

Cracks are showing.

This is not all bad. Things often have to break around the house before they get fixed properly.  The Royals shifting, flawed philosophies do need fixing.  While I don’t think Moore nor Yost are the right guys to take the Royals any further, it would be good to see even more conflict because that could at least mean an ending to the business as usual tenor they have been employing.

May is half over and the Royals are just over .500.  This month, on paper, looks to be the right time for the Royals to make large strides in the win column. Let’s hope the Royals end May a little over .500. Not only will they have a chance to still compete and catch the other post season contenders on the field, but they will still have time to make more intelligent roster decisions.

It’s clear the brass feels the heat and expectations are weighing on them.  Good.  This may force them to use Danny Valencia, Johnny Giavotella, and Mike Moustakas appropriately.  ( The Moose/Valencia platoon is here now and netting better results.)

The troublesome and contradictory words from Royals leadership is disturbing and revealing, but it may also be the beginning of a smarter, better season netting a real post season chase.


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Tags: Dayton Moore Kansas City Royals Ned Yost

  • Eric Akers

    I didn’t see where Brett said anything about Moose. Is there a link?

  • moretrouble

    Ed, your piece fails to include ownership in your judgments. Ownership retains tight control over the KC organization and employees are limited by the restrictions place on them. It is NOT the goal of ownership to win a championship, despite their public announcements. Their goal is to be competitive every year.

    Being a long time season ticket holder, I’m constantly reminded of the differences between the Kauffman
    years and the Glass years. Current ownership simply takes profit from operating a business franchise in Kansas City. The corporate attitude from ownership filters down to their employees — even to stadium
    personnel. There is an odd feel in the stadium brought on by years of futility and budget cutting. Despite an emphasis on customer service that gives fans the plastic smiles, the upscale retail courtesy, the
    tactful controlled accounts of the game on radio/TV … the entire experience is somewhat sterile compared to the Kauffman years.’

    Kauffman actually attended games, he lived in the community. Many players did, too. Fans cared about the team — and Kauffman cared about the fans. How often did you see Ewing lean out the window from the owner’s box during a big rally and wave that white towel? Kauffman was visible, accessible — and he rewarded fan loyalty with an investment that produced a championship.

    Standing up from my seat and watching the celebration at the end of game 7 of the ’85 World Series … fans charging the field, a sea of red walking dejected up the aisles, while Royal’s players and fans hugged each other … it was history. But, that will NEVER be repeated with the current ownership.

    I appreciate the Glass family for their efforts to keep baseball in Kansas City and I thank them for it. I’ve lived in many places where major league baseball was inaccessible. But, if anything needs to be changed
    in the KC organization, it’s the owner.