Kansas City Royals: How to avoid the same mistakes in 2020

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Kansas City Royals, Mike Matheny
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Move on from Yost by not trying to find a new Yost.

Mike Matheny is not the right manager for this team. I doubt I would believe Mike Matheny is the proper manager for any major league team in 2020, but I only care about the Kansas City Royals. There are reasons to believe that the Royals have finally begun to understand and embrace the use of analytics in today’s game. But it is not like we have always been on the frontier.

Now is a perfect opportunity to show they are serious about becoming a team ready for the 2020s. To make some significant movement towards becoming one of the leaders, and not trying to play catchup for the next decade.

Many MLB organizations are still trying to understand how to embrace the changes concerning the use of data in the modern game. Change has come fast and furious over the last 20 years. It has gone from understanding Sabermetrics as a way to help identify useful statistics to using analytics to make reasonable assumptions about future performances. Now franchises at the forefront of the league also use data to aid in player development as well as spotting overlooked free agents. Signing Matheny would be a sign, to me, that we have no intention of becoming one of those franchises.

Young players today are different from the players of yesteryear. They do not see analytics as some fringe idea for nerds. It is something they have been around their entire baseball lives.

Data is not the only thing from yesteryear that has changed. Bullying behavior in pro sports was once considered acceptable, even necessary. But it never actually was. And the movement away from treating your teammates like garbage is a good one and one that we should embrace. We should expect MLB players to behave as professionals towards one another. Bullying and ostracizing younger players is not only the wrong thing to do, but it is also unproductive.

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The Royals are a franchise that anticipates bringing up a crop of young pitchers over the next few years. Young pitchers will struggle as much as they succeed. Young men who will have their confidence tested on the field. The last thing we need is a manager, as Matheny has shown himself to be in the past, that believes a professional dugout should be held to the same standards as the mean table in a high school cafeteria.