Despite having a leg up on most teams searching for a new skipper, the Kansas City Royals have been the least active on the surface.
Ned Yost announced he was retiring from both the Kansas City Royals and the MLB a week before the season ended in 2019. Only the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants knew they would look for a new manager at that point, due to the firing of Andy Green and the previously announced retirement of Bruce Bochy, respectively.
The Padres have already christened Jayce Tingler has their next coach and three teams who did not have job openings until the last day of the regular season or after have new managers in place. This includes Joe Maddon going to the Los Angeles Angels, David Ross taking over for Maddon as the Chicago Cubs skipper, and Joe Girardi guiding the Philadelphia Phillies.
What is left is the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, and Kansas City Royals scrambling to find their next on-field general. Former Royals’ Jason Kendall and Carlos Beltran are known to be interested in Pirates and Mets job, respectively, but no hiring appears eminent.
Per Dayton Moore, several interviews have taken place with in-house candidates such as Vance Wilson, Pedro Grifol and Mike Matheny. What we have not heard is more well-known names such as Beltran or Gabe Kapler. Grifol talked with the Giants about their opening but a decision has not been made for that franchise yet. He could be off the table if San Francisco pulls the trigger on him.
This inaction, or perceived lack of inaction, leads many to believe that Matheny has been the hand-picked successor the entire time and the team is letting the process play out to show they explored many options. More than one person in the national media believes a decision could come any day:
If Matheny was the chosen one the entire time, did the team do itself any favors by waiting this long to announce? It is already a given that this will not go over well with most Kansas City Royals fans despite Matheny’s winning record as skipper of the St. Louis Cardinals for several years.
Should Moore have looked at higher-profile candidates, especially a Kansas City Royals product like Beltran? That name recognition would have bought a lot of goodwill within the fan base. Perhaps they will wait until after the next owner’s meeting when John Sherman is expected to be approved as the next Royals owner and then let him make this important announcement, whoever the new manager will be.
The lack of updates from the team, though, is frustrating for the fans who are on pins and needles looking for hope in the next manager. And the longer they wait to introduce Matheny as the leader of the Kansas City Royals, the greater the blowback they will receive.