Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Royals blow another game, extend Moore’s contract

Game Date: August 31, 2009
Kansas City @ Oakland
Oakland 8, Royals 5 / Box Score
WP: Breslow (6-7), LP: Hochevar (6-8)
KC Home Runs: DeJesus (12)
Royals Record: 50-81 / Record in August 10-21

It seems fitting that the Royals would commit two errors (one of which John Bale threw a ball somewhere in the vicinity of the wrong base) that cost them the game on the same day the Glass family extended Dayton Moore’s contract through 2014. And how can we overlook the irony that Luke Hochevar, the first player Moore acquired in the draft after arriving in Kansas City, was on the mound yesterday in a losing effort?

This might surprise you, given what I’ve written about Dayton Moore recently, but I don’t think his contract extension is a huge blunder. I don’t understand why it was extended for four years, but I’m usually willing to give the benefit of the doubt, so I really wanted to hear what Dan Glass would say regarding the extension. He spoke about the important of continuity and he said that he believes the Royals are heading in the right direction—going so far as to say that “Dayton is an important part of the process.” I can’t believe he used the term “process,” but he did.

The truth is, this organization has been unstable since the day Ewing Kauffman died. Issuing Moore a long term contract doesn’t necessarily mean stability, but changing GMs every few years who bring their own philosophies to the mix is pretty much the definition of instability. If we changed GMs now, we’d still have to wait another four or five years for his guys to be in place.

My problems with Dayton Moore this season stem from him having a supposed clear “process” in place that would put the Royals in contention in 2011 and beyond, but not until. This process only became clear after the 2009 season fell apart. If he would have started talking about this process when he first took over, most fans wouldn’t have liked waiting four or five years, but we would have understood the reality of the situation. Instead, he goaded us into believing that the Royals might just sneak away with the AL Central title this season.

But let’s be real honest with ourselves. We chose to believe the Royals could play .500 ball this season in spite of knowing we had some rather glaring weaknesses. That’s on us. Moore made things worse by talking down to us and by being inconsistent in telling us about the type of player he wanted to sign and then going out and signing the exact opposite type of player. These signings caused many of us to question Moore’s process. And so the snowball went. 

Moore now tells us to look at the low levels of the Minor Leagues. Wilmington and NW Arkansas contain many of the players he acquired and both teams are leading their respective divisions this season. Just last night, Michael Montgomery struck out 12 men and gave up just one hit in 6.2 IP for Wilmington. Moore tells us to consider the fact that he didn’t unload Joakim Soria and Zack Greinke. He says that Greinke was convinced enough that the organization was on the right track to stay in Kansas City through the 2012 season. It’s hard to argue with Moore in any of those cases.

We can argue with him regarding the players he has signed at the big league level (Ponson, HoRam, Freel, Betancourt, Farnsworth, Bale, etc.) and we can wonder why he doesn’t seem to consider defense an important aspect of a player’s game when he is looking for players to fill in the holes at the big league level. But the truth is, we won’t really know what we’ve got with Dayton Moore until he has all of his players in place and that probably won’t happen for a couple of more seasons.

I don’t see why Glass had to extend his contract this early. He could have done so a year from now if he was still convinced that Moore was the right man for the job. But, what’s done is done. The honeymoon period is over; we’ve had our first fight with Dayton Moore; now we’ll find out what this marriage is really made of.

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