Fire Dayton Moore

Fire Dayton Moore
It's time.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Not exactly easy listening Pt. IV

This is a day late, but on Wednesday, Baseball Prospectus' Effectively Wild Podcast featured the Royals as they cycle through each MLB team to preview the season. Craig Brown and Kansas City Star columnist Sam Mellinger were guests on the show. Both rehash the Myers-Shields trade and explain why, to this day, it still feels like a poor move on Dayton Moore's part. They also bring into question why a franchise that has preached OBP for years still has one of the worst walk rates in baseball. And their expectations for 2013 are as mild as mine.

That's the main thing I wanted to bring to your attention. Feel free to stop reading and please at least listen to the intro for this episode of Effectively Wild.

On my drive to work yesterday, while listening to this podcast, I had what I think is one of my best ideas in recent memory. You know how in some cases teams can cut ties with a player and void the remaining money owed to that player (like what the Yankees are scrambling to do with Alex Rodriguez, for example)?

What if you could do that with front office personnel? Except, instead of money, you void transactions. So when an owner fires his GM, all the moves he's made over the last 365 days are undone.  Speaking as someone who has had the misfortune of following teams with strikingly bad GMs almost all my life, I think it's a spectacular idea.

Just think. In 9 months, after the Royals have finished 78-84 behind the Tigers and White Sox, Dayton Moore should (but probably won't) get fired. And upon the announcement of said firing, all of his moves from the previous year would be reversed. No more James Shields. No more Wade Davis. No more Jeremy Guthrie. Wil Myers comes back to his rightful place in the Royals outfield. Wouldn't that just be grand?

As unrealistic as it sounds, I think it's fair in this way: GMs that are on the hot seat make irrational moves in their last season to save their asses. That's the only logical explanation for the moves Moore has made the last three months. Desperation. So why should a franchise be set back because of the actions of a desperate man?

I know. The fact of the matter is, an owner should string an underperforming GM along so long that they have a chance to execute such desperate moves. But, at the very least, I bet such a change would cause competing GMs to think twice about taking advantage of GMs like Moore...

And while I'm throwing out crazy ideas, I think the Tampa Bay Rays should move to the Sprint Center.

  1. The Sprint Center finally lands the marquee tenant it's been seeking.
  2. The Rays get out of a city that doesn't appreciate (or deserve) them.
  3. The Rays can continue playing indoors for no good reason.
  4. Wil Myers would play in front of fans in Kansas City as he was meant to.
  5. Kansas City baseball fans wouldn't have to travel to St. Louis to watch a well-run franchise in person.
As you can tell, I'm starved for actual baseball action to begin...

Fire Dayton Moore

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed

Let's set aside all the facts we have on Jeff Francoeur. Let's forget all the things that must go right for the Royals starting rotation to combine for 60 victories (a standard plateau for playoff-caliber staffs). Outside of right field and the rotation, what would you say is the Royals' most glaring question mark?

Fair to say second base? I think so. Enough of a question mark that manager Ned Yost answered questions about the coming battle between Chris Getz and Johnny Giavotella for playing time at the position.

Coincidentally, while Yost was talking about two replacement-level infielders, the Oakland A's — a franchise with a plan — traded for Jed Lowrie, who will likely serve as an uber utility man. Lowrie can play every infield position, including...drum roll...second base!

Just like Dayton Moore should have known the Marlins were primed to sell off players when the offseason began, Moore should have known nothing in Houston was nailed down and Lowrie in particular should have been a target. Instead, he was too busy pinning his $1 million hopes on Miguel Tejada.

For the record, Lowrie — who posted a 2.5 WAR in 2012 despite missing time, compared to Getz and Giavotella's combined WAR of -0.2 — will make just $2.4 million this season, is arbitration eligible for 2014 and wouldn't be a free agent until 2015. He switch hits. And he wears a double-flapped batting helmet.

He's exactly the kind of player a contending team adds as a final piece of the puzzle. By comparison, Marco Scutaro, who signed a 3-year, $20 million deal this offseason, also posted a 2.5 WAR last season. Scutaro also would have fit in nicely with the Royals, especially if Moore thinks the team needs veteran leaders, but I can understand why he was priced out of the Royals' range (plus he's 37 while Lowrie is going on 29). Moore doesn't have the same excuse with Lowrie.

The only case I can come up with against the Royals landing Lowrie is they probably couldn't offer the Astros a power bat like Chris Carter, who the A's sent packing along with solid prospects Brad Peacock and Max Stassi. If the Astros wouldn't settle for less than a big bat, a top pitching prospect and catching prospect, then the Royals obviously wouldn't be a good fit.

However, believe it or not, I'm an optimist. I like to look at why something can happen, not why it can't. So, once again, if Dayton Moore were serious about making the Royals a contender this season, he would have found a way to add Jed Lowrie to his roster.

But Moore isn't serious. He hasn't come to "win" in 2013. He's Come to Play.

Fire Dayton Moore

Friday, February 1, 2013

The list to top all lists

I love lists. I think it goes back to my love for baseball. And for as long as I can remember, my dad and I have come up with lists. Every year in fantasy baseball we break our rosters down into how we'd fill out an actual lineup card. Last year I came up with an "All-Excitement" team, listing the most exciting baseball player at each position. Also, I'm an unabashed smart ass.

That's my backstory. Last week, my dad asked me to list my "All-Royals" team by naming my favorite player or the best player I could think of for each position. So, me being me, I rattled off the following...

"Jason Kendall, Mike Jacobs, Yuniesky Betancourt, Jeff Francoeur, Kyle Davies, Vin Mazzaro, Jonathan Sanchez, Luke Hochevar..."

Then I started thinking about the players I was blurting out and realized they were all acquired by the same man: Dayton Moore.

Yes, I know the history books will read Hochevar was drafted two days before Moore was named Royals GM, but I don't buy it. Agreeing to work for a franchise that won't allow you to run your first draft and ultimately drafts Hochevar without you is inexcusable. However, to know you're going to be hired by a team yet refuse to have any input on the player you will ultimately have to sign and answer for is irresponsible. Either way, Moore looks foolish.

I'll never forget Joe Posnanski breaking down Moore'se ludicrous, glowing quotes after he signed Kendall, illustrating how out of touch with reality Moore seemed to be when it came to the broken down catcher. I sadly couldn't find the article, but I did find this one, which brings up other long-forgotten names. It goes to show how little things have changed under Moore's direction.

Anyway, as a completionist, once I started this list of terrible Moore acquisitions, I set my mind to round it out. So here it is. A 25-man roster of terrible. In parenthesis are the year or even years in which Moore acquired or re-acquired these standouts along with their WAR as Royals.

C Jason Kendall (Dec. 2009; July 2012 — 1.3)
1B Mike Jacobs (Oct. 2008 — -0.7)
2B Chris Getz (Nov. 2009 — 1.5)
3B Josh Fields (Nov. 2009 — 0.2)
SS Yuniesky Betancourt (July 2009; Dec. 2011 — 0.1)
LF Scott Podsednik (Jan. 2010 — 0.7)
CF Rick Ankiel (Jan. 2010 — 0.8)
RF Jeff Francoeur (Dec. 2010 — 1.7)
DH Jose Guillen (Dec. 2007 — -1.6)
C Jason LaRue (Nov. 2006 — -0.3)
1B Ross Gload (Dec. 2006 — -0.9)
UT Jason Bourgeois (March 2012 — -0.5)
UT Miguel Tejada (Dec. 2012 — TBD)

SP Luke Hochevar (June 2006 — 8.9)
SP Kyle Davies (July 2007 — 5.2)
SP Vin Mazzaro (Nov. 2010 — 0.2)
SP Jonathan Sanchez (Nov. 2011 — -0.7)
SP Brandon Duckworth (June 2006 — 1.5)
SP Sidney Ponson (March 2009 — 0.6)
SP Sean O'Sullivan (July 2010 — -0.7)
RP Yasuhiko Yabuta (Nov. 2007 — -0.3)
RP Jeremy Jeffress (Dec. 2010 — 0.0)
RP Doug Waechter (Dec. 2008 — -0.1)
RP Hideo Nomo (Jan. 2008 — -0.3)
RP Kyle Farnsworth (Dec. 2008 — 1.7)

Moore missed being on the hook for Scott Elarton by months but that doesn't excuse him from allowing Elarton to post a -1.7 WAR from 2006 to 2007. He was the one player I was most disappointed I couldn't include.

I left off some other great names such as Ryan Shealy and Kip Wells and I'm certain I missed others, but if this isn't the definitive list of Dayton Moore flunkies, it's damn near close.

Look at that list. Some of the worst players to ever suit up for the Royals. And they were all unleashed on Kansas City by the same man.

Fire Dayton Moore