Today is the seventh anniversary of the Royals hiring Dayton Moore as the club's general manager. The Royals are 21-29 as I write this and on their way to 21-30. They've sunk all the way to last place in the Central Division — common hangout for the Royals during Moore's tenure. In less than a month, Kansas City has gone from first to last. How quickly reality sets in.
As penance for the Royals' futility, heads are starting to roll. That is to say, heads have rolled in much the same fashion as Eric Hosmer's swings roll grounders meekly to the right side of the infield. Dayton Moore was not fired today. Manager Ned Yost was not fired today. No notable scouting or development personnel were dismissed today. Instead, it was announced today that George Brett would serve as interim hitting coach with the assistance of Pedro Grifol. The former dynamic hitting coach duo of Jack Maloof and Andre David were not fired today. They were instead reassigned to spread their expertise elsewhere within the organization.
And when I say, "expertise," I mean such insight as what Maloof shared with Fox Sports, blaming Kauffman Stadium for the team's lack of home runs. Not only did he blame the stadium for his hitters' impotence at the plate, he rationalized that there simply wasn't enough incentive at the K for Royals hitters to even try hitting home runs at home. It makes about as much sense as Mariners manager Eric Wedge scapegoating sabermetricians for Dustin Ackley's poor performance.
In reality, the Royals' 11 home runs in 24 home games compared to 17 home runs in 26 road games does not explain away how, say, a team such as the Oakland Athletics have hit 19 home runs in 25 games at their cavernous home ballpark (I'd write the A's stadium name if I had any confidence it would still be intact by the time I publish this post) versus 34 home runs in 29 road games. If a team such as Oakland, devoid of a single player with double-digit home runs, can manage as many home runs as it has given its situation (the A's play in a division that includes Angels Stadium and Safeco Field, which are hardly hitter friendly), the Royals have to do better than the excuses Maloof verbalized.
Maloof was the scapegoat on Thursday. It doesn't change the fact his statements were most certainly a peephole into the mad inner workings of the Royals front office and coaching staff. Maloof may be the only Royals buffoon foolish enough to openly accuse Kauffman Stadium for the Royals' limp power numbers, but what are the odds he is a rogue lackey? Slim.
Perhaps Yost, befuddled that forcing out Kevin Seitzer wasn't an instant cure-all, has been grumbling about Kauffman being the culprit. If I were to learn Maloof was simply regurgitating the opinions of Dayton Moore himself, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.
Why reprimand Maloof if those are Moore's views? Why was captain Francesco Schettino the first to abandon his sinking cruise ship? Why do mob bosses start eliminating their own henchmen when authorities come closing in? Simple. Self-preservation.
Dayton Moore is merely setting up defenses. Maloof and David were sacrificed this week. Once the June amateur draft is complete, don't be surprised if some scouting personnel take the fall. Minor league coaches partially responsible for the lack of development by players in the organization must be on thin ice. By the All-Star Break, the pressure will intensify to the point Moore will have to part with partner-in-crime Yost.
But all this cleaning house will be done in an effort to preserve Moore's place in Kansas City. Nothing will change as Moore will simply replace one sabermetrically-deficient minion with another and blame them when nothing changes. The addition of George Brett to the coaching staff was nothing but a glorified publicity stunt. A move meant to make fans revert to their adolescent years and remember the Kansas City icon and Hall of Famer in his heyday and take attention away from the mockery that has become his former club.
How ironic that the teams Brett once played on used Kauffman Stadium to their advantage. Now he's working for an organization that uses the park as an excuse for mediocrity. No real progress can be made until the head of the beast is removed.
Fire Dayton Moore
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