On the evening of Sunday, December 9, 2012, I received a text message, informing me the Royals had shipped off their most valuable minor league asset for a rental pitcher, a Quad-A pitcher, and a player to be named later.
I was livid. Burning a top prospect on a rental is one thing, but why give up more assets to add dead weight? Expensive dead weight at that. I sat with my dad in his living room, neither of us able to speak. Dumbfounded by the unthinkable coming to fruition. I couldn't wait to read columns lambasting GM Dayton Moore for such a foolish move — not just shortsighted, foolish. I expected sports radio stations to have phones ringing off their hooks from callers protesting the trade. If I had woken up on Monday and found the skyline of Kansas City engulfed in flames, I wouldn't have wondered as to why.
Instead, other than writers such as Rany Jazayerli, most opinion pieces on the move were measured in their criticism. Some analysts I highly respect, such as Baseball Prospectus' Jason Parks, defended the Royals' side of the deal. My dad said reviews of the trade on sports radio were mixed. I'm fairly certain not even a match was lit in Jackson County in the hours following the deal. I began to wonder if I had overreacted. Maybe I judged Moore too harshly. I took a step back and reassessed the situation.
Upon further review, I dug in. The trade made no sense. Not even James Shields could catapult the Royals into a contender. Wade Davis and the player who turned out to be Elliot Johnson sure as hell weren't going to point the Royals in a positive direction. Whatever good Shields might do would no doubt be undone by the loss of Myers, who could have replaced Jeff Francoeur by June (Myers hit his fourth home run in 27 games on Friday — Frenchy hit 3 in 59 games and added approximately nothing else whatsoever other than a big, toothy grin and his legendary "clubhouse presence"), the inclusion of Davis on the pitching staff, and loss of all the years of inexpensive club control of Jake Odorizzi, who at the absolute worst, would have been no worse than Davis.
I'm not a sabermetric expert, but it didn't take one to realize Moore had made a mistake that would set the franchise back a number of years. Yet, the outrage was nowhere to be found. So, could it be, a transaction involving two of the smallest, least significant players in the organization turns out to be what breaks the floodgates wide open?
Thursday afternoon news broke that Johnny Giavotella was optioned with Everett Teaford to make roster space for Kelvin Herrera and none other than Chris Getz. Mr. Jazayerli documented the nonsense of this roster move quite well on his Twitter feed.
Giavotella was given two weeks, 10 games, and 34 at bats to prove he was worth a 25-man roster spot. He managed only seven hits, two doubles, a couple walks to sport a .206/.289/.265 slash line. Well, what can you do? He's obviously not Yasiel Puig. Might as well toss him back on the scrap heap. Getz had clearly fixed his impatient approach, after all, failing to draw a single walk while at Triple-A. Yet, he made up for it by reinforcing the fact he also has no power whatsoever, going homerless as well.
This time, Rany was not alone in his crusade to criticize Moore. Twitter blew up. I did my best to capitalize and draw traffic to the site and our petition, which you can sign here. Fans were beginning to mobilize. This site attracted close to 200 views. Our Twitter followers for @FireDaytonMoore increased by almost a third. Our number of signatures for our petition to save baseball in Kansas City, which again you can sign here, doubled. As I write this, we're merely 64 signatures away from reaching our goal.
All over a 5'8" second baseman with a career slash line of .206/.289/.333 in 393 career at bats. It's not how I pictured it happening, but I'll take it.
And I get it, Giavotella is like the backup quarterback on a crappy football team. Fans have seen enough of the incumbent starter. Any other option represents a better option. But when it comes down to it, Giavotella and Getz might as well be the same player — a player who has no business playing in the big leagues. For example, even Dan Uggla and his .200 average and NL-leading 116 strikeouts has a .315 OBP and 18 home runs. Giavotella and Getz's inability to get on base is matched only by their complete absence of pop. And they're no defensive wizards, either.
The problem really isn't that Moore didn't give Giavotella enough playing time. It isn't that Moore brought Getz back into the fold too soon. The problem is it's almost August and Moore is trying to con Royals fans into believing the Royals can still contend when he can't even put a Major League second baseman on the field. In reality, the Royals haven't had an acceptable second baseman since Mike Aviles in 2010 or Alberto Callaspo in 2009 and neither player is headed to the Royals Hall of Fame any time soon. Mark Grudzielanek held down the position the three years prior to that — coinciding with Moore coming to the Royals.
So what we have here is a GM who has had a glaring need at a position since his first day on the job. More than seven years later, fans are living and dying with Chris Getz and Johnny Giavotella because Moore has failed — failed miserably — at filling that need. At no point along the way did he come close, aside from his back-to-back one-year wonders.
And he still expects people to believe him when he says the Royals are poised for a second half breakout? Most notably, his boss?
Unlike a majority of Royals fans, I won't blame David Glass completely for the state the Royals are in. He has provided the funds. Unfortunately, he's entrusted them with someone incapable of making sound decisions with that funding and every day Moore is left to run things, the further he will set the franchise back.
The Royals beat the Tigers tonight. La-di-da. Ervin Santana tossed a gem tonight. That's actually significant. Whoever loses out on the Matt Garza sweepstakes would have to be interested in Santana, who is a free agent after the season.
If Moore fails to cash in on Santana's trade value to blindly cling to postseason hopes that won't be actualized, fans had better not stop revolting. What Moore does with his second base situation is inconsequential. Holding onto Santana and letting him walk for nothing after the season is a fireable offense. One of many to choose from for Moore.
Let your voice be heard.
Fire Dayton Moore