I can't believe I didn't see this before. Dayton Moore doesn't just look like Forrest Gump. He doesn't just have the luck of Forrest Gump. Dayton Moore IS Forrest Gump.
Moore has ascended beyond the realm of lucky rabbit feet and horseshoes. He's literally Forrest Gumping his way through the 2013 MLB season. There's no other explanation.
Wil Myers is running away with the Rookie of the Year despite having his debut stalled until June. Meanwhile James Shields has seen his ERA, WHIP and OPS against do this since May:
August (two starts)ERA: 6.75
Has there been any overwhelming fan outrage? Suffice it to say, there was more outrage over Johnny Giavotella being demoted in July in favor of Chris Getz — two interchangeable players.
Wade Davis (5.42 ERA, 1.74(!) WHIP) continues to undermine the Royals' winning efforts as Ned Yost continues to misuse him as a starting pitcher while Jake Odorizzi shows some promise in Triple-A for the Rays. There's no love lost between fans and Davis, but the fact Odorizzi could do just as well at a fraction of the price seems to go unnoticed.
Winning truly cures all. Even if Moore has arguably cost the Royals wins, despite James Shields' (2.4 WAR*) positive efforts, by taking Myers (1.8 WAR in two months) out of the right field equation and adding Wade Davis (1.3 WAR) to it.
*By comparison, Felix Hernandez has a 4.8 WAR this year.
Moore has complete immunity this season for these 10 reasons:
- The average Royals fan doesn't watch enough MLB Network to notice Wil Myers on the highlights (my guess is the common Royals fan doesn't realize Myers once belonged to the Royals).
- Shields' steady decline has been overshadowed by his sparkling start to the season.
- Fans are so used to terrible starting pitching, the fact there's only one main offender, Davis, feels like a positive.
- Fans have no idea how expensive Davis is, how expensive he will be in 2014, and how expensive he could be through 2017.
- Forget Myers, fans have no understanding of how inexpensive Odorizzi would be and how long he would have been under team control. For the amount of money the Royals could have saved with Myers and Odorizzi (this year and beyond) compared to Shields and Davis, they could have found another free agent pitcher or two and won even more games.
- Ervin Santana is a social media darling (follow him on Twitter @ErvinSantana_54) and has backed it up other than tonight's start.
- Miguel Tejada is a Twitter account away from equaling Santana in fan popularity. In fairness to Tejada, he has earned every penny of the contract he signed this spring. That was a legitimately good move by Moore that I can't knock — except Tejada's services wouldn't be needed if Moore had found a legitimate second baseman by year seven.
- Eric Hosmer has overcome early season scuffling to finally look like the budding star he was two years ago.
- The Royals had three All-Stars.
- The Royals went on an uncanny streak immediately after Moore predicted one and new acquisition Justin Maxwell has crushed three home runs already during said streak.
Logically, there's no reason the Royals should have a winning record right now. There's no reason they should have recovered from Santana's poor start tonight. But they do and they have. In the irony of all ironies, the Royals could conceivably join the Rays in the one-game playoff.
The Orioles had this kind of season in 2012. Some team had to have this kind of season in 2013. I'm putting logic and reason on the back burner, I'm putting my blinders on and accepting that the chips are going to fall where they may.
If the Royals wind up proving me wrong and Dayton Moore right, so be it. Santana, Tejada and Maxwell have been good acquisitions. But the Myers-Shields trade was an immediate wash and long-term loss. Not even a one-game playoff will be worth the loss of Myers. Especially when it could have been achieved with Myers.
Fortunately for Gump, I mean Moore, he has enough chocolates left in that box of his to last through the rest of his contract.
Fire Dayton Moore