You can find my "objective" analysis of the Betancourt trade at Driveline Mechanics (it also covers the Francoeur-Church trade, which is actually probably even awesomer). At Driveline, I pretend to be an analyst. When I'm here, I'm just a fan. So many thoughts and emotions... So hard to express. Rather than putting together an unified essay, I thought I would do something simpler but at least as pretentious: a set of aphorisms, maxims, and other commentary that I found from myself and others covering not just the Betancourt trade, but the "Dayton Moore Era" in general.
You could read it as a Walter Benjamin-esque assemblage of materials a la the Arcades Project. More likely, you'll (rightly) read it as another desparate plea for attention. Some of these you have probably read before. Some you maybe haven't. Excelsior.
"I’m not going to pretend that this report card is some super-terrific advanced metric which tells you how good general manager is. But I do think that giving him a C+, meaning a bit better than average, is fairly appropriate. And if that’s how good he is, I don’t think he’s going to get the Royals into a League Championship Series. If a small market team’s GM is just a little above average, with some luck and players peaking together at the right time, you can get to the playoffs every now and then (think once or twice every 10 years…maybe). But that’s about it. Just good enough to squeak in occasionally and quickly get run out of the playoffs. That's not good enough."
-- NYRoyal, Dayton Moore Report Card, December 18, 2008
-- Rany Jazayerli, July 11, 2009
"It’s appropriate that DMGM is the guy who gave Ross Gload a contract, since he’s a defensive specialist who isn’t especially good at defense. Why? Beause this offseason is full of "win now" moves, except they don’t help the Royals win now."
[Scene: Seattle, WA, early Saturday morning. Jack Zduriencik stumbles into his offices, is greeted by his assistant, Marty]
Marty: Morning Mr. Z! Heck of night, wasn't it!
JZ: It sure was, Marty. Man, I sure had a lot to drink. I know it was sort of mean, but really, a celebration was in order.
Marty: Well, Yuni had many chances, Mr. Z. He was lucky to get a shot this season at all
JZ: You're probably right. Still, I hope he turns it around for Dayton. Dayton seems like a nice guy. Sorta surprised he didn't ask for more money. Two million dollars isn't that much in the big scheme of things. Saito might be a decent LOOGY down the road. We definitely got the better of them, but I don't feel like we ripped them off too badly.
Marty: Really? I think Cortes has an outside shot to be middle-of-the-rotation guy.
Marty: Dan Cortes. One of the Royals better pitching prospects? Some control problems this season? 22? Repeating AA?
JZ: Marty, I'm a scouting guy. I know who Dan Cortes is. What does that have to do with this trade?
Marty: Wow, Mr. Z, you really need to lay off the scotch. We also got Dan Cortes in the trade.
JZ [shocked]: Um, great.... I think it's coming back to me now... Um, Marty? Can you call the florist? Ask what an appropriate arrangement for "sorry I screwed you over" is. You know what? Call Beinfest in Miami. He'll know what Dayton likes for that sort of thing.
"Early in the day, after the news [of Moore being hired by the Royals] broke, Bill Shanks, author of the anti-Moneyball diatribe, Scout's Honor was on 810 AM bragging about how Moore doesn't know about stats, doesn't care about them, doesn't know what VORP is, etc. Sounds like the hearty anti-intellectualism of Buddisimo Bell. I wonder who would win a contest between Moore and Bell on who can say the words "fundamentals" and "the right way" the most per 1000 sentences??"
-- royalsreview, "The Dayton Moore Era Begins," June 1, 2006
"So, to get back to Dayton Moore’s two questions: 1. 'Should we do nothing because his on-base percentage is not what we want?' My answer: Yes. Absolutely. Positively. You do nothing. Yes, sure, those 32 home runs look juicy, but see, that’s why it’s hard to be a general manager: There is temptation around every corner."
--Joe Posnanski, "Royals GM Moore's acquisition of Jacobs is puzzling," Novemer 8, 2008
"Prediction: The Mets will non-tender Francoeur at the end of the year, and he will be signed by the Royals."
-- Talking Chop, July 11, 2009
"We can now mock Dayton Moore's attitude toward on-base percentage with impunity, since I'm pretty sure Jacobs, Jose Guillen, and Ross Gload outweigh that one wonderful season when Joey Gathright OBPed .371 out of nowhere."
-- devil_fingers, "Five Best Things About the (No-Longer-Just-Rumored) Trade for Mike Jacobs, Or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Dayton Moore," October 30, 2008
"[Willie Bloomquist has] never really been an everyday player, but he's always had good people ahead of him like [center fielder Mike] Cameron, [shortstop Yuniesky] Betancourt and [second baseman] Jose Lopez."
-- Dayton Moore, on the Bloomquist signing [emphasis added]
[Scene: Seattle Washington, Saturday Afternoon. Jack Z. is in his office on the phone]
JZ: Tango? Sorry to bother you on the weekend. Yeah, it really couldn't have worked out better. Listen, Tom, I've got a bit of a headache this morning, so I'll get to the point... this is sort of uncomfortable....It's about your contract for next season... It's not a done deal yet, but at this point we're leaning towards not renewing... yeah, I know. Like I said it isn't a done deal yet. No, no, we've loved your work, it's just, well... When we were trying to do the Betancourt deal yesterday, I was talking to Dayton Moore and I said "I know Yuni's UZR has been bad..." and Dayton asks me if that's why he's on the DL. I asked him what he was taking about. And Dayton says that he thought those cleared up pretty quickly if you take antibiotics and drink plenty of cranberry juice... It went on and on like that for about 15 minutes. It was incredibly frustrating. I had to press the mute button so he wouldn't hear my f-bombs. I had to sent Blengino out into the hall so he wouldn't joke to death from stifling his laughter. I mean, we got it done, but it took a lot longer than if I had just affirmed that his scouts were right. If you remember, we had a similar experience when I was talking to Rizzo about Langerhans. No, Tom, it's not you. It's not me. I'm just not sure this stuff really helps me talk to other GMs. At this point, it's more cost-effective for me to have Marty look on FanGraphs, since every team I talk to has apparently blocked access to the site.
Are Jack Zdurienick and Larry Beinfest evil men who hate Dayton Moore and Royals? Wisdom:
But let’s come back: the problem with the other origin of the "good," of the good man, as the person of ressentiment has imagined it for himself, demands its own conclusion.—That the lambs are upset about the great predatory birds is not a strange thing, and the fact that they snatch away small lambs provides no reason for holding anything against these large birds of prey. And if the lambs say among themselves, "These predatory birds are evil, and whoever is least like a predatory bird, especially anyone who is like its opposite, a lamb— shouldn’t that animal be good?" there is nothing to find fault with in this setting up of an ideal, except for the fact that the birds of prey might look down on them with a little mockery and perhaps say to themselves, "We are not at all annoyed with these good lambs. We even love them. Nothing is tastier than a tender lamb."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, First Essay, "Good and Evil, Good and Bad," #13.
"I never say it can't get worse."
-- Buddy Bell