Moore points to the club’s 18-11 start, prior to the onset of injuries to several key players, as validation of the organization’s approach.
“I go back to the same thing all of the time,” he said. “If our processes were so poor, how were we able to put together a pretty good team in the off-season? We went through the process, and most people around baseball felt we were vastly improved.
- Bob Dutton in the KC Star, July 22, 2009
As a baseball general manager, you don't just constantly monitor your own team, you also have to follow the rest of the Major Leagues. You have to survey the entire competitive landscape. Thanks to our status as one of the thirty most popular Royals blogs on the internet, RR was able to speak with Dayton Moore about the teams to watch in 2010.
We begin in the American League.
Indians (55-69): The Tribe is 12-9 since July 31 and 18-12 since July 21. You win with continuity in this business and Eric Wedge continues to prove that. I consider Mark Shapiro one of the best bullpen architects in the game. All I worry about is how they'll replace Ben Francisco's glove in 2010.
Baltimore (51-74): I love the way they came out of the gate, really fighting. At 6-2, they weren't backing down from anyone. ANYONE. Then they go 14-12 in an all-important stretch from May 4-June 1. There's an old baseball saw about how you do from Cinco de Mayo through the end of May. It's tells you quite a bit. Now they just have to handle losing Huff, a classic RBI man.
Oakland (55-69): People assume I'm not a fan of Billy Beane, but he's got the pieces in place. They went 16-13 from May 24-June 22, and no one wants to talk about it.
Blue Jays (57-66): I'm really amazed by what Cito Gaston has done. They started the season 20-10, and they haven't missed a beat. Once they straighten out their underperformers, they'll be fine.They really killed it in this year's draft as well. They'll be around for awhile. I feel bad for JP, as he got stuck with some bad contracts, but sometimes that happens to even the best GMs, they wake up with six bad contracts on their roster. They'll be fine.
Assuming the Royals are World Series contenders next season, who will Trey Hillman be matching wits with in the 2010 Fall Classic?
Reds (52-71): After losing their first two games, the Reds reeled off a 20-12 run from April 9-May 13. They've got guys on that team that love the game, which hasn't always been the case and their first 32 games has told me that their young pitching can be counted on long term. The Machine reborn!
Nationals (44-81): I have questions about taking a low upside college player first overall, but the Nationals will be very dangerous next season.They went 17-9 from June 24-August 16, so it amazes me that people would not be excited about them next year. Their new park could be a scary place to play in October. Nats Town could be a house of horrors. Very scary.
Padres (52-74): You've got to look a little closer at the Padres. I love Heath Bell at the end of games and Brian Giles has really helped them off the field. They've got a real ass-kicking attitude on that team. That's a man's team. Look, they started 9-3, then went 12-3 from May 15-May 31, then 11-4 from July 28-August 12. Why would you discount that? That's two months of great baseball.
Pirates (51-71): I thought they're decision to rebuild was cowardly, as to my eyes they had a really great core. You win with experienced guys who've done it before, and I loved their Sanchez-Wilson core through 2015. Still, they're in position to turn it around quicker than anyone thinks. Did their 11-7 string from April 6-18th mean nothing? What about when they went from 14-10 from May 10-June 6? Sure, they won't be as good as us, but this is a feisty team. Adam LaRouche's fingerprints are all over this bunch.
Diamondbacks (55-70): These guys can play. 16-15 from May 16-June 18, then an absolutely torrid 19-10 streak from July 3-August 6. Teams around them are getting weaker, and the 'Backs are getting stronger. Justin Upton is a joy to watch at the plate. He's a professor up there, though he needs to work on his defense. His lateral movement needs work. If they can find a way to get Connor Jackson more at bats, they'll walk away with the AL West.
Thank you to Dayton for his time. Who do you fear the most in 2010?
(Disclaimer: no, although I shouldn't have to say this, I did not really speak to Dayton Moore and these quotes are not actual statements by him, they may be what he believes however.)