I have generally resisted the urge to insult Dayton Moore, either on this site or in general.
I don't expect a Purple Heart for this. I do think, however, it is far too easy, behind the comfort of anonymity especially, to claim somebody is "incompetent", or that they don't know what they're doing, or that they should be fired, etc. I don't blame others for such comments about Dayton Moore, and I don't mean to knock anybody who contributes such comments on this site for doing so.
By way of background, I happen to work in a profession (lawyering) and a niche within that profession (trial lawyer/employment cases) where second-guessing is the name of the name of the game, so I am not temperamentally inclined to believe that most persons intentionally screw things up. What looks like a grand plan or incompetence is. in my opinion, usually simply a good old fashioned mistake, armchair psychology notwithstanding.
With all of that said, I do think Moore is subject to one valid and overarching criticism, alluded to by Will in this post today. This is a criticism all of us have standing to make, and that criticism is this: there is no objective basis for an observer (read: someone on the outside looking in) to believe that Moore has learned from his mistakes. To be more precise, Moore does not seem to have changed his way of thinking, either in response to the latest information on advanced statistics, or in response to the manifest mistakes that have continued to haunt the Royals during his tenure. One can call this being stubborn, or lazy, or simply "set in his ways", but there is no real need to label it. The objective fact is that this is the leitmotif of the Moore era.
Why do we have "standing" to make this particular criticism? The basic answer is: we are fans. We pay to see the Royals. We watch and listen to the Royals. We even pay some taxes that help the Royals. We are invested in the Royals, even on a sloppy, rainy Saturday night, when the "bullpen" blows yet another lead, and even when the highest paid member of that bullpen is the only reliever the manager refuses to allow to pitch on that sloppy, rainy, frustrating repeat of a another predictable loss. This is one reason, and it's a big one, but it's probably not the most important one.
The more subtle reason is this: each of us, no matter our profession or occupation, has had to adapt to changing circumstances over the past 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 years. For instance, I started practicing law when Ronald Reagan was still President and the Berlin War was standing tall. Back then, it was quite a new "innovation" to use what was called a "visual aid" in front of a jury, or a "blow up" of significant exhibits, in order to focus a jury's attention. These ideas were actually considered Big Ideas back then. Now, if these "ideas" were offered as chestnuts at a trial seminar, the presenter would be laughed off the stage. Now, a good trial lawyer uses at least Power Point, bar-coded exhibits for immediate access to visuals, and a lap top at counsel's table. In other words, no decent trial lawyer has the luxury of doing things the way he or she initially learned them.
Each of us can present examples like this. Even Tiger Woods, the world's best golfer and now recovering texter to the porn stars, changed his entire golf swing when he was number 1 in the world. Why? Because Tiger Woods wanted to remain Tiger Woods. Show me someone who is the best in his field, and I will show you someone who adapted to changed circumstances.
The frustration that (informed) Royals' fans have for Dayton Moore is, I believe, a function of the combination of factors alluded to above: none of us have the luxury of standing pat, so we go through the brain damage--as often as necessary, in a perfect world--to stay ahead of the curve, or the unemployment line. If that is our lot, why can't Moore do the same? There are too many examples, such as Tiger Woods or perhaps Jack Zduriencik, of those who do adapt, and reap the benefit of doing so.
Will said this earlier today: "Here's what saddens me: the Royals did what everyone told them to do, they hired what everyone thought was the best guy available and they promised to open up their wallet up and down the organization, and it did not work out." Agreed, 100%. This is indeed very sad. But being sad means, at a minimum, that he still cares.
So here is my advice to Dayton Moore: join the club, pal. All of us are on the move nowadays. Nobody gets to plays yesterday's game anymore. It's called competition for a reason. When you make a mistake, don't be afraid to admit it. People actually appreciate such candor, even juries. And, most important, start working on the weaknesses in your game. For the same reason you expect Alberto to take more grounders, you could probably use the equivalent of a few more grounders too. "More grounders" can actually make life more interesting, if you let them.
If there are seven stages of suffering for Royals' fans, sadness is starting to get near the place where it's bone on bone. The next stage is probably indifference, and we're almost there, most of us.
Moore needs to remember that indifference is the worst insult of all.