I, like most of you, am happy to see Trey Hillman hit the ol' dusty trail. I don't like him personally, and its been clear for quite some time that he isn't a very good manager. Ned Yost is an uninspiring hire, but he isn't Trey Hillman. That alone endears him to me right now.
Having said that, I'm realistic about how things will probably end with Yost. No manager is going to win with these Royals. Yes, Hillman was bad, but as I've said before, he was just a symptom of the disease. Dayton "The Disease" Moore remains, as do his hand selected players, scouts, and front-office yes-men. I think we all realize the switch from Hillman to Yost is not likely to turn this team around. Switching managers at the local Church's Chicken won't make their vittles taste like Strouds'*. The Royals are still the Royals.
*This is actually kind of a bad example as a change in management really can do wonders for a fast food establishment. But its a good example in that the Royals are definitely the Church's of the fast food chicken world.
What excites me most about Hillman getting canned is what it tells us about the state of the organization. Everybody who's anybody in our sad little Royals world is saying this move came from above Dayton. That tells me Rany was right and Glass really is getting pissed. The question is, why now? Why was embarrassing play suddenly unacceptable? David Glass extended Dayton Moore's contract less than a year ago. Has he lost faith in "the process" so quickly? Has he lost faith in Dayton? Nay, that would be a dream worth dreaming, but I dare not. An old, rich, careful man like Glass wouldn't come full circle overnight.
I think what this tells us is that there is somebody in Glass's circle listening to outside opinions. Maybe this mystery man has contacts in the game. Maybe he's a student of the game. Maybe he even knows how to use the Internet. I don't know, but what I do know is that outside opinion is somehow getting in. That's the only explanation for Glass suddenly going from handing out contract extensions to demanding firings. There is a birdie in Glass's ear, my friends. That can only be a positive. We need our owner to start listening to opinions that don't come from the current Royals front office. It appears he finally is.
These are comparatively small potatoes, but I can think of two added bonuses of the Hillman firing:
1) We now get to find out which of our terrible players were Hillman guys. Obviously the roster was assembled by Moore, but you know there are one or two guys there that were irrational Hillman favorites. My guess is Bloomquist will see less playing time under any manager not named Trey. Maybe Kendall only starts 80% of our games now? I don't know, but I'm guessing a player or two will be disposed of before the all-star break, and I'm not talking about faceless bullpen slugs. We'll probably also find out it was Hillman burying at least one of our decent players. If Aviles, Kila or Gordon find their way into the starting lineup soon (Aviles at SS) we'll know it was Trey who was holding them back.
2) No more scapegoats for Dayton. Firing Hillman was a "sooner the better" situation in that regard. I don't see Dayton surviving another manager. So let's get this next clock ticking as soon as possible.
Dayton recently said he needs 2-4 years for the minors to start churning out talent and 2-4 years for that talent to develop. This firing assures me he will not get that time. If Glass is pissed now, how mad will he be at this time next year when this great, expensive minor league system still hasn't churned out any top level talent? 2011 is Dayton's last stand, comrades. In 2012, this franchise will be disease free. Or at least, we'll have the opportunity to acquire a new disease, which I think we all know can be a pretty fun process. Unlike our current process.