Wanted to comment on a conversation Rany had with Jason Alexander on Rany-on-the-Radio yesterday (listening to podcast now):
There was an attempt to reconcile the fact that Dayton seems to be proving himself to be a good developer (evaluator?) of young talent, with the fact that he seems to be a horrifying evaluator of Major League talent--the farm system is off the charts this year (impressive!), yet he released John Buck and chose to sign Kendall for 6 million guaranteed (not impressive!).
The explanation for this is that while Moore may be adept at developing HIS players--that is, he places faith in young players that he himself acquired--he seems down on the young talent that was acquired by Baird before he got here.
This seems logical on the surface, but how does it explain why he is down on his own young players that he himself acquired. I.e., Brayan Pena (the player that actually sort of started this conversation) is a Dayton guy. Dayton was likely involved in acquiring him when he was with the Braves, and he scooped him up from the Braves for the Royals. Yet Pena does not seem to have earned any faith (unless Moore is not involved at all in questions of playing time?). How about Jeff Keppinger, another Moore acquisition that garnered zero faith from Moore and went on to rake for the Reds while playing passable SS until he was injured. If I remember correctly, Moore RELEASED Keppinger. How about Moore's offseason diatribe about Callaspo's ineptness at 2B (Callaspo's a Dayton guy). These all weigh against the anti-Baird player argument. My theory: Moore values character over talent. He believes World Series are won by guys with skads of intangible fiber. He doesn't know who possesses such fiber until he gets a chance to see them around the clubhouse every day. My advice to Brayan Pena, Kila Ka'aihue, Alex Gordon, and anyone else whose talent gives him a reasonable expecation of being in the Royals everyday lineup: start slapping your teammates on the ass. Start preaching like a crazed visonary. Channel your inner Kevin Costner. Wear contacts that emit the proverbial gleam from your eye. You won't ever have to justify your spot in the lineup with "performance" ever again.