It must feel pretty good to be Dayton Moore right now. After an off-season (or several offseasons, rather) of criticism and second-guessing, things finally fell into place for the beleaguered general manager. Sure, having constructed the best farm system in MLB must have provided some comfort to him, but it must have been a hollow feeling if the product on the field could not produce.
That all changed on Sunday.
The Royals 4-2 victory over the Rangers in their first spring training game of 2011 wasn't just about the "W" on the scoreboard... it was about a complete and utter vindication of everything Dayton Moore has ever done.
Perhaps most satisfying for Moore was the performance of Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur, two winter acquisitions that were mocked both for their seeming uselessness and ex-atlanta-brave-ishness. Melky scored a pair of runs in his KC debut, and Francoeur displayed his homerun power, events which would ultimately allow the Royals to best Texas.
But that was just the beginning of Dayton's revenge on his critics. Remember the Greinke trade? While nobody was terribly critical of the move, it did receive a lukewarm reception among certain fans, myself included. But even I cannot argue with the results:
Lorenzo Cain, the speedy defensive outfielder with little power but with good on-base skills, drew a walk. Alcides Escobar, the speedy defensive infielder with little power but terrible on-base skills did exactly what was expected by failing to get on base (and playing good defense.) And perhaps the most amazing stat of the day was Zack Greinke, who allowed zero base hits, walks, or runs. So it was a win all the way around for Dayton Moore.
Speaking of o-fers, do you know who else didn't allow any runs or hits yesterday? Gil Meche. So, maybe all of you pessimists who thought Dayton blew $55 million on him should just shut your mouths.
In the past naysayers may have said Moore's preference for ex-Braves pitchers may have been a mistake. Not today, my friends, as both Kyle Davies and Bruce Chen dominated in their four innings of work against ex-Royals Andres Blanco and Esteban German.
Remember how we maligned Dayton for signing Guillen to a three year, thirty-three million contract? Seemed stupid at the time, but not so stupid now that Kevin Pucetas, the guy that we got back in the Guillen trade, notched a save to close out the game and preserve the victory.
Remember how we thought keeping Kila down in AAA for three years was short-sighted? Not so short-sighted when he goes 0-4 in the first game of spring training. Thought picking Nathan Adcock in the Rule V draft wasn't that impressive a move? Maybe you don't think so after he went one inning with no runs.
It's suddenly difficult to criticize Dayton for skipping church that one time to watch a sunday matinee of "Zapped!". I mean, a win is a win, for god's sake.
Dayton's decision to get married to a woman and have two children makes a lot more sense now than an alternate decision to marry a rhinoceros and have two toasters. Just look at the scoreboard.
Do you think Dayton regrets claiming six exemptions on his 2008 W-4 instead of seven? I sure don't. THEY WON DAMMIT.