Guess I'll throw my hat into this one. Rather than detail a bulletpoint plan, breaking down every possible move between now and the start of the 2012 season, I'm going to follow in the path of my previous fanposts: The Betancourt trade recapped through Instant Messenger, a recap of the post-season awards banquet, and Through the magic of Twitter.
With that said, I've managed to obtain a transcript from the front office post-mortem on the season. Warning, somewhat long.
Deep within the bowels of 1 Royals Way, the staffers scurry about, preparing charts and documents for the upcoming Royals 2011 post-mortem.
<Intern 1> Hey, are you on the way to Napoleon's meeting?
<Intern 2> Keep it down with that crap, you know he hates that nickname.
<Intern 1> Yeah, yeah, whatever. So are you headed there?
<Intern 2> Yep. Just going to sit in a corner, keep my head down, and try not to get called on.
<Intern 1> Sounds good.
The interns enter the conference room and snag seats in the rear corner of the conference room. Seated around the table are the front office personel along with prominent Royals staff and past players: Mike Arbuckle, J.J. Piccolo, Ned Yost, Bob McClure, Kevin Seitzer, George Brett, Bob Davis, and Frank White.
Moments later, Dayton arrives, flanked by stat guru Jin Wong.
<Dayton> Gentlemen, lets get down to business.
<Jin> Umm sir?
<Dayton> What is it?
<Jin> It's just....are you sure we should be hanging those 'Mission Accomplished" banners on the sides of the stadium?
<Dayton> What do you mean?
<Jin> It's just, the team narrowly avoided losing 90 games. We haven't been over .500 yet in your tenure. Are you sure that 'Mission Accomplished' sends the right message?
<Dayton> What? Of course it does. We had a ton of young players that graduated to the majors. That was my number one goal. Rebuild the minors - graduate the players to the majors. We did that.
<Bob Davis> WHOA NELLIE, DID THEY DO THAT.
<Frank White> (giggles)
<Dayton> See, Bob agrees with me.
<Jin> I know, and we did, it's just that it might be misunderstood by the fans.
<Dayton> Nonsense. Moving on.
<Jin> But, I mean....
<Dayton> MOVING ON -- Let talk about the season, and where we need to be next year.
<Mike Arbuckle> I want to start by talking about the pitching. Everyone knows the story -- great, young bullpen, horrible (but somewhat young) starting rotation.
<Mike Arbuckle> We've got some serious problems on our hands with the starting rotation. I don't think we can honestly extend another contract to Kyle Davies, Luke still hasn't completely turned the corner, O'Sullivan is AAAA fodder, and we traded Francis for a bucket of balls. Duffy should be good going forward and Chen's ok -- speaking of which, we probably need to extend him.
<Dayton> Bucket of balls?!? Mike, those players have names!
<Mike Arbuckle> Do you honestly ever expect them to impact our major league roster?
<Dayton> Well, no, not really, but..
<Mike Arbuckle> Well, then we need to look at our options for the staff. We'd be in much better shape if some of our arbitration eligible guys had improved at all over the past few seasons.
<Bob McClure> What are you trying to say Mike?
<Mike Arbuckle> Look, all I'm trying to say is that if you had done your job the past few years, we wouldn't be in this mess.
<Bob McClure> Oh, go home and make your cat some lasagna.
<Mike Arbuckle> YOU SON OF A B#&*@
<Dayton> Cool it guys. Besides Mike, it's your fault for getting an orange cat. But seriously, what do you have to say Bob?
<Bob McClure> About what Mike said? That's nonsense, I did a good job. <waves hand>
<Dayton> Oh, what the hell. It's not your fault, you did a good job.
<Mike Arbuckle> But we're going to have to see some improvement next year. Most of the decent free agents are going to be out of our price range, and we don't want to give up the prospects required to get a Greinke-type in a trade.
<Dayton> Bob, what can you do to improve the guys we've got?
<Bob McClure> Two words. Super. Cutter.
<Dayton> Super Cutter? What's that?
<Bob McClure> Well, it's like a normal cutter, but thrown a little harder.
<Dayton> I'm intrigued. Tell me more.
<Bob McClure> The little extra zip will make the pitch even harder to hit and produce even more ground balls.
<Dayton> Sounds like a winner
<Bob McClure> Of course, it may take a while to get the pitchers to throw it correctly. The cutter takes long enough -- see how long it took Jack to get it down? I can't be held responsible if the pitchers continue to stagnate while I teach the super cutter.
<Dayton> Of course not, that would be madness. Jin, add that to the list for things to work on. Maybe find another pitcher or two off of the scrap heap. Moving on, lets look at our hitting approach.
<Kevin Seitzer> Well, as you know, I poured my heart and soul into teaching the guys and produced big results with Billy, Alex, Mike, and The Hos.
<Mike Arbuckle> Did you forget to work with 'Cides and Chris this year?
<Kevin Seitzer> Oh no, not at all, it's just that my process takes time to learn. I can't be held responsible for guys who refuse to learn.
<Dayton> No, of course you can't, sometimes guys just don't want to listen to teaching. Not your fault, I blame society if anyone.
<Kevin Seitzer> I agree, society is probably the reason that Chris Getz has refused to become a better hitter - it clearly wasn't my fault.
<Dayton> Clearly. Well, anyway, what are we going to do about second base next year? Chris can't really hit enough to be a regular. We traded Wilson away, and there's no way Aviles is coming back.
<Mike Arbuckle> Did you really need to have the Ned burn Mike and that Hawaiian kids' jerseys in front of the team in effigy for the way the season went?
<Dayton> I don't see how we had a choice. So what are we going to do?
<J.J. Piccolo> We'll we've Johnny almost ready, he might be a decent option, although his defense leaves something to be desired.
<Mike Arbuckle> We've also got some cash lying around, we could go get a 2B on the market or trade for one on a bigger contract.
<Dayton> What would be do with Chris though, he'll be out of options?
<Mike Arbuckle> You could always use him as a defensive replacement and pinch runner.
<Ned Yost> Defensive replacement?
<Mike Arbuckle> You know, sub him in during the late innings to help shore up the defense at 2B or 3B.
<Ned Yost> Are you sure that's allowed? Some of the guys told me to (air-quote) "Pinch-hit" for Alcides during the year. I made up some story about preserving his confidence, but really, I wasn't sure if it was allowed. The last thing I wanted was to look stupid in front of everyone.
<Mike Arbuckle> <Turning to Dayton> Really, Dayton? Really?
<Dayton> Alright, Jin, add that to the list: Find another second baseman for 2011, and look into this idea about defensive replacements.
<Dayton> George, any thoughts on what we need to do?
<George> Dayton, it's time to start winning. Do you know how many years the fans have been waiting for a winning team to come back in Kansas City? (Holds up 3 fingers).
<Dayton> Agreed - we have to start winning. Onward and upward.
<Dayton> Well, we asked the interns here, we might as well ask them for help. Guys, what do you think?
<Intern 1> (Nervously) Ummm...I dunno...I guess.. there's one thing I thought of, but it's probably a stupid idea..
<Dayton> Go ahead, all ideas are welcome.
<Intern 1> Well, you know how every spring training all the guys come in and say that they're in the best shape of their lives?
<Dayton> Yeah, and everyone has a great laugh, and the sportwriters come away with an fill in the blanks, easy story. What of it?
<Intern 1> Well, what if they were actually in great shape?
<Dayton> What do you mean? We don't have the kind of cash to send everyone their own personal trainer in the offseason.
<Intern 1> I know, but I've been doing P90X, and well, it really works...
<Dayton> P90X? That's done by that Tony Horton guy, right?
<Intern 1> Yep.
<Dayton> Love him. He's like the Jeff Francoeur of fitness gurus. Great idea. Love it. Jin add that to the list. Side note: see if Jeff Francoeur is interested in making his own fitness videos.
<Dayton> And you, over there in the corner, what's your idea?
<Intern 2> (whispering to Intern 1) Nice job. Watch this.
<Intern 2> Well, my idea is that we work throughout the organization to streamline the processes....
<Intern 2> We get proactive withour coaches and players...
<Intern 2> We eliminate roadblocks to synergize the businesses....
<Intern 2> And we create new paradigms which create enhanced value for our stake holders, the fans.
<Dayton> YES!!!!!!!!!!! INCREDIBLE!! LOVE IT! Jin, add that to the list!
<Jin> But Dayton, he didn't say anything.
<Dayton> Didn't he Jin? Didn't he?
<Dayton> Hey, wait, he didn't!?!! GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!!!
(Intern 2 leaves with a smirk to muffled laughter among the room)
<Bob Davis> (Loudly whispering to Frank White) AT LEAST HE DIDN'T TRY TO STEAL HIS LUCKY CHARMS!
<Frank White> (giggles)
(The room erupts in laughter)
<Dayton> THAT'S ENOUGH!
<Dayton> Ok, I think we've gotten all we're going to get out of this meeting. Jin, read back what've got.
<Jin> Ok, here we go:
- Find a free agent pitcher or two, possible off of the scrap heap
- Have Bob McClure teach all of the pitchers a super cutter
- Find a new second baseman either through free agency or trade
- Blame society for Chris Getz's offensive failures
- Improve off-season training
- See if Jeff Francoeur is interested in his own series of fitness videos
- Improve fan experience
- Find Dayton's Lucky Charms
<Dayton> Good enough. Meeting adjourned.