What is this? Something wonderful Will McDonald introduced us all to.
Hello fellow RoyalsReviewers (is that what we're called? We need a mascot. I vote for "The Flying Jeff Francoeurs"), and welcome to a not-Will edition of Royals Bibliomancy. I am doing this without letting anyone know so hopefully that's not a problem! The Royals Bibliomancy series is one of my favorite things on the internet so I thought I'd have a crack at it on my own.
Today's lesson comes from The Art of War: An Illustrated Edition by Sun Tzu; translated by Thomas Cleary. "Hphaugh!" you say in your posh English accent, "an Illustrated Edition? What are we, merely in grade school Lum? I scoff at your weak attempts to grasp such great works as The Art of War." In my defense, I believe I bought this version because it's the only version I could find with commentary added in from the notes of several significant or famous Chinese, such as Cao Cao and Du Mu. This commentary is not only interesting but insightful into the thoughts of these people and how they applied it to their lives and decisions. Plus, It was only $4.98 at Half-Price Books.
At any rate, this is not meant to be an advertisement for the specific text or Half-Price Books. It's an opportunity to look into an important piece of reading for guidance about the Royals. The Art of War is, according to Wikipedia, "an ancient Chinese Military Treatise that is attributed to Sun Tzu, a high ranking military general and strategist during the late Spring and Autumn Period (some scholars believe that the Art of War was not completed until the subsequent Warring States Period). Composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare, it is said to be the definitive work on military strategies and tactics of its time, and is still read for its military insights."
It's about war, people! Baseball is war! This book is about baseball!! Onto the science.
I have opened the book randomly to page 155, and oh my. What is this we have here?
An ancient book of military order says, "Words are not heard, so cymbals and drums are made. Owing to lack of visibility, banners and flags are made." Cymbals, drums, banners and flags are used to focus and unify people's ears and eyes. Once people are unified, the brave cannot proceed alone, the timid cannot retreat alone -- this is the rule for employing a group.
Our first random page opening, and we've stumbled upon possibly the most Dayton Moore Era Royals thing I have ever read. "An ancient book of military order" obviously means the book Built to Win by John Schuerholtz, which is a text that describes the Bravest Way to acquire an entire rotation of Hall of Famers and win your division several years in a row. This book also was discussed in depth right here on RoyalsReview. Built to Win was published a mere two months before The Royals' own Dayton Moore's hiring, which I think is no coincidence. The book is described by the publisher itself as "anti-moneyball", and I think we can all agree that the Royals think the same way.
The next bit about "cymbals, drums, banners and flags... to focus and unify people's ears and eyes" could be taken to mean that our Royals coaches must learn to communicate better with the players on their baserunning, as this has led to a number of gaffes, pick-offs, and stupid decisions in regards of when to steal a base. More certainly, this can be taken as just general advice to have a group that knows how to work together, has lots of inside jokes, and can unite as one, nude in the batting cages. Wow I did not mean for that sentence to sound like that.
As the text says, "Once people are unified, the brave cannot proceed alone, the timid cannot retreat alone -- this is the rule for employing a group." I believe that Dayton Moore has probably already read this, and taken it truly to heart. Dayton Moore has finally acquired the correct former Braves, in Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera. Both are having very solid seasons for the Royals. As The Art of War says, these braves indeed cannot proceed alone. They will need the help of other solid Major League acquisitions, and The Best System Ever must produce some stars. The former is something that Dayton Moore is going to have to prove he can do in the next off-season if the Royals have any hope of competing for a playoff spot. "The timid cannot retreat alone" obviously means that these brave men must lead the timid: those such as Yamaico Navarro, Mike Moustakas and Johnny Giavotella. Dayton Moore has said that he wants Jeff, Melky, Alex, and others around when the young kids come up. The Art of War must be what he is drawing his guidance from, as we are learning here today.
"This is the rule for employing a group" indeed, Dayton.