Being a General Manager can be a very stressful job. Some people think that once the season ends a General Manager can relax. But they only think that way because they do not have all of the facts. If you had all of the facts like I do you would know that the time right after a season ends can be the most stressful and tiring part of the year. This leads to nights of sleep that are frequently interrupted, which leads to very vivid and realistic dreams. So, in an effort to give you, the fans, all of the facts that I have when making decisions, I thought I would share two dreams that I have recently had.
The first dream took place at the beginning of spring training. In this dream I had invited all of the first year players and their families to a cookout at Lake Surprise. It was a hot day and everybody was having a good time, so I went ahead and went out swimming. The cool water felt good so I swam out a ways from shore. All of a sudden a current pulled me out deep and I got a cramp and could not swim. I was drowning about 300 feet from shore. I screamed out for help and I saw Wil Myers standing on shore next to a life ring with a long rope attached to it. He picked it up and tried to throw it to me, but he couldn't get it to me. He pulled it back in and tried again, but he just couldn't get it far enough to me. I was trashing around, trying to stay above water, but I was losing hope since Wil was failing in his job.
I was certain this was the end when suddenly a tall, muscular man came running to the shore. I thought to myself, "No, it can't be, could it?" Well, it was. Jeff Francoeur himself was there to help. He raced to the shore and grabbed the life ring from Wil, and with one mighty throw from his arm, he got the life ring to me. I grabbed ahold of it and Jeff pulled me to shore. Jeff saved me! When he finished pulling me to shore I collapsed on the ground gasping for air. Jeff bent low and tenderly looked at me and said, "Hoss, I'll always have your back. Don't you forget it." He even asked if I needed mouth to mouth.
I woke up with a start from the dream, my heart beating wildly. Jeff's words, "I'll always have your back" were running through my mind. To think, some people wanted me to get rid of him. How could I do that to him?
The next night was Halloween, and since I was having Jeff and his family over for a cookout I told him about the dream. He laughed and gave me a nut tap. When I was doubled over in pain he grabbed my head, put it in a headlock, and playfully tousled my hair. He said, "Hoss - I will always have your back." He then asked if I needed mouth-to-mouth. What a great guy. The glue to the clubhouse. A team can win with a guy like Jeff Francoeur.
I had the second dream two nights later. In this dream I was a contestant on Jeopardy. I was doing pretty good, and when the final question came I was tied with one other guy. Both of us had $15,000 heading into the final question, and the other contestant had $0, so I was assured at least second place. The final category was revealed, and it was Baseball. "Can you believe my luck?" I thought. The other guy was the biggest nerd you would ever see. A skinny guy with glasses who had not been out in the sun for at least 5 years and had probably not had a date for longer than that. Well, if the category was Baseball I was sure to win.
The final answer was read and that is when things took a turn for the worse. The answer was, "The name of the stat that gives the Batting Average of Balls In Play." Well this wasn't good. I started to sweat a little, and that geek next to me had a big smile and quickly wrote down his final question. I was panicking a little. I had to write down something, so I just made something up that I thought sounded modern and a little geeky. My final question was, "Was is O-B-Pizzle?" Well, that wasn't right. It turns out it was BABIP. How is somebody supposed to know that?
Needless to say, the other guy won with $30,000 and I finished with $0. This put me in a bad mood. Even worse, I had to watch the other guy get presented his check. After he got the check he looked at me and said, "Well Dayton, for being a General Manager you sure don't know much about baseball."
Now, I'm not proud of what I did next, but it was only a dream and I was in a bad mood from losing to this guy, so I can't be held accountable. I said to him, "Congratulations LeRoy. I'm sure that money will come in handy refurbishing your mom's basement."
He did not like that. He looked at me and said, "You. Me. Right now. Let's go."
"No - I don't want to fight you. Just go home and leave me alone," was my reply. I wasn't going to do something that stupid.
But, the guy wouldn't leave well enough alone. He was really trying to fight. He poked me in the chest and said, "You're afraid of me, aren't you? I know I would beat you. My xFIP measures out higher than yours, as does my PECOTA. You UZR leaves a lot to be desired and my VORP is significantly better. And you know what else? Your wOBA stinks."
That little guy then took a swing at me. At this point, it was on. I gave him one hard punch to the gut then a vicious uppercut. He staggered backwards. I finished him off with a series of shots to his face. As he lay bleeding and crying on the ground I said to him, "All of your stats may sound nice and fancy, but can they pass that gut check? All it takes is one swift punch in the gut and your little stats are worthless."
I woke up right after that smiling. Those stat nerds can think they know everything, but they would crumple like a cheap house of cards under pressure.
Well, that's it for now. Thank you for your time, and I hope you understand a little bit better what it is like to be the General Manager of the Kansas City Royals.