falling in the black, slipping through the cracks
The Royals are in a freefall. Not the kind of freefall associated with a losing streak of 12 games or so, which, hypothetically of course, would be horrible to endure. No, the Royals are in a freefall of another kind, a more dangerous kind. This is the kind of freefall that obliterates, a crushing freefall into the abyss where the building pressures and darkness encroach and consume.
A bleak metaphor, to be sure. But the Royals and their fans are used to bleakness. What is unfortunate is that it wasn't supposed to be this way now. The Royals last year debuted a dozen prospects, supposedly leading into a year in which the Royals would be interesting, at the least. At the time of its reveal, the marketing slogan 'Our Time' was deemed as not quite accurate but laudable enough in its attempt to rally the public around what was assured to be a better team. Well, he were are, 28 games into the season, and the Royals are ten games below .500 already. #ourtime?
The marketing team probably feels really bad about that one, but you can't really blame them; they did their job, which was to create a catchy slogan and cohesive marketing campaign. Carl from management can't swing the bat or pitch, and neither can the rest of the team. It is up to the Royals to do the winning, but they are accomplishing a whole lot of losing. Free falling, down to the depths. We are in the middle of baseball hell.
The worst part is that it has been this way for years. By the front office's own admission, this was the supposed second phase in which the Royals needed to move from building to winning. They've failed. They've failed miserably. It's #ourtime to realize this once and for all.
Dayton Moore needs to be fired immediately.falling to the depths, can I ever go back
Moore took office as the GM on June 8, 2006, before facebook became a huge deal, before the iPhone, and less than two years after George W. Bush was re-elected. He took over in the midst of some truly awful management, and no one questioned that Alliard Baird should go. It's time to take up that attitude again.
Since Moore had little to do with the 2006 season even though he was technically in control the second half, I won't count it towards his win loss tally (good thing too, as they lost 100 games). Since then, Moore has a sparkly record of 356-482, or a .425 winning %. The Royals have finished 5th, 4th, 4th, 5th, and 4th in the AL Central under his watch (and are currently in 4th now). In that time period, the Indians, Twins, White Sox, and Tigers have all won the Central. In other words, the Royals have been consistently bad the past five years and are the only team in the Central to do so. For some perspective on how bad the Royals have been under Moore's watch, consider that last year, only 3 out of 30 teams posted a winning % of .425 or lower, and the Royals have averaged that over 838 games.
That may not convince you that Moore should be fired. After all, other teams have been bad over that stretch--the Pirates and the Orioles, for instance. First, saying that an organization is better run than the Pirates is probably the worst compliment you can pay a team in American professional sports. Second, the Orioles are currently 19-10 and leading the AL East with a run differential of +23. Will it last? Maybe not, but that's a fantastic achievement when the Royals are posting an inverse record in an extremely weak division. Still not convinced? Let's examine it further, then.
dreaming of the way it used to be...can you hear me
The single most brought-up example of Moore's competence has been how he's built the farm system. Last year, the Royals farm system won the award "Best Farm System in the History of Whatever." It was true; the Royals farm system was stacked. Unfortunately, good prospects do not necessarily make good major league ballplayers. Just how much have Moore's picks been worth? Less than you think, I'm afraid. Of pitchers, Greg Holland has accumulated 2.4 for parts of three seasons. The next most valuable Moore pick has been Duffy with 1.1 WAR over parts of two seasons. Of batters, the most valuable pick has been Mike Moustakas with 2.3 WAR. The next most valuable Moore hitter has been Salvador Perez with 1.4 WAR.
I'm sorry, but Moore hasn't drafted a single solid performer in six years. Yes, Moose looks to be the real thing, and Hosmer was third in Rookie of the Year voting last year, and Duffy has improved, and Perez might have earned the worth of his entire contract by this point had he not gotten hurt. But Hosmer's hitting .179/.252/.357 thirty whole games into the season, and Duffy's career ERA is still over 5 and a quarter. These players may very well become quality major leaguers, but let's stop kidding ourselves that Moore's farm moves have been so great.
That leads into the most damning evidence for Moore's removal. The Royals, as a whole, are a behind the times and a generally inept organization. This is the organization that thinks that Chris Getz, Yuniesky Betancourt, Jeff Francoeur, Mike Jacobs, and Luke Hochevar are good major league players. This is the organization that almost traded Billy Butler for the Yunigma straight up, and acquired him twice anyways. This is the organization who trot Kyle Davies out for close to 150 starts, who moved to a six man rotation last year to accommodate one of the worst starters in MLB history. This is the organization who believed they had enough good pitching to compete this year when almost every single fan thought otherwise. Over six years in, and Moore has arranged a rotation who is averaging less than 5 innings per start and who has a collective ERA of 5.92. That's not the process, folks. That is poor management. Moore is unable to evaluate MLB talent. If he was, we would see improvement, like other teams in the AL Central have seen in the past six years. Moore has acquired some pitching--in the form of Vin Mazzaro and Sean O'Sullivan, who are both somehow worse than our starting rotation. It comes down to this: do you trust Moore to make a good trade or evaluate a player's worth effectively? The answer is probably no. That's bad.
Now, Moore does do some things well, like contract extensions, and I generally think that there will be more minor league successes in the majors. But I do not trust Moore with the talent he's created. I do not trust Ned Yost to manage the talent that is on the roster, which is ultimately Moore's fault. The Royals are out of touch. As long as Moore is in control, the Royals will keep falling, falling into the abyss.
falling inside, falling inside the black