The Kansas City police department, acting on a tip from concerned neighbors, raided a local home today and found countless numbers of utility baseball players. The home belongs to a Dayton Moore, age 45, who is employed in the front office of the Kansas City Royals. Officials describe a very chaotic scene.
Detective John Aikens was the first to go into the house, "I came in the front door and it was a mess. Right in the entryway were 10 - 15 utility players just milling around. When we went into the kitchen we found some in the cupboards, some more under the kitchen table, and even one just sitting on the table. Each time we entered a room another 15 would come scampering out. We found others under beds, in closets, and behind the couches. They were everywhere."
Neighbors were not surprised by what was found. "Dayton has always been a little odd," said next door neighbor Cindy Wilson. "Some neighborhoods have the crazy cat lady, but I guess we have the crazy utility player guy. We knew he liked to collect utility players. We didn't know he had quite so many, but I'm not surprised by this."
Kansas City psychologist Dave Leonard describes Moore's behavior as showing the classic symptoms of Low Value Hoarding Syndrome, or LVHS. "Some people would look at Moore's behavior and be puzzled by it. After all, why hoard something of so little value when you can easily get another one? But, LVHS sufferers don't see it that way. People like Dayton believe that this utility player might someday turn into something of value, kind of like that old painting in the grandma's attic that is actually an original Rembrandt. He also sees himself as a utility whisperer; that he is the one that can give meaning and dignity back to the lives of these utility players."
Moore appears to not have cared if the player was a utility infielder or a utility outfielder, just as long as they didn't hit for much power and didn't have an easily definable position. "That fits the mold," explains Leonard. "Typical LVHS people don't specialize. They are seeking for anything with that low value that they can reclaim. So it would make no difference to Dayton if the player was a utility infielder or outfielder. If it is somebody that is perceived to have a low value, he wants to be the one to step in and help."
While police officers on the scene say the house had a musty smell of urine and fecal material, all of the utility players appear to have been well-fed and cared for. Donald Leius, director of the Major League Players Association, a non-profit group dedicated to finding homes for players, is not surprised. "We could always count on Dayton to help. Finding a home for all our players can be difficult, but Dayton specialized in the hard cases, the ones nobody else wanted. Whenever we would get a little full here at our shelter, we would call Dayton in to take a look. He specifically asked for the ones with little to no power and the ones who nobody else had looked at. Don't be too hard on him. He's a good guy."
Neighbors aren't as quick to praise Moore. "Frankly, it's a little creepy." said Jean Patek, who lived across the street from Moore. "He would spend all night long sitting on the swing on his front porch with a bunch of utility players running around in his front yard. He would then stare at anybody who walked by, not saying anything. Where did he get them all? It just didn't seem right."
Neighbors decided to call the police after a recent uptick on Moore's activity. Patek continued "Just a little while ago it was Xavier Nady. Then right after that, on the same day, he comes home with both Endy Chavez and Miguel Tejada. And I know that I have seen Jarrod Dyson and Willy Taveras go in that house recently as well. I called the neighbors and we decided that something finally had to be done."
Peter McRae, who lives two houses down from Moore, was appointed by the neighbors as the spokesperson, and he thought he should approach Moore before calling police. "I went to the front door, and before I could even knock, I saw through the curtains, and it was a zoo in there. I knocked, and I know I saw Moore looking at me, but he just sat on the couch staring at me with those sunglasses on and didn't come to the door. All the while there were so many utility players running around causing mayhem. That's when we decided we had to call somebody."
For all the chaos police encountered, there was nothing the police could do. Detective Aikens continues, "It turns out that there is no city law against hoarding utility players. We didn't want to just leave them there, but our hands were tied. We have laws against hoarding all kinds of things, including cats, lizards, and dogs. We even have laws in Kansas City against hoarding power hitters, but there is nothing against hoarding utility players. As long as they are cared for, we have to let them stay."
Neighbors are not happy. "It's not right," says Patek. "My niece lives in Los Angeles, and she recently married Nick Punto. Just this last Christmas they came to visit me and would you believe that Dayton came over then? He never comes to my house, but when Punto was here Dayton came over and was acting all nice to Nick. I'm afraid its a matter of time before Nick joins the madhouse over there. It's too bad, Nick is such a nice, gritty young man."
It is unclear at this point what, if anything, will be done to stop Moore, but for now his collecting of utility players shows no sign of slowing down.