There's comedy, there's high comedy and then there's a Dayton Moore press conference. Equal parts paranoia, delusion and nonsense, Moore unleashes some outstanding soundbites that are normally reserved for Jeff Flanagan.
As usual, I listened to the press conference and pulled a few key quotes, which are presented here with a few comments. I always attempt to bring context where necessary - and where I am able.
The event opened with Ned Yost making a statement about signing his two-year extension. Then, the first question was directed to Moore about bringing Yost back.
The continuity aspect of what we're doing here in Kansas City is crucial. We said that from day one. That's what we've tried to build. We don't want a lot of change for change sake in our key leadership positions.
This makes sense. We've heard Dayton talk about this before and I truly believe he wants to keep the same people in their positions from season to season. (Except Kevin Seitzer.) That's the underlying reason why Yost is back. Continuity.
We just need to go out and focus on winning baseball games. You can tell from day to day reactions and relationships if things are positive and working in the right direction, there's the right spirit from which you're interacting. There was never a doubt we want to make this work for a long time.
I love it when Dayton talks about "relationships," "positivity" and "sprit." Swoon.
For the first time in many, many years we have a group of fans in all different levels and phases of their life that love this baseball team. This baseball team has brought a lot of joy to the young people, the elderly, that depend on and follow this team. And there's an emotion and there's an expectation and there's an excitement around this group of players, and in a small way, I feel like we've won the World Series. Because we have captured a fan base that is excited. Young people identify with our players. A lot of the elderly that tune into our games night in and night out are enjoying what we are doing. We're bringing a lot of joy. To me, that's very satisfying. It's very fulfilling.
Ahh... Barely five minutes into the presser and Dayton drops the hammer. This is the quote that flew around Twitter - the bold part at least. In context, I get what he's saying. Or what he's attempting to say. He's happy that a segment of the fan base that has been alienated for the last 15-20 years slowly seems to be returning. Fans are excited about this team. Yay.
However, to use the phrase "I feel like we've won the World Series" on a fanbase that has gone 28 years without a postseason appearance is horrible judgement. It's tone deaf. He went too far. And since Moore has been here for over seven years, there's no excuse for him to say that. In any context. There's no sugarcoating this.
It's classic Dayton Moore. He wants to please everyone, but is frustrated there's a growing segment of the fanbase that is immune to his bologna. "I feel like we've won the World Series" is just the latest in a long line of absurd statements the GM makes? Does he believe what he said? Probably. And that's an issue.
And you just knew there would be some stupid statement like that out of the Royals camp after their best season in nearly 25 years. We almost won something! Back slaps and high fives for everyone! The bar for success was so low... And we passed it! Maybe not a Plaza parade, but we need a parade somewhere!
Although as someone who is neither young or elderly, I feel abandoned.
Just ahead of that quote, he was asked about his own contract status.
I'm real comfortable with where we are... With where I am personally. I have tremendous respect for Dan and Mr. Glass. and the people within our community and within our baseball operations department. Satisfied is the wrong word, but I've got a peace with where I am and what we've done.
I know I'll get slammed for picking at nits, but he really shouldn't feel comfortable. He should feel the pressure to continue to improve this organization. He should come to work every day thinking he needs to make the Royals better. Comfortable? I'm not so sure.
When I look at our roster, I believe all of our players who are signed long-term, that are under control, they are all going to get better. That's a comforting feeling. Is it just going to happen? No. They're going to have to continue to work hard. They're going to have to continue to apply instruction, to make adjustments. They're going to have to continue to commit to being great players. We feel like they will.
Dayton is comfortable thinking everyone - EVERYONE - is going to get better.
That would be wonderful if that really happened. If hard work and experience and unicorns just made you play better. But we know that's not how it is. Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Salvador Perez all took a step back offensively in 2013. Some were worse than others, but of the core group only Eric Hosmer made positive gains.
The Royals averaged 4.0 runs per game in 2013. In 2012 that number was 4.2 R/G. In 2011, they averaged 4.5 R/G. So we've had two consecutive years of the same core in place where their offensive output has collectively regressed. Dayton Moore believes it can't get worse. Are you sure?
Ned Yost followed this with a gem of his own:
There's not a guy in this lineup I can see regressing. (Lists entire offense. Really) These guys are all going to have better years next year than they had this year. Because they're more experienced. They're more confident. And you add that up with what we did the second half... The offensive production we had the second half... We're going to be a better offensive team.
Classic Royals. Let's throw out the entire 162 game sample size and look at the positives from a sample size of 70 games. Because we were better over 70 games than 162.
The Royals scored 4.04 runs per game in the 70 games after the All-Star break. They scored 3.97 runs per game before the break. Were they better. The numbers (and results) say yes. But are you really willing to take a difference of 0.07 runs per game and tout that as progress? I wonder what the Royals stats crew is thinking today.
This post has gone on long enough, and I've covered just the first 12 minutes of the presser. It's time to wrap things up for the day, so let's end with this quote from Dayton.
I like the athleticism of our team. I like the passion with which they play. The togetherness with which they play. And we're going to continue to get better.
Athleticism. Passion. Togetherness. Dayton Moore, everybody.