Where I apologize for doubting Dayton Moore

Ed Zurga

Turns out I was wrong. About 15-5.

I come to you today humbled. Hat in hand. I was wrong.

Perhaps you remember my post where I called for the firing of Dayton Moore. I had been methodically building a case through the year because I was convinced at some point during the 2013 season, there would be a time where calling for his dismissal would be justified. One of the reasons I have been sour on Moore's tenure is because I view him as largely separated from reality. Whenever he speaks, the words never fail to astound. Some of the things he throws out there aren't lies or fibs. They just aren't grounded in fact. Or reality. That's a nice way of saying while I feel that he believes what he says, what he says is sometimes just insane.

The Royals stumbled into the All-Star break. Moore said crazy things. I called for his dismissal. They split their first four games after baseball resumed. Then, they went on a holy terror.

My words from July 18:

Moore, bless his heart, is still fighting.

"There's no reason this team can't go on a run where you win 15 of 20."

Dayton Moore
July 18, 2013

Dayton Moore has spent the last seven years detached from reality. Wait. That may not be fair. Maybe he believes his team as currently constructed has the ability to play a stretch of .750 baseball. It is possible he believes what he tells the beat reporters. Reality tells us the last time a Royals team got that hot was back in April of 2003. BHWick has an excellent FanPost listing the instances when the Royals have won 15 out of 20 games. This is a team that averages 4.0 runs per game. Yes, the pitching is good, but it's not good enough to overcome that weak offense. This isn't a team that can play 10 games over .500 no matter the arbitrary endpoints you choose. This team is not that good.

Moore's failure to recognize reality is not a good look.

With Wednesday night's victory over the Minnesota Twins, the Royals are now officially 15-5 over their last 20 games. Dayton Moore's baseball team is in the midst of a stretch of .750 baseball. Reality.

I doubted Moore's claim and I was wrong. Today, I apologize for doubting the leader of my favorite team. I mean, what was I thinking? This was the guy who green lit an extension for Jeff Francoeur. The guy who has yet to have a single major league starting pitcher develop in his tenure. The guy who says leadership wins championships. The guy who continually says his team needs more time to gel. Again, what the hell was I thinking?

Sam Mellinger asked Moore about his 15-5 statement.

"I don’t remember saying that," he says.

Moore can be sarcastic, but this doesn’t seem to be one of those times. The man is dead serious. Doesn’t remember.

OK, then.

Do I regret asking for Moore to get the axe? Not really. Was it, as Mellinger said, premature? I don't think so.

As I said at the time, Moore's comments and team's slide were simply the spark that lit the fire. The evidence against Moore is massively negative and has been building for years. His track record is what it is. Now, his team has gone off a great stretch of baseball. And that's probably enough to earn him an extension. Part of the reason of the timing of my post was that I believe Moore and the Glass family are in talks about an extension to his current contract. He has just over a year remaining on his deal. If David Glass thinks that his team is on the right track, there is no reason he won't extend his general manager. If ownership was on the fence, a hot streak like this is pretty persuasive.

In 2009, Moore signed an extension on August 31. That deal tacked on four years to what was his current contract that was set to expire at the end of 2010. That deal was all about progress of The Process. When Moore inherited this team, the farm system and support staff were in shambles. He was tasked with the herculean task of rebuilding and repairing a fractured organization. The 2009 extension was an affirmation he was on the right track. Now, just months after going "all in," the Royals have seemingly shown enough progress in the win column it feels a certainty that Moore will get a new deal out of this.

I still feel that would be a mistake.

It's possible I'm wrong here as well regarding Moore's contract. I hope I am. While the progress of 2013 has been fun to watch (especially in the last couple of weeks) if I were lucky enough to own a team, I would want to see more progress before I offered a contract extension. The stakes are too high and if this is just an aberration, this franchise could be in some trouble. We need more progress.

Reports said Moore was never in danger of losing his job. Ownership seems to be happy with the progress, and those reports came before the 15-5 run. So while I stand by my post, at this point a change is management is as unlikely as Billy Butler hitting an inside the park home run. I am on record and still believe the Royals long-term progress depends on a new ideas only a new general manager can provide.

Meanwhile, the Royals are winning. It's fun, right? Even if the club is a long shot to make the post season, it's fun to watch a baseball team on a serious roll, and a 15-5 stretch is a serious roll. Moore has given us a better team. An improved team. A team that has given us one hell of a roller coaster ride.

So, Dayton was right. I was wrong. I apologize I ever doubted this team could win 15 of 20. Baseball is a results-based business and these results matter. At this point, I don't know where the Royals are going, but I will stay onboard for the ride. That was never a question anyway. This wins just make everything all the more interesting. For a number of reasons.

I hope Dayton is right more often and I have to offer up a few more apologizes. That would be fun.

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