This is a new segment at Royals Review, where I take an old Royals news story, and we look back with fondness, amusement, and horror.
Why not start with the man, the myth, the legend - Dayton Moore. It was May of 2006, and the Royals were once again languishing in last place. By May 27, the team assembled by General Manager Allard Baird was 11-36. The team had just snapped a thirteen-game losing streak. David Glass was fed up.
"I'm out of patience," he said at the time. "I have never been this frustrated. I've got to do something. This can't continue."
That day, this report came out in the Kansas City Star:
The Royals have offered the job of general manager to Braves assistant Dayton Moore but are ready to move on to other candidates if the two sides can't reach agreement by this weekend.
The only major hang-up to an agreement, multiple sources have told The Star, is Moore's demand that he receive written assurance of complete control over personnel matters from club owner David Glass.
I think I first started blogging about this time (don't remember it? Don't worry, no one read it) and I remember a few weeks ago being fed up with the direction Allard was taking us and researching a few potential GM candidates. My conclusion was there was one guy the Royals should identify as their top target - Braves assistant Dayton Moore.
But what if Dayton had passed on the job? He had been a prime candidate in Boston and Arizona. What if the Royals had not caved on his demands on complete control?
If that proves to be a deal-breaker, the Royals appear ready to move into negotiations with former Phillies general manager Ed Wade and/or former Tigers and Padres general manager Randy Smith.
Uh, wow. I forgot the bullet we dodged there. Wade ran the Phillies from 1995-1998, then the Astros from 2007-2011. His Philly teams were pretty dreadful, although he did draft guys like Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley. The Astros got consistently worse each year, until Houston fired him after a 106-loss season. Wade was generally known for overpaying for relievers, but he did pull off a few good trades, like dealing Brad Lidge for Michael Bourn.
Randy Smith would have been interesting, if terrible. He is known for making lots of trades, and for trading for some of the same players over and over again (he almost certainly would have put Brad Ausmus in Royals blue). Smith ran the San Diego Padres from 1993-1995, where they had losing seasons each year, but he did acquire some of the nucleus that won the pennant in 1998. He then went on to run the Detroit Tigers for six losing seasons.
Joe Posnanski was rather critical of how the Royals handled the entire hiring process.
Friday was just another banner Kansas City Royals day. The Royals owner, David Glass, apparently offered the general manager's job to Dayton Moore , though Glass has not, you know, fired the current general manager Allard Baird. Don't CEOs study this stuff at management school?
But he applauded the pick.
What is best now? Hiring Dayton Moore seems a good start. He has been with the Atlanta Braves organization since 1994, and he has moved fast from area scout to assistant scouting director to director of international scouting to director of player personnel to assistant general manager. The guy has had more titles than John Updike and Carl Peterson put together.
I exchanged e-mails with six baseball executives on Saturday, and while all asked not to be identified, all were wildly impressed with Moore. As one of them wrote: "There are certain people who have IT. I knew Dayton had IT two minutes after meeting him."
The funny part about Moore is that five different baseball people, when asked to name Moore's greatest strength, listed five different things. One said he was well-organized. Another said he had a knack for developing talent. A third said his strength was communication and leadership. And so on. The truth seems to be, as yet another impressed executive wrote, he has a "good understanding in a lot of functional areas."
"In my opinion," he wrote, "that's the ideal general manager."
Eight years, and one winning season later, we're finally enjoying the work of our "ideal general manager."