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North to Seattle

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I can already feel the excitement of the Dayton Moore era from here. Or not. We've hired Scouty McScout, but there's no one to scout, and his role in the upcoming draft is still cloudy. There's no movement on the Fire Buddy front and no real sense of whats going to happen next. Of course, the problem is my overanxiety, all regime changes come with moves superficial and those aiming for meaning. Patience, as always, instructs us to follow.

Just like Buddisimo's opening act Sweep of the Yankees last summer still means nothing, didn't turn anything around, and set exactly no new tone for anyone, we shouldn't get too worried about Dayton's first few moves. Well, unless he actually does something bold, like a major trade or firing.

One dash of pessimism before we move on, from BP's Christina Kharl:

Moore seems to be the flavor of the moment from the scouting-minded community, and while I'm sure there's a chance he might do well, I'm reminded of one former Braves' professional of unquestioned ability who went to a disastrously badly-run franchise with the expectation that he'd set things aright: the lamentable Dean Taylor, and his equally lamentable tenure in Milwaukee. Maybe it's because I'm currently wrapping up reading a history of Poland between the two World Wars, but in the same way that some outfits are so fundamentally rotten that they can't build a functioning state or craft a sensible constitution or cultivate competence in its services, those same issues can be found in a badly-run baseball team. Arguments about how self-interest demands improvement don't really matter: wrong-headed dopes, whether they're Marshal Rydz-Smigly or anybody among the Royals' board of directors (the Glass family and Herk Robinson) are going to help perpetuate something that fundamentally doesn't work, because they barely know any better.

Moore may well be a sensible guy, may well possess a canny eye for talent, and may well resurrect the Royals in five years. He might also get worn down by internecine arguments against an organizational culture of incompetence, and leave discredited and disgusted. Or he might end up crafting a farm system much like the Braves, long on drafted tools types who don't pan out, and if he isn't given top dollar to sign premium prospects at the top end of the draft or overseas, he may never achieve Atlanta's success with a few signature blue-chippers. Don't get me wrong, I'm not weeping for Allard Baird, and I'm happy to see the long-suffering people of Kansas City spared the potential indigntiy of a Randy Smith comeback (which was rumored if Moore had turned them down). But unless Moore's granted absolute authority over whatever family-bred slack-jawed Wal-Mart washouts might stand in his way, things aren't guaranteed to get any better. Change does not automatically connote progress.

Ouch.

Still, this is something we all know intuitively as Royals fans; namely, that we're never far from disaster with this franchise. A fate sealed to us from the day Glass started nepotising the fonrt office and slashing budget.

To that end, here was part of Neyer's take yesterday on ESPN Insider,

There is, however, a supporting player in the drama. If you don't follow the Royals, you might even know the name: Dan Glass.

Yes, the owner's son is involved, and that's rarely a good thing. In the old days, when baseball was often a family business, maybe it made sense. Walter O'Malley's son knew something about baseball because he grew up around it. Same with Clark Griffith's son, and Bob Carpenter's. But when Dan Glass, then in his 30s, gained employment with the Royals in 1993, it was solely because his father had just taken over as Chairman of the Board. Here was the younger Glass' work and education experience before joining the club as baseball operations assistant (from a recent media guide):

Prior to joining the Royals, he spent six years as an owner in the jewelry retail business and worked in Glass Enterprises, focusing on real estate development projects.

He attended Southwest Missouri State University and graduated from Drury College with a bachelor's degree in business administration. Before entering college, Dan worked in management for five years with Wal-Mart in Fayetteville, Ark., and as an assistant manager in Tahlequah, Okla., Tulsa, Okla., and Carbondale, Ill. Read that again -- while recalling that Dan's father was making a fortune as a top Wal-Mart executive during those years -- and make up your own mind about our young squire's demonstrated talents. Then again, maybe Dan was just a late bloomer. But did he do so well as baseball operations assistant that he deserved, two years later, a promotion to assistant director of player personnel? Did he do so well in that position that he deserved, three years later, a promotion to president of the Kansas City Royals?

Fare thee well Dayton Moore. Hopefully your alleged "written guarantee" of complete control holds up in the million little and large decisions an executive makes. Somehow I don't think so.

Ohh well, enough of the facts at hand, we might as well return to fantasyland: a place where doing things "the right way" inevitably produces results. And sticking together helps to. And sticking to your guns. And all that.

Presumably clutchness probably comes from the same mystical warehouse.

Ohh yea, the team's still playing games you say? We'll have actual thoughts on the actual game against those pesky Mariners and their crazy colors later today...