For those of you who have little interest in the Royals neighbors at the Truman Sports Complex, understand two things: The Kansas City Chiefs have played terrible football in the first two games of the season, and people are upset. Upset might be an understatement, especially if looks at the media reaction following Sunday’s loss to the Bills.
Sam Mellinger and Kent Babb each took turns blistering Chiefs brass and players for the team’s performance on Sunday. Although neither said "Scott Pioli needs to be fired" directly, Mellinger did argue that Hunt needs to "make major changes" and Babb claimed that the Chiefs will "never win big" with Mr. Pioli in charge. Bob Fescoe took the rhetoric to an entirely different level, babbling about the players letting down "all the old ladies that are on life support rooting for you, trying to pull out another day."
Personally, I think the local media (especially Fescoe) sounded similar to politicians shouting over each other to see who is "tougher" on crime without bothering to discuss more complicated issues about what is currently broken with the American penal and justice system. What’s more relevant to Royals fans, however, is why Pioli and Co. have elicited this level of vitriol from the local media, while Moore and the Royals team have not.
I don’t want to argue that the Royals under Dayton Moore have never been criticized by the local media, but I don’t think they have ever faced the same level of criticism that the Chiefs are currently dealing with. It’s not terribly difficult, however, to raise many of the same charges that Pioli currently faces against Dayton Moore; it’s certainly within reason to claim that GMDM deserves more criticism than Pioli.
When you read the arguments presented by the media, it’s easy to replace Pioli’s name with Moore and see similar criticisms that can be leveled against both General Managers.
Pioli has spent too much time trying to justify his decisions, rather than trying to improve them… compiling ultimately meaningless statistics in an attempt to spin unpopular draft choices and questionable spending habits into a more favorable light.
Pioli wants time, patience and understanding but hasn’t earned any of it.
Moore wants similar time and patience, but in many ways has done less to earn it, considering Pioli has at least one .500 season and playoff appearance under his belt.
"We're tired of it! We're tired of the losing, all the excuses, we're tired of "It's a process", we're tired of it's gonna get better."
This exclamation from Fescoe rings eerily similar to many complaints leveled against Moore on this blog, down to the blasting of The Process™. So why are these criticisms coming against Pioli and not Moore?
I think there are multiple reasons why Moore has managed to avoid the media assault that Pioli is currently under.
- Most people seem to think the Chiefs were a better football team when Pioli took over than when Moore took control of the Royals, so Moore needs more time.
- There is a general belief that it’s easier to turn around a football team than a baseball team, so Pioli should get the job done faster.
- Moore is handicapped by David Glass being cheap, while Pioli not spending money has as much to do with his personal choice than Clark Hunt ordering him too.
While there are other variables factoring into the level of outrage, as far as the two GM’s are concerned, those seem to be the main arguments that are providing shelter for Moore. I don’t think one can prove the validity of their statements either way, but if they are accepted as truth, then their validity loses relevance.
I think this an interesting topic for discussion, but I don’t have a terribly strong opinion on whether it’s "fair" for Pioli to take this criticism while Moore does not. It’s fascinating to me that Mellinger can offer lazy and shallow support for Moore while blasting Pioli for many of the same crimes. It makes one wonder, however, what Moore is going to have to do to face the wrath of the Kansas City media.