I missed this the other day because Twitter is difficult. From Ervin Santana's agent, Jay Alou:
@Koreanfan_KC if Glass wanted him he would be a Royal by now. I Know DM, Ned, and the fans want him...#payroll #tradesomeone #makeithappen— Jay Alou (@JAloujr) February 3, 2014
First things first, for the uninitiated, Sung Woo is a Royals fan who is following the team from South Korea. If you ever feel jaded or let down by our team, Sung Woo is guaranteed to pick you up. I really enjoy fans like him and the fact we can interact with someone who is half way around the world from Kansas City about the Royals will continue to blow my mind. (I'm old that way.) The guy is a solid Twitter follow.
As for Jay Alou, how interesting is this? In his press conference on Monday, Dayton Moore basically said Santana and Alou were asking for more than the Royals were willing to pay. Solid story given the early word was Erv and his agents were looking for a deal around $100 million. Moore indicated the Royals had talked to them, but ultimately moved on from bringing back Erv after they decided to bring Bruce Chen back to the fold.
Except Alou contradicts that assertion. From the tweet above, it sounds like there was plenty of interest from Erv in returning to Kansas City. And it sounds like the feeling was mutual. Well, mostly. Alou's tweet will only throw fuel on the fire of speculation that David Glass continues to be a massive pothole on the road to success. It's never going to be easy for the Royals, playing in this market. However, when the owner insists on tightening the budget despite an influx of cash and with his team very close to becoming a serious contender... Well, that just stinks.
When Dayton Moore came to Kansas City in 2006, he accepted the job because he received assurances the Glass family would stay out of the way of baseball decisions and would open the checkbook to adequately fund the team. I always believed Moore when he said that, because with the reputation of David and Dan Glass, who wouldn't ask for that before signing on the dotted line? Moore has always made the assertion that Glass would spend the requisite money if he felt the Royals were a player or two away. I know there are skeptics among us, but it has always felt to me that the two statements above have largely been the truth. We haven't really heard of any reports of meddling ownership and while the budgets have always been on the lower end of the spectrum, they've seemed fair for the most part.
But I've always had that nagging feeling that one day, we'd learn differently. This is David and Dan Glass. Old habits die hard. Sucks, but it's true.
This single tweet from Alou pretty much takes those assurances Moore said he received from the Glasses, crumples them into a wad, and throws them into the dumpster fire that's been burning at The K since 1994.
The value of this franchise has increased almost five times the original purchase price Glass paid in 2000. I understand that there needs to be budgets. But I don't understand a budget of around $90 million when revenues continue to grow, when your return on investment impresses Warren Buffet, and when you could possibly be one player away from realizing something special - October baseball. You want to see a true "gamble?" Boost payroll over $100 million by re-signing the best starting pitcher on the market and see how the fans respond when this team doesn't crap the bed again in May and stays competitive from Day One.
I don't think Mr. Glass gets it. I don't think he understands this fan base. I don't think he is aware this city is ready to embrace this team. I've heard stories from more than one source that Glass was surprised at how Kansas City supported the All-Star Game in 2012. I've also heard that that support was behind the sharp increase in payroll in 2013 by bringing in guys like Erv and James Shields. They were surprised this city was hungry for quality baseball. Surprised.
So what happened? Short term memory loss, I guess. Or maybe when Moore talks about our "instant gratification society" he's lumping ownership in with the fans. Maybe Glass thinks, "Well we tried it this way and it didn't work so let's just go back to the old way." Is another rebuild and $50 million payroll in our future? I wouldn't put anything past David and Dan. I don't trust the Scare Pair for a minute.
In the next few days, we are going to read a story about Erv signing a three year deal for around $40 million with some other team. Then in April we're going to watch Jason Vargas, Jeremy Guthrie, Bruce Chen and someone yet to be determined struggle to keep this team in ballgames. And we will all wonder what could have been.