Here’s a not-so-fun fact I discovered while researching skippers for my latest take on Ned Yost. Former Kansas City Royals managers Hal McRae, Buddy Bell, Bob Boone, Tony Muser, Trey Hillman, Tony Pena and Billy Gardner all rank below the current skipper on Baseball Reference’s list of the 302 qualifying managers in baseball history. Yost, for the record, is 216th on that list. Aside from John Wathan, that list names every guy who managed the Royals for the better half of a season or more since 1986.
So, with that in mind, who’s to blame here? Should fans be angry with the subpar coaching or the guy responsible for hiring one subpar coach after another? Dayton Moore can’t be blamed for the egregious baseball sins committed by Allard Baird, for Baird is truly the Art Modell of Kansas City and saying his name three times fast will make your lips turn to rot and fall off your face. Seriously, Google him and read up if you don’t know what I mean. He’s the baseball devil.
Comparing Moore’s time with KC so far to Baird’s time as the Royals GM would be like comparing the act of sowing a field to the act of a tornado tearing through said field and blowing it to smithereens. This is to say that Moore has built KC a solid foundation that fundamentally alters the team’s chances at being a winner, while Baird only made winning in KC infinitely more difficult. That makes Moore’s efforts with the team much more difficult to judge.
I know a lot of folks in KC are getting really blamey, if that’s a word, and loud demands for Moore to be fired are ever-more common in the last few weeks. That thought should be shelved for now. The baseball climate in KC over the past two decades was uniquely dismal, making Moore’s job one of the hardest in baseball. Whether it comes to fruition or not, Moore gave KC hope for the first time since the ’80s. That shouldn’t be so quickly forgotten.
Before fans give up on his plans for the future, Dayton Moore needs to fail much more miserably than this. To really make the franchise want to start anew, he’ll have to prove that his current strategy is fruitless. One depressing season wouldn’t be enough to prove that in full, so it wouldn’t be enough for me to wish him gone.