Last night, the Kansas City Royals continued their descent into the AL Central basement, falling to the Seattle Mariners…again. Let’s be honest here, it’s not like the Seattle Mariners are the reincarnation of the old Bronx Bomber teams that had juggernaut offensives. Nope, the Mariners are actually one of the worst offensive teams in baseball. The Royals have made them look like hitting savants, not like a team that just traded a future Hall of Famer to the Yankees. With the Royals now tied for the central basement with Minnesota, the question has to be asked-who is to blame?
There seem to be alot of fingers to point in a lot of different directions, but let’s start with the manager, Ned Yost. I’ve been saying since April that Yost needs to go, as his managing style is shoddy at best. To be honest, as of late the only major faults of Yost is the juggling of the lineup and his continuance to keep Jeff Francoeur in the lineup. Yost is still not the man for the job, but I don’t think he deserves the brunt of the blame right now. He is just a minor flaw in a bigger problem.
What about hitting coach Kevin Seitzer? This is where things get interesting, as Seitzer has been a huge help for a number of ex and current Royals. Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Melky Cabrera and Alcides Escobar can all thank Seitzer for improving their hitting while being with the ballclub. It’s easy to point the finger at him, as the offense not producing has been a big part of the team’s issues this season. The thing is, the team is hitting. They just aren’t getting any clutch hits, which is what is killing the team. Sure, that falls on Seitzer a bit, but I’m not ready to put all the blame on him, as he has helped this club more than hindered it. Now, if it continues and there is no turn around, then a conversation maybe needs to be had. But if you asked my opinion, this doesn’t fall at Seitzer’s feet.
Next is owner David Glass. To be fair, the whole reason this team is as bad as it has been for so long falls on Glass’ shoulders. Glass spent years treating the team like it was a Wal Mart and only when he hired Dayton Moore did he actually start shelling out money for drafts and scouting. While I agree with that process, at some point Glass will have to start spending more, or any success the team will have is null, as players will leave when they become free agents. Glass is a major part of the blame here, but not the main guy I point the finger at for this team being this bad.
At the end of the day, the finger needs to be pointed at GM Dayton Moore. Moore came in with a great pedigree, being brought up through the Atlanta Braves organization, which has won more than any other National Legue team since the 1990’s. It seemed at the time that Moore would help this team get to where it needed to go. Six years later, and he spouts off about how it is an eight year process, etc…the honest truth is that it isn’t. In fact, most GM’s who don’t win within six years get fired. Sure, Moore had to almost completely rebuild the farm system, and he has done a great job of that. I’ve always said Moore is a great scout, and he hasn’t done anything to dissuade me from that thinking. But being a GM isn’t just about being a great scout, and this is where Moore has dropped the ball.
Glass has given him a small payroll to work with. That is fine, but Dayton has shown a tendency to waste money on bad players instead of using what he’s got wisely. Signing Yuniesky Betancourt for 2 million dollars, when no other team was even negotiating with him? Stupid. Signing Jose Guillen to a huge contract, despite it being well known that he was a clubhouse cancer? Dumb. Then they are trades, like Leo Nunez for Mike Jacobs, which took over half a year before Jacobs quit getting regular at bats. Being a small market team, you have to be a creative GM and use your assets smartly. Dayton doesn’t do that. He is the man who structures the team and makes the decision on who gets called up or sent down. Why is Johnny Giavotella not in the big leagues, at least giving him a chance to prove himself? Why was Kila Ka’aihue allowed to sit in AAA for almost 3 years before he was given a chance? If a player plays good in the minors and you don’t have someone blocking them, you give them a chance in the majors, as you are never totally for sure what you have until you give them a chance. Moore has not allowed that to happen, and that falls on him.
I literally could go on and on with Dayton’s mistakes, like the hiring of both Trey Hillman and Ned Yost. Once again, that ends up at Dayton’s feet. At the end of the day, the Royals would do best to get a new owner, manager and GM. But since that probably isn’t realistic, my vote would be that Dayton needs to go at the end of the season. The man is a great scout and he’ll always be able to find a job in baseball. But when it comes to being a General Manager, he has failed. Six years is enough suffering; it’s time to make a change.