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Monday, June 25, 2012

Royals Review: Where is the Anger?

Uhh…trying to make a decent follow-up to Dayton Lucifer Rising?

Or we can talk about the big picture. When are the Royals supposed to win? Moore was hired in 2006. He hasn’t, despite trying, sniffed .500. Think about baseball in 2006. The Rays were terrible, the Nats were terrible, Roger Clemens was still an Astro, and on and on. Think about how different your life and the world was in 2006. Youtube barely existed, Facebook was still for college kids, Spain was considered fairly bad at soccer. Kevin Durant was like negative five years old (though he was already 6’2).

So, I can listen to the case for Moore. But I’m amazed, that here in this year of supposed contention we were promised since… what? 2009, here in this year when KC baseball is getting ready to host the All-Star game, the Royals are still terrible, still making dumb mistakes, and still don’t have a legit All-Star other than a bullpen guy for their own All-Star game. Are our standards this low? Do people simply not care? Has Mizzou leaving for the SEC and all things Chiefs just ate up everyone’s time?

So congrats on drafting Eric Hosmer and Moose and spending a bunch of money in the draft. Apparently that gets you a decade of job security.

I’m amazed there simply is no discussion about the future of this front office. Does anyone care? I hate the Best Fans in Baseball meme (though I actually also love it) but what does this passivity make us? Ok, ok, I’m just crazy bitter internet anger guy. Fine. That doesn’t explain everyone else.

Repoz Posted: June 25, 2012 at 08:33 AM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 25, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4165479)
i am impressed with the back and forth in the comments section about this article/post.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4165507)
I'm mad as hell, and I'm only going to take it for two more years before I write a polite but firm letter to management telling them I am considering not renewing my season tickets.
   3. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 25, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4165510)
Personally I think Moore did was he was hired to do, rebuild the farm and get some young talent in. Unfortunately he has shown no aptitude whatsoever for the next phase- turning that talent into a winning ball club. He needs to go, not because he sucks at GM in general, but because he sucks at the specific task that the Royals' GM NOW needs to focus on.

   4. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 25, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4165524)
johnny

very possible. that is a classic management challenge
   5. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: June 25, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4165533)
Ah 2006 .. .. . . Bill Kristol predicts that Obama won't win a single Democratic primary, Rex Grossman looked like a real NFL QB (for a month anyway), Anna Nicole Smith had her entire life ahead of her, the solar system still had nine planets. It was a very different time.
   6. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 25, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4165540)
david glass worked for wal-mart for almost 30 years and helped it go from 100 odd stores to several thousand

unless he was propped up and a designated golden boy from day 1 a person would think glass would know something on how to pick a management team.
   7. Jim Wisinski Posted: June 25, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4165544)
He hasn’t, despite trying, sniffed .500.


Could have fooled us!
   8. Dangerous Dean Posted: June 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4165546)
Well Hillary Clinton was so sure she'd win the Democrat nomination that she didn't even fill out the paperwork for the late-voting states. Obama just out-politicked her.

like him or hate him, you have to agree that he was more prepared than her.

But don't blame Kristol for dissing him. Nobody outside the Chicago establishment saw Obama coming before 2007. If anyone had seen him coming the Clinton machine would have worked to expose his weaknesses.
   9. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 25, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4165552)
i am amused that the royals wikipedia page lists a 'yost era'.

yost has a .437 winning percentage in just over 2 years worth of games.

   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4165558)

unless he was propped up and a designated golden boy from day 1 a person would think glass would know something on how to pick a management team.


He's still looking for a way to get around MLB's pesky minimum wage laws.
   11. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 25, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4165559)
unless he was propped up and a designated golden boy from day 1 a person would think glass would know something on how to pick a management team.

The question really is what is David Glass trying to accomplish? If it's to become even wealthier by owning an MLB team, then mission accomplished. The team is worth 4X what he paid for and the city threw him a few hundred million to polish his investment for him. He's probably pretty happy about that.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4165560)
I think his management team has done a terrific job making profits, which is his primary goal in both ventures.
   13. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 25, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4165565)
shooty/ag1

point taken

but i suspect glass knows that long-term some degree of winning needs to happen to tease the public. if the royals don't finish around .500 this season i suspect there will be a change either with moore or yost.
   14. McCoy Posted: June 25, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4165567)
They'll be writing this about Theo in 2016.
   15. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4165574)
but i suspect glass knows that long-term some degree of winning needs to happen to tease the public. if the royals don't finish around .500 this season i suspect there will be a change either with moore or yost.

Which doesn't really mean anything. I suppose firing Moore would appease the fans, maybe, but the head still lives. If the Royals were a public company Glass and all his kin would be out on their asses.
   16. Craig in MN Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4165575)

david glass worked for wal-mart for almost 30 years and helped it go from 100 odd stores to several thousand

unless he was propped up and a designated golden boy from day 1 a person would think glass would know something on how to pick a management team.


Really? At Walmart, he may have learned that you can make a lot of money by selling cheap crappy products to the masses of people who are interested in buying cheap crappy products. Did anyone in Walmart management ever try to create or sell the best product around? Or even a really good product that is good even if it isn't cheap?
   17. John Northey Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4165577)
Royals since 2006... winning percentages between 383 and 463 (75 wins). Placed 4th or 5th in one of the easiest divisions in baseball. 3 managers. One GM.

From 2000-2005... winning percentages between 346 and 512 (83 wins). 4th or 5th in all but 1 of those seasons, 3rd when winning 83. GM Allard Baird.

From 1990 to 1999... winning percentages between 398 and 568 (92 wins). 2nd once, 3rd 3 times, 6 times 4th or worse. GM Herk Robinson

Who'd have thunk, Herk Robinson suddenly looks good compared to the two since him. Probably helped that he had leftovers from John Schuerholz's time (1981-1990 when they were powerhouses in the AL West, 2 time winning division, 4 2nd's, 2 3rds and a 4th his first year).
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4165580)
Probably helped that he had leftovers from John Schuerholz's time (1981-1990 when they were powerhouses in the AL West, 2 time winning division, 4 2nd's, 2 3rds and a 4th his first year).


IIRC, they actually dismantled most of Schuerholz's team, save for maybe Gubicza and Tartabull. What helped was that Ewing Kauffman had sold Marion Labs, and was flush with cash, and wanted to win one more championship. The early 90s teams were largely not home grown, as the Royals farm system had stopped producing as much top talent, and the team was dipping into free agency (Greg Gagne, David Cone, Kirk Gibson, Jose Lind, Wally Joyner) to field a team.
   19. McCoy Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4165581)
If the Royals were a public company Glass and all his kin would be out on their asses.

Why? If the Royals were a public company their shareholders would be quite happy. Have the Royals lost money?

McDonald's routinely places last in customer satisfaction. This has been going on for years and years. The CEO and all his kin have not been dumped because of it. The happiness of the customer means very little when compared to the bottomline.
   20. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4165582)
They'll flirt with .500 this year, flirt with the postseason next year, and get their in 2014. I believe this with all my heart. They are building a good team.
   21. McCoy Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4165583)
Did anyone in Walmart management ever try to create or sell the best product around? Or even a really good product that is good even if it isn't cheap?

Wal-Mart sells a ton of products that are really good and really cheap. That's why they are so busy and that's why Dollar Stores aren't as economically massive as a country like Wal-Mart.
   22. McCoy Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4165588)
To ask if Wal-Mart doesn't do this is to miss the point of Wal-Mart. It's like asking if Ford ever made accordions.
   23. McCoy Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4165590)
Aargh, I keep forgetting that these areas are not like the newsblog area and you can't edit your text.

Anyway, a management is not so hybrid that a David Glass has no way of identifying a good management team for winning ballgames because he managed a company that specialized in selling products at the lowest price point possible while still maximizing profits.

Hopefully this will be the last "edit".
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4165598)
Anyway, a management is not so hybrid that a David Glass has no way of identifying a good management team


Well, let me put it like this, the club President is a man named Dan Glass. Dan's previous work experience was running a jewelry store, and a video rental store. Oh, and he happens to be the son of David Glass, owner of the Kansas City Royals.
   25. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4165600)
Pipe down hippies, don't try and tell Mr. Glass how to spend Young Masters Steinbrenner's money.

   26. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4165604)
ag1

is there any awareness as to dan glass' involvement in decision-making? it's possible he's just picking up a paycheck with moore really calling all the shots.

   27. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4165607)
Dickey's knuckleball is bogarting all the anger.
   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4165619)

is there any awareness as to dan glass' involvement in decision-making? it's possible he's just picking up a paycheck with moore really calling all the shots.


The rumors were Dan meddled during the Allard era. Supposedly he required that Jermaine Dye be traded immediately, for MLB-level talent. Supposedly he nixed a Joe Randa trade to the Cubs for prospects. The story is that when Dayton was hired, he required complete control of personnel matters, which it seems that he has.
   29. Craig in MN Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4165624)
Wal-Mart sells a ton of products that are really good and really cheap. That's why they are so busy and that's why Dollar Stores aren't as economically massive as a country like Wal-Mart


I guess I'd argue that the difference is between selling a "good" product and selling one that is "good enough". I've spent a lot at Walmart in my time, and bought lot of things that were good enough, but never anything that was intrinsically good, at least by my standards. Nothing that I thought "In two or three years, I'll be really glad that I bought this one". I've never in my life thought "I want to buy a good ______, I'll go Walmart". Dollar stores are one step below....where price is always the factor and not the quality.

You do raise a good point that a good management team should be able to do more than squeeze suppliers or competitors and maximizing price points. But we don't really know how good Walmarts management team is because they focused so much on one or two things. Ford never made accordions. But if they did, we'd have to wonder if they were going to be able to do so based just on their experiences. If not, well than any company that ever succeeded at anything would be expected to be able to excel at anything it every tried, and that's just silly. Maybe that good accordion maker down the street should become a car manufacturer? He does a good job with accordions. Glass has had success at something, so he deserves some credit and expectation that he might be able to do it again. But admitting that it's an entirely different business with potentially big difference is what management should be looking is just stating the obvious.
   30. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4165633)
crazy bitter internet anger guy


Whose new handle?
   31. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4165634)
ag1:

ok. thanks for the info

craig:

wal-mart excelled by optimizing the supply chain from beginning. they scoured for ways to take cost out of not just the product itself but delivering the product to the store, storing the product, putting the product on the shelves, etc, etc

wal-mart underwent a transition, in fact several transitions, as they grew in size/scope. i know that wal-mart overhauled its middle management several times over the course of several decades as they needed new folks to adapt to a new environment.

i just thought glass might have been involved in setting forth the hiring criterion of the new management

meaning he recognized, along with his upper level peers, the need for change because of the changing demands of the business

good businesses do that. the big guys may not change but they knew enough to overhaul the next level to insure the company keeps moving in the right direction
   32. McCoy Posted: June 25, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4165643)
Glass has had success at something

But that something is not so unique that it can't be applied to another area that doesn't require specialized management. To get Wal-Mart to where it is today or where it was when Glass was there require more than just focus on one or two things. It required a highly skilled, motivated, well equipped management team , plan, and philosophy. Almost all of that can and does translate into other fields. Glass may not know who the best person is to teach the slider to a young kid but he should be able to build a corporate system and culture that can identify who is the best person to teach the kid a slider and then get them. Now obvious caveats about budgets and so forth apply.

As for Wal-Mart I think you are missing the point of what they are selling. The point of Wal-Mart isn't to buy the best but to by something that does the job at a really low price. I go to Wal-Mart to buy a $6 iron and then I don't have to worry about an iron for a decade. Or if I'm moving and I don't have the space I can simply give it away or toss it and buy a new one once I get to my new place. You go there to buy 2 dollar bath towels or an $8 silverware set or a big jar of pickles for $2.99.
   33. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4165661)

meaning he recognized, along with his upper level peers, the need for change because of the changing demands of the business


The other meme running through town is that when Glass bought the team, he recognized the disparity in baseball and worked hard with Bud to change things, and to do so, had a bottom barrel payroll to show how bad he had it. He also stuck with slot recommendations, and was frugal on the draft overall. Once he got some revenue sharing concessions, he started spending a bit more freely.
   34. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 25, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4165667)
ag1

that is highly plausible.
   35. Craig in MN Posted: June 25, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4165684)
I think we agree 100% on what Walmart is selling. Your anecdotes are almost the same as mine would be....I was going to say $6 frying pan instead of iron. I cook, but wear wrinkled clothes.

As for management teams adapting and transitioning and being able to do new things, my gut feeling is that we are dealing with ultimately small sample sizes. They had success in one business.....that's better than zero success, but still pretty small. And it really goes for probably 90% of sport team owners as well. They all got rich because of making a long series of decisions that turned out to be very lucrative. They could have been lucky. They could have been the keenest of the keen businessmen. Or they could have just reacted to their competitors doing dumb things. Saying that success at one thing leads to success at another just doesn't follow for me. I could see the argument if Glass's job was to develop a more efficient way to see concession to customers...it maps pretty directly to Walmarts history and it is something that a business owner/management can have a lot of control over. That's really what I see Walmart as being good at....using it's established position to get as much control as possible and turning control into profit. Developing and signing good baseball players isn't at all like acquiring and moving products around as efficiently as possible. There's only so much you can control in baseball and with people in general. Maybe their management is clever enough to adapt to success in baseball, but to me it's more "maybe" than "they should be".

I don't think either side is convincing the other here.
   36. McCoy Posted: June 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4165689)
I was going to say $6 frying pan instead of iron. I cook, but wear wrinkled clothes.

Ikea of all places has, IMO, the best cheap cookware and utensils around. I bought a skillet for something like 6 bucks at Ikea and it works great. I also bought like a $3 wok that was pretty great until I forgot it was on the stove for 12 hours and killed it. Perhaps it was just a sale but virtually all of my plates, utensils, and cookware I got from Ikea at a really cheap price.


As for management teams adapting and transitioning and being able to do new things, my gut feeling is that we are dealing with ultimately small sample sizes. They had success in one business.....that's better than zero success, but still pretty small.

The thing is is that the sample size is not pretty small. Wal-Mart is a giant. It is bigger than a lot of rather large countries. I know snark can be used against this but it is like saying there is no real proof that US government could govern any other country besides the US since they've only governed the US.
   37. John DiFool2 Posted: June 25, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4165694)
Dickey's knuckleball is bogarting all the anger.


Verbing weirds language.
   38. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4165707)
The thing is is that the sample size is not pretty small. Wal-Mart is a giant.


It's still a small sample, Andre the Giant was a giant too, but he was just one man.

WalMart is essentially one business model, and WalMart has been very effective at implementing that particular business model- and WalMart is good at the skills needed to implement that business model - but I really don't see much overlap between the skills needed to implement WalMart's business model and what's needed to win ball games- and where there is overlap- Walmart's particular skill in that area does not translate- for instance- WalMart is so big it can leverage its size in the market to its advantage- obviously the Royals can't do that no matter how good Glass would be at that- it doesn't matter if Glass could run the Yankees better than the Steinbrenners can/could- he doesn't own the Yankees he owns the Royals...

   39. McCoy Posted: June 25, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4165719)
WalMart is essentially one business model, and WalMart has been very effective at implementing that particular business model- and WalMart is good at the skills needed to implement that business model

But as Harvey pointed out to get Wal-Mart to where it is today required more than just one approach. Wal-Mart didn't burst upon the economic scene fulll formed as a juggernaut. It took mililions and millions of decisions and thousands and thousands of people with many different skills to get there.
   40. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 25, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4165748)
and glass saw wal-mart through multiple transitions. from marketing themselves as an only buy american company to buying more overseas than anyone. from being specific to the u.s. to trying to get in europe and asia. to adding electronics. a pharmacy. to developing super wal marts. these were all transitions of some kind.

right now the royals to me look like they are approaching being on the cusp of a transition. they have a fair amount of talent and look like they need to get beyond letting everyone play to see who can play to start putting the best options on the field and win some games mode. maybe moore can be that guy too versus just collect a lot of talent guy.

i just think that glass might not know baseball but knows the signs of a transition and the different skills in management needed to effectively make that transition happen.

the brewers owner did and only let yost hang around as long as he did because doug melvin insisted but when things were slipping away in 2008 the brewers owner put his foot down and that was that

maybe glass will do the same.
   41. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4165759)
By the way, I don't think I ever said it when you returned, but its really great to have you back Harvey and I hope everything is going okay.
   42. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: June 25, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4165760)
There's a long track record of people/orgs with success in other industries struggling in baseball. Between that and KC not always pursuing win maximization (imo) - I'm not comfortable prediction whether or not Glass and co. can manage a transition to success.

Wanna second McCoy's appreciation for cheap Ikea cookware.

I'm not interested in taking the thread toward politics, but I'd disagree with Dean's #8 - I remember meeting with folks in '06 that weren't and weren't to be associated with a presidential campaign who had it (on the left) as a two horse race between HRC and BHO. Not claiming that that was accepted wisdom, mind you - but if I, a non-politico, knew he was considered a legit threat...
   43. Loren F. Posted: June 25, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4165777)
There's a long track record of people/orgs with success in other industries struggling in baseball.

This. Reminds me of Tom Hicks, who I thought would take his private equity savvy and field a consistently competitive Rangers team, but instead from 1999-2010 managed to have 3 winning seasons in 12 years. That's just one example.
   44. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4165782)
There's a long track record of people/orgs with success in other industries struggling in baseball.


Yea, pretty much anyone that is rich enough to own a ballclub and didn't inherit their fortune/the ballclub was successful in business. They don't all win championships.
   45. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 25, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4165791)
ag1

thanks for the kind words

if you were wondering i am typing without capitals because i really struggle with my left hand. i have taught myself to type pretty much all right-handed

and before anyone mentions speech recognition i slur like a drunk off a 3 day bender a quarter of the time so that doesn't work either or at least not without me getting all ticked off
   46. McCoy Posted: June 25, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4165793)
Yea, pretty much anyone that is rich enough to own a ballclub and didn't inherit their fortune/the ballclub was successful in business. They don't all win championships.

And it hasn't been proven that that is their main goal in owning a club.

KC's goal isn't to win championships at whatever the cost. It is to do the best they can with the budget they have. I have no real idea what their budget is so I can't really say whether or not they are doing the best they can. It seems like they are getting some talented pieces though.
   47. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: June 25, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4165893)
By the way, I don't think I ever said it when you returned, but its really great to have you back Harvey and I hope everything is going okay.


This.
   48. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 25, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4165899)
gef

well, unlike ag1 you can go #### youself

//just funning there big fella
   49. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: June 25, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4165918)
Great!
   50. flournoy Posted: June 25, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4166211)
Verbing weirds language.


You two are a pair of pathetic peripatetics.
   51. Zach Posted: June 26, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4166428)
Maybe I'm being pathetic here, but what is a realistic timetable for rebuilding a team through the draft?

Mike Moustakas is Dayton Moore's very first ever draft pick. Mike Moustakas arrived in the major leagues last year, and is playing very well this year.

The next year's first rounder was Eric Hosmer, who is playing poorly this year, but is also a very highly regarded prospect.

Wil Myers is tearing up the minor leagues -- he was drafted out of high school in 2009.

If the engine of your team is going to be the draft, you have to give the drafted players time to reach the major leagues. For me, the clock started last year.
   52. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 26, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4166439)

If the engine of your team is going to be the draft, you have to give the drafted players time to reach the major leagues. For me, the clock started last year.


But you can't rely solely on drafted players, you're going to have to supplement them with trades and free agents. Dayton has proven himself to be pretty inept in that department.
   53. Zach Posted: June 26, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4166559)
But you can't rely solely on drafted players, you're going to have to supplement them with trades and free agents. Dayton has proven himself to be pretty inept in that department.

But now we're shifting the terms of the debate. The article asks "When are the Royals supposed to win?" With the economic situation of the game, the answer to that has always been "when the drafted players start arriving."

I'm not saying you can never fire a GM whose goal is to build through the draft. Allard Baird insisted that was his goal, too, but by the end of his term the system was empty, with no credible plans to refill it. Right now, the Royals look like a team that's rebuilding through the minor leagues. They have legitimate talent; the players just haven't hit their prime years yet.

To put it another way: what about the Royals do you want to be different? (Record doesn't count) Do you want a fundamentally different strategy? Are you willing to have a worse minor league system if you can come up with a GM who can work the free agent market better?

Personally, I'm a minor league extremist. I don't think there's any strategy that can replace a steady supply of quality young players, and I'm not willing to fire Moore until he has either
a) shown he can't produce a useful pipeline of talent, or
b) shown that a functioning pipeline won't help, because he is inept at the rest of his job.
   54. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 26, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4166566)
But now we're shifting the terms of the debate.


um, no we're not.

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