Dayton Moore said something stupid. This stupid thing he said will hang on him. His words will be mocked.
To some, Moore has already been the Royals’ general manager too long. Seven years already. It’ll be eight in June, and during that time the Pirates and Rays and A’s have won more while spending less. The Indians have bottomed out and made the playoffs again. The Royals’ highpoint, so far, is this recently completed 86-win season that was five games from a playoff spot and seven games from the division championship.
And with all of that, he said this stupid thing in a room full of reporters and rolling cameras and open notebooks and a live listening audience during a news conference on Tuesday:
“In a small way, I feel like we’ve won the World Series.”
Those words beg to be mocked and, in fact, started being mocked before he even finished the sentence. For fans who would prefer Moore gone, those words are a gift. They make for the easiest jokes. Some of them are actually funny, and it’s absolutely true that there is too much self-congratulation from the Royals right now.
But look a little deeper, beyond the easy jokes. There is an interesting point he was trying to make. After the reporters and cameras and notebooks left the news conference, I hung around to give Moore the chance to clarify what he meant.
He quickly realized he shouldn’t have used those words - World Series - and articulated himself more clearly….
This is what is on Moore’s mind when he talks about being proud of what the Royals have done the last seven years. They’re in a place where winning is possible again, and considering where they started, that’s no small feat. Moore bumbled his words, said it in a way that virtually guarantees his point won’t be heard through the jokes, and this can’t be said enough: It was a stupid thing to say.
But this is what he meant.
“What I’m saying, I mean, look, ‘World Series’ is the wrong term,” he says. “But I feel very, very good about where our organization is. It means a lot to me. You have to know how I’m wired. The only reason I’m a general manager is that this is my boyhood team. It’s a special place for me.”