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Saturday, May 27, 2006

KC Star: Royals’ GM offer on table

Hey, look! The Royals have a plan for something important.

The Royals have offered the job of general manager to Braves assistant Dayton Moore but are ready to move on to other candidates if the two sides can’t reach agreement by this weekend.

The only major hang-up to an agreement, multiple sources have told The Star, is Moore’s demand that he receive written assurance of complete control over personnel matters from club owner David Glass.

If that proves to be a deal-breaker, the Royals appear ready to move into negotiations with former Phillies general manager Ed Wade and/or former Tigers and Padres general manager Randy Smith.

Nevermind.

The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: May 27, 2006 at 05:07 PM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Textbook Editor Posted: May 27, 2006 at 08:06 PM (#2040035)
Ed Wade! Hahahahahahahahaha!

Seriously, the only way the Royals could be a bigger joke than they already are is for them to hire Ed Wade. I can see Rob & Rany's heads exploding if they hire him.
   2. JMM Posted: May 27, 2006 at 08:11 PM (#2040048)
Well, they have a plan. It's just that the back-up plans are pretty damn horrible....
   3. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: May 27, 2006 at 08:15 PM (#2040061)
Royals appear ready to move into negotiations with former Phillies general manager Ed Wade and/or former Tigers and Padres general manager Randy Smith.

They couldn't work out a Dual Duquette operation?
   4. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: May 27, 2006 at 08:26 PM (#2040086)
The issue here is power.

The Glass family, who made their names in cheap retail, not in baseball, want to control the next GM.

Danny Glass is the President of the Team, and he has that job because his father is the owner of the team.

If they don't hire Dayton Moore, then the Glass family is not committed to winning.

PERIOD.
   5. Topher Posted: May 27, 2006 at 08:31 PM (#2040098)
Is Ed Wade that bad? I'm honestly asking. I know he's made to be the fool around here, especially for his knack for overpaying for relief help.

I don't think he'd have the luxury to satisfy that sweet tooth if he were the GM of a low budget franchise. Are there other shortcomings that make him especially inept?

(Note: I'm not trying to argue Wade is a good GM. I'm just not sure he belongs in the category with Smith, Bonifay, etc.)
   6. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: May 27, 2006 at 08:34 PM (#2040106)
From what I hear, Wade was a puppet in Philadelphia, and he would be a puppet in Kansas City.
   7. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: May 27, 2006 at 08:34 PM (#2040107)
I am surely no expert, but my impression of Wade is that, while he never made any egregiously awful moves, he also never made any that substantially helped the team. Unless he traded Stocker for Abreu. That was great.
   8. Bad Doctor Posted: May 27, 2006 at 08:36 PM (#2040113)
As a Phillies fan, I really think Ed Wade's incompetence has always been grossly overstated. If you buy into the allegation that he needed expensive "name" middle relievers to pacify Bowa, a la Hendry's questionable roster moves to pacify Dusty, then he really had a solid enough track record and just ran into some lousy luck in the W/L column. Having said that, most of his better moves came after the plans for the new ballpark came into fruition and the owners' wallets opened. I don't remember him managing a lower middle class payroll very well prior to that time, and that could make him a bad fit for KC.
   9. DCW3 Posted: May 27, 2006 at 08:38 PM (#2040114)
I am surely no expert, but my impression of Wade is that, while he never made any egregiously awful moves, he also never made any that substantially helped the team. Unless he traded Stocker for Abreu. That was great.

Trading Polanco for Ramon Martinez and Flamey McStab was pretty egregiously awful, I think.
   10. bob gee Posted: May 27, 2006 at 08:47 PM (#2040132)
and why is randy smith considered here?
   11. hardrain Posted: May 27, 2006 at 08:49 PM (#2040137)
Glass is an asshat; he should Fire Allard if he doesn't want him. It's unfair to leave the guy hanging.
   12. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: May 27, 2006 at 09:17 PM (#2040173)
The Abreu-Stocker was Lee Thomas I think. If you look at the farm system in Philly under Wade's watch, it is pretty damn good (though Arbuckle may be more responsible for this). I think a lot of teams would take this lineup:

C- Estrada
1B - Howard
2B - Utley
SS - J-Roll
3B - Rolen
LF - Burrell
CF - Michaels
RF - Victorino
P - Myers, Madson, Floyd, Hamles, Wolf, Geary, Elizardo Ramirez, Buckholtz, Eaton, Tejeda

Obviously not as good on the pitching side, but this team was largely built in-house, and with players drafted and developed under Wade. His trades were pretty bad, especially Schilling and Rolen, and of course, Polanco and Bell were bad moves, but overall, not bad. I don't know if Wade considered himself a Moneyball guy, but the team is always up there on Neyer's Beane Count.
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 27, 2006 at 09:20 PM (#2040177)
If you buy into the allegation that he needed expensive "name" middle relievers to pacify Bowa, a la Hendry's questionable roster moves to pacify Dusty, then he really had a solid enough track record and just ran into some lousy luck in the W/L column.
That's the thing. Wade's teams just consistently didn't win despite significant resources. At some point, I started thinking Wade was doing something wrong. If it was Bowa's fault, then Wade either failed to recognize that or failed to act on it, either of which is just as damning.

I grant there's at least a possibility that Wade could do a good job in another situation. That is not true of Randy Smith.
   14. Tony B Posted: May 27, 2006 at 09:23 PM (#2040179)
Seriously, the only way the Royals could be a bigger joke than they already are is for them to hire Ed Wade.

No, hiring Randy Smith would.

and why is randy smith considered here?

I'm sure he was recommended by Glass' buddy, Drayton McLane. His father, Tal Smith, is President of baseball operations for the Houston Astros.
   15. hgmiller Posted: May 27, 2006 at 09:24 PM (#2040181)
For me, the request from Moore validates Baird a little bit. It seems that the rest of the executives in baseball know that Allard has been handcuffed in a lot of his decisions.
   16. MM1f Posted: May 27, 2006 at 09:25 PM (#2040184)
Ed Wade is a perfectly average GM. If he was anywhere but the NL East (or maybe AL East I guess) he'd still have a job cos his team wouldve made the playoffs
   17. AJMcCringleberry Posted: May 27, 2006 at 09:29 PM (#2040187)
What happened to Steve Phillips? I was hoping they'd hire him so the Mets could screw him in a deal for Grudz.
   18. J. Cross Posted: May 27, 2006 at 09:32 PM (#2040192)
What happened to Steve Phillips? I was hoping they'd hire him so the Mets could screw him in a deal for Grudz.

Steve Phillips would insist on throwing Alex Gordon and Billy Butler in the deal. We'd probably have to give up Mike Adams in return.
   19. Zach Posted: May 27, 2006 at 09:33 PM (#2040194)
I don't know anything about Moore, but taking a hard line about control of personnel is an encouraging sign.

The Royals would be an attractive team for a GM who wants to make a name for himself. Sweeney is the only major salary commitment; almost nobody is on the books past next year. Plus, you have to think that even modest improvements would yield big dividends relative to the Royals as they stand; if you put together a $50 million team next year and were even moderately competent about it, you'd have a good chance to improve the team by 20-odd games.

Personally, I think the "DePodesta approach" to GM jobs is exactly wrong. At least as outlined in Moneyball, DePodesta was waiting for a big-money team with an established major league roster offered him a spot. Of course, when he actually took a job like that, he found out that everybody was pretty content with the way things had been working and saw no reason to change. Much better to take a job with a team that's bottoming out: then you've got a built-in rationale and fan constituency for doing things differently than before.
   20. Zach Posted: May 27, 2006 at 09:40 PM (#2040196)
I'm not sure the above reasoning applies to a retread GM, though, unless he thinks he just got screwed by fate in his last job. If you don't want the elbow room to do things differently, much better to go to some midmarket team and do an average job.

If the Royals start looking at retreads, I actually wouldn't mind if they interviewed DePodesta himself. A lot of the causes of his downfall in LA would be significantly diluted in KC, plus there's that built-in rationale for doing things differently than before in KC that wasn't there in LA. Given that my number-one desire in a GM is a guy who is willing to actually work out the expected runs scored, runs allowed, and wins for his roster before conducting the experiment on the ballfield, I wouldn't mind DePodesta.
   21. MM1f Posted: May 27, 2006 at 09:52 PM (#2040207)
"I don't know anything about Moore, but taking a hard line about control of personnel is an encouraging sign."

Braves assistant GM. Was considered JSs eventual sucessor.
Considered by just about everyone to be the top, or at worst one of the top 2 or 3, GM prospects out there.
   22. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 27, 2006 at 09:53 PM (#2040208)
Zach -

Are you suggesting that the Royals job provides "the elbow room to do things differently"? It seems to me like the evidence with Baird, and with the Glasses not yet signing authority over to Moore, is that the problem with the KC job is precisely the lack of elbow room.
   23. Who Swished In Your Cornflakes? Posted: May 27, 2006 at 09:56 PM (#2040212)
How about the Royals pick up what's left of the Cubs' FO when they're finally ousted. They could drag Dusty along with them. He'd still have a rivalry with the Cardinals and he'd be big on Minky, Grudz and Reggie. He could finally wrest Neifi away from Chicago and no doubt Womack would be looking for a job by then. Then he could find, say, Edgardo Alfonzo to play third base to keep Alex Gordon from coming up. The team could even pin their hopes for the entire season on Grienke and turn him into their version of Prior.

..Scary thing is, I could actually see this happening.
   24. Bizarro ARod Posted: May 27, 2006 at 10:00 PM (#2040216)
As a Tiger's fan I say hire Randy Smith, but as a human being, I couldn't be that cruel.
   25. Topher Posted: May 27, 2006 at 10:25 PM (#2040237)
What is the chance that Moore is not the next GM? Slim to none may be an overstatement, but it would seem to me that with this being one of ESPN's top stories, the Glass family is a bit boxed in.

The plight of the Royals has been very well documented and even the semi-informed national analyst is likely to blame ownership as much as anything else for the Royals suckiness. If the Royals don't get their candidate -- and by engaging in this level of discussing, it would seem that Moore is willing to play ball -- the only reason that the Royals failed is (a) the Glasses failed to stop meddling or (b) they lowballed him with salary.

I think that the public fallout for either reason would too great and the Glasses are going to have to bite the bullet -- especially with salary since they just won financing for a "new" Kaufmann and they are being called out nationally for not spending their revenue dollars as it is. They might be willing to draw a line in the sand about meddling ... but if they do, I would think that they would take a huge hit at the gate. Telling your fanbase that you aren't willing to trust your #1 candidate to run the team right and they still want the owner's kid to be able to play with his dad's toy is just a horrible, horrible message.

Had this story not "leaked" I could easily see President Dan Glass telling Moore where he could stick it. Not sure he can anymore.
   26. Topher Posted: May 27, 2006 at 10:27 PM (#2040239)
Then again, the fact that the Royals are indeed the Royals somewhat discounts everything I said above.
   27. sweet lou Posted: May 27, 2006 at 10:35 PM (#2040244)
How could anyone look at the man responsible for the 1996 to 2003 Tigers and think that this person was deserving of a job running another major league club. That absolutely boggles my mind. Didn't those teams average 100 losses?
   28. mgl Posted: May 27, 2006 at 10:43 PM (#2040255)
It's been said before, but the first thing that needs to be done is to fire Bell. I believe he is one of the worst managers in baseball history (granted I know little about most managers, especially more than 20 years ago). As well, he is the one who has "led" a .375 team to a .234 record.

That being said, whomever gets hired at any position is likely going to look like a genius as the Royals are likely to revert to their mean true wp for the remainder of the season, which is probably around .350 to .375. It is also awfully hard not to improve on a team of this poor a caliber next year, even on a limited budget, so again, the new GM is probably going to look pretty good, at least for a while, no matter who it is.
   29. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: May 27, 2006 at 10:50 PM (#2040261)
It's been said before, but the first thing that needs to be done is to fire Bell.

mgl, I like the way you think.

I believe he is one of the worst managers in baseball history

Would that make him better or worse than Boone and Muser?

The Royals need more hitters like Esteban German.
   30. Charlie O Posted: May 27, 2006 at 10:53 PM (#2040272)
Why would any team offer Randy Smith a job?
   31. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: May 27, 2006 at 10:58 PM (#2040276)
Why would any team offer Randy Smith a job?

Because the ballboy pulled a hamstring and they need a short-term replacement.
   32. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: May 27, 2006 at 11:03 PM (#2040281)
There is only one positive to hiring Randy Smith.

Randy Smith would fire Buddy Bell, again.

The Tigers fired manager Buddy Bell yesterday and replaced him on an interim basis with bench coach Larry Parrish. Including last night's victory against the Rangers, Detroit has lost 22 of its last 28 games and at 53-85 has the worst record in the American League.

GM Randy Smith said Bell brought the situation to a head when he insisted on knowing now whether he would be brought back next season. Smith said if Bell had not forced the issue, he would have been kept through this season and possibly the start of next season. "Buddy wanted a definitive answer today. He wanted a clarification," Smith said. "We looked at it and decided things just weren't going as smoothly as they should be. Obviously if you arrive at this decision, it's been in the back of your mind. This is where it ended up."


Granted.. Bell wouldn't be so stupid as to provoke his own firing again.

Maybe.

I wonder if Marty Brown wants to come back to the US in 2007.
   33. TerpNats Posted: May 27, 2006 at 11:41 PM (#2040306)
Since Moore has been considered one of the leading candidates to become Nationals' GM if Stan Kasten decides he wants to replace Bowden, it makes you wonder what the Nats might do if he weren't available. Frank Wren (one-time Baltimore front-office official under Angelos) is a possibility, and I'll even give you a longshot of Schuerholz himself if he's not 100% comfortable with the new Braves' ownership. I don't think he'd work in D.C. for more than a few years before retiring, but he's from the mid-Atlantic area (Towson U. grad) and might consider it a challenge to build the franchise's foundation. Sort of like Branch Rickey in Pittsburgh.
   34. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: May 27, 2006 at 11:43 PM (#2040308)
I don't know if Frank White is even close to being the answer. It seems like hiring White would be like hiring Alan Trammell to manage the Tigers.

Random fun Frank White fact

Frank until 29 (1973-1980): .252/.287/.354, 133 doubles, 31 triples, 39 homers, 77 OPS+
Frank at 30 and after (1981-1990): .257/.296/.401, 274 doubles, 27 triples, 121 homers, 91 OPS+

Probably the rare sort of player who made himself much more valuable at 30 and after. He averaged 15 HRs per 162 games at 30 and after and 6 HRs per 162 from 22 to 29.

And some of those years in the 80s, Frank smashed lefties.

Anyways...

Two other managers who intrigue me are

1) Ken Oberkfell (Norfolk)
2) Tony DeFrancesco (Sacramento)

Anybody got any thoughts about either of those guys?
   35. Grunthos Posted: May 28, 2006 at 12:14 AM (#2040349)
I'll believe Moore is stupid enough to work for Glass when I see it. Everything I've heard about him suggests to me he knows better. I would also bet that Glass knows it, too, and is offering the job to Moore expecting to be turned down, so he can say "Well, I tried to get a top-notch guy, but he was too picky." Then, voila!... Ed Wade, a nice, pliable, yes-man.

The Nats are hardly hog-tied if Moore does go to KC... not only is Wren a readily available candidate, but they could look to poach one of the other hotshot assistants. Once the new ownership is in place, the Nats' GM position will be a very attractive job. You get to rebuild a team on a long-term timetable with a sizeable budget, and with no pressure to win before the new stadium is completed. There will be a lot of interested people.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: May 28, 2006 at 12:39 AM (#2040392)
What would this "written assurance" look like? How would Moore prove it was violated? What would the damages be? What's to keep Glass from firing Moore if he doesn't do what Glass wants anyway?
   37. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: May 28, 2006 at 12:42 AM (#2040400)
I'd imagine that it could be put into the contract. As for proving it. That would probably involve a lawsuit.

The problem here is not all David Glass.

The problem is mainly Danny Glass, who is the President of the team, because his dad owns the team.
   38. Tom Poquette Posted: May 28, 2006 at 01:02 AM (#2040436)
The written assurance would be more like a chain of command setup. Moore would have final decision on all baseball decisions; Baird now does not. If Glass changes his mind, he can always fire Moore. He is the owner after all.
   39. Flynn Posted: May 28, 2006 at 01:31 AM (#2040490)
It's probably more a PR thing than anything else, but if Moore walks out in a year or two claiming ownership interfered with his decision, it just makes a horrible situation look grisly.
   40. GregD Posted: May 28, 2006 at 03:12 AM (#2040666)
Ed Wade was very frustrating as a Phillies' fan. On the other hand, the argument for Ed Wade being at least mediocre goes like this:

Pre-Ed Wade
1996 67-95
1997 68-94

Ed Wade's first year (moved up in March, I think, so you can decide whether he gets credit/blame/nothing for this)

1998 75-87


Ed Wade "Era"
1999 77-85
2000 65-97
2001 86-76
2002 80-81
2003 86-76
2004 86-76
2005 88-74

So he took a team that had really plummeted after the magic 1993 season, pushed them a little toward mediocrity, suffered a miserable setback in 2000, then initiated a 5 year string in which they averaged 86 wins a year.

Of course, he had more money to play with, especially by the end. And the main complaint a Phillies fan can make is that the Phillies had more obvious holes than any other contender the last couple of years. Wade seemed to do nothing to fill them, either creatively or uncreatively (third base last year) and the team came up just short. That's major league frustrating.
   41. John Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: May 28, 2006 at 03:30 AM (#2040671)
Seriously, the only way the Royals could be a bigger joke than they already are is for them to hire Ed Wade.

There's another. They could hire Randy Smith, who may well be the worst front office person of any kind in the history of sports. Randy wasn't about the flashy kind of stupid move that gets everyone's attention; his MO was a relentless erosion of every positive quality that a franchise can have. Randy Smith arrived at the office each morning and found new ways to make his team worse in the short term, the medium term, and the long term.

Someone above hinted that the Randy Smith Tigers averaged 100 losses per year. That's grossly unfair; they actually averaged only 98 losses a year.

More troubling, Randy Smith's good qualities, such as they are, seem to me to be pretty much a carbon copy of Allard Baird's good qualities. They've produced startlingly similar on-field results as well, though Baird leaves his organization in much better shape than Smith left that Wreck of the Medusa that some called the Tigers.
   42. John Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: May 28, 2006 at 03:33 AM (#2040673)
On the Randy Smith thing, just getting the Tigers to near .500 like Dombrowski did was a great achievement. Getting them to where they are now is truly amazing. As usual, I've criticized Dombrowski a lot since he's taken over in Detroit and I've been wrong (and he right) almost every time I've done it.
   43. Dr Love Posted: May 28, 2006 at 03:35 AM (#2040675)
Is Ed Wade that bad?

Yes. Wade has no redeeming qualities.

Ed Wade is perfect for the job though, if the primary job responsibility is "ownership lackey." However, the Royals could do worse, Chuck Lamar is available.
   44. Vrhovnik Posted: May 28, 2006 at 03:41 AM (#2040678)
Whoever gets the job, please fire Buddy Bell as the first act. Thank you in advance.
   45. stealfirstbase Posted: May 28, 2006 at 04:37 AM (#2040711)
I think that the public fallout for either reason would too great and the Glasses are going to have to bite the bullet -- especially with salary since they just won financing for a "new" Kaufmann and they are being called out nationally for not spending their revenue dollars as it is. They might be willing to draw a line in the sand about meddling ... but if they do, I would think that they would take a huge hit at the gate. Telling your fanbase that you aren't willing to trust your #1 candidate to run the team right and they still want the owner's kid to be able to play with his dad's toy is just a horrible, horrible message.

Had this story not "leaked" I could easily see President Dan Glass telling Moore where he could stick it. Not sure he can anymore.

The Bears had a similar organizational structure, and still do. Nepotism is no way to run a team. It never works and it promotes incompetence.

Well, it works in the sense that the owning family makes millions of dollars. In the case of the Bears that's even sadder. They're just riding Halas's and Jim Finks's accomplishments to a paycheck.
   46. Walt Davis Posted: May 28, 2006 at 05:54 AM (#2040760)
Randy Smith's best quality as a GM was being lucky enough for Juan Gonzalez to be stupid enough to turn down his 8 year/$140 M contract offer. That contract would have run through 2008!!
   47. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2006 at 06:20 AM (#2040765)
I agree, Buddy must go, and I agree with mgl that he is quite possibly the worst manager of all-time. Tony DeFrancesco does intrigue me as well, he has a stellar minor league managerial career, and of course, has been around all those patient Oakland hitters and dealt with those great A's arms. Could use some of those in KC.

I'd still prefer a Dierker or Art Howe with some winning MLB managerial experience.

Jo Po calls out the Glasses and endorses Moore
   48. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: May 28, 2006 at 06:44 AM (#2040767)
Art Howe does have "some winning MLB managerial experience", but he also has more "losing MLB managerial experience"

I don't know enough about Dierker to make a call on him.

We should get a manager who is good with handling young players.

Any body got any suggestions when it comes to that?
   49. Honkie Kong Posted: May 28, 2006 at 07:28 AM (#2040777)
Any body got any suggestions when it comes to that?
Anna Benson? < hiccup >
   50. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: May 28, 2006 at 08:37 AM (#2040782)
Moore will be a promising GM if he notices how baseball is played in Kauffman Stadium.

For example, in 2005, Kauffman Stadium was once again a good hitters park, and a very poor park for home runs. Walks are pretty much the same, while strikeouts are reduced in Kauffman Stadium due to the excellent sightlines.

The fact that only RFK, Pro Player, and Petco were worse for homers in 2005 should be a good hint to any GM that it would be a bad idea to sign guys who are most valuable due to their HR hitting abilities. Like Reggie Sanders.

Kauffman Stadium will probably stay on the low part of the totem pole when it comes to homers. Unless the fences are moved again.
   51. Dr. Vaux Posted: May 28, 2006 at 09:03 AM (#2040787)
Two of those stadia are going to be replaced soon. >sobs uncontrolably<
   52. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: May 28, 2006 at 05:10 PM (#2040893)
Randy wasn't about the flashy kind of stupid move that gets everyone's attention; his MO was a relentless erosion of every positive quality that a franchise can have. Randy Smith arrived at the office each morning and found new ways to make his team worse in the short term, the medium term, and the long term.

Preferably by making as many trades as possible involving Brad Ausmus.

Randy Smith's best quality as a GM was being lucky enough for Juan Gonzalez to be stupid enough to turn down his 8 year/$140 M contract offer. That contract would have run through 2008!!

That just made me nauseous. Can you imagine?

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