Boy, people who coach and manage and general manage the Kansas City Royals just can't seem to help themselves. Every few weeks, one of these guys opens his mouth and something silly comes out. Which is even worse when your organization has been doing so many silly things for so long. At the very least, you should try to stop saying silly things.
Here's just the latest snafu, via Sam Mellinger:
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."
Afterward, Mellinger did some really good work and engaged Moore, gave him a chance to explain himself. Sure, it was really too late for that. But still, it's good to have this for the public record:
"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.…
"I had a strong relationship with my grandmother, and she loved the Royals. When our games are on at night, I picture my grandmother and people of her generation loving and tuning into this game. I know how important it is to their lives.…
"And it means a lot to me that little boys want to grow up and be baseball players so they can be like Sal Perez or Eric Hosmer. That means a lot to me. That means everything to me. That means more to me than winning a World Series."
Well, that's really sweet. It really is. The Royals were my boyhood team, too. In fact, we're almost exactly the same age. Moore's never found the time to speak to me, but I'll bet we would have a lot to speak about. We both do what we do because of George Brett and Frank White and Amos Otis and Hal McRae and the rest of our boyhood heroes.
But it's just not smart to announce to the world that winning 86 games is akin to winning the World Series. There are still plenty of us who remember what it feels like when the Royals win a World Series, and if there's one thing I'm pretty sure about it's this: Winning 86 games ain't the same. It's not close to the same.
Which isn't to say that winning 86 games isn't good news. It is. You know what's also good news? While the Royals' attendance didn't improve at all this season, their television ratings were way, way up. Which suggests that maybe the fans are just another nudge -- whether in the form of another winning season, or perhaps a playoff spot -- from returning to Kauffman Stadium in force. Most of the fans who drove up those TV ratings won't be terribly bothered by Moore's momentary indiscretion in a press conference. But just as this organization needs a manager who goes after all the edges he can find -- which the Royals won't have next season, again -- it also could use a general manager who says all the right things while pursuing a long-lost fan base.
This doesn't help.
For more about Dayton Moore's squad, please visit SB Nation's Royals Review.