œI don™t think all of the factors have been evaluated fairly, argued Royals manager Trey Hillman last month to the KC Star’s Bob Dutton . œIt all goes back to what we all get judged on ” wins and losses ” because that™s what counts in our world and in our culture of immediate satisfaction and what have you done for me today.” Having sat through another terrible season, Royals Review considers the comments from Hillman, a former skipper for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, and his equally defensive GM Dayton Moore and replies, “we’ve seen the phrase ‘instant gratification’ from both men. Obviously, anyone walking down the placid, slow-moving, mostly silent and dark, streets of Tokyo would instantly conclude that Americans alone like to have their desires quickly sated.”
Dayton Moore and Trey Hillman are both, essentially, rookies. They are rookies at their current level of employment. This is not to say that they may not be great General Managers and Managers someday, but it is to acknowledge that, at present, they have not, as they say, done anything at their current level. They need to hold the Alex Gordon mirror up to themselves. The unfounded arrogance of team management in the past year has been absolutely stunning, and I’m not the only one to notice it. On and off the record, just about anyone close to the team has remarked about the siege mentality that’s taken over, and that mentality is driven by an unwillingness to take criticism or even acknowledge slight mistakes.
Since 2007, the Royals under Dayton Moore are 209-277. Trey Hillman is 140-184 as a manager. After supposedly making long and short-term progress in 2007-8, the Royals took a major step back in 2009, losing 97 games. That’s when the story changed. Suddenly, nothing short-term mattered, and it was all about the long-term plan.
Here’s the problem: the Royals weren’t saying this in 2008 and they weren’t saying this in the Spring of 2009. They thought they could win now, only, as it turned out, Dayton Moore’s hit rate on Major League acquisitions is somewhere south of the percentage of Victorian novels that have a sex scene. So after they failed we got to hear about how, somehow, we were the ones who don’t understand baseball.