They're either lying or incompetent and neither one is good news.
The Royals lost a game last night. That’s not news. They lose games a lot of nights. And they lost a game that they had a chance to win but one of their relievers imploded. That’s also not news. It happens a lot. I’m frustrated by the play on the field, but that’s not where my anger, frustration, confusion and bewilderment lies. No, my anger lies in the way the organization communicates with its fans. And for some reason, they just can’t keep their mouths shut long enough for any of us to forget the last thing they said.
“Better to remain silent and be thought to be a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
My advice to the Royals front office? Stop. Just stop. Don’t talk. Stop trying to explain things. Stop insulting our intelligence. For one thing, their actions speak loud enough, but when you do something that seems obviously wrong and then try to explain in a way that’s so obviously silly, it just gets to be all those words I listed above and more.
The latest came out from a story Lynn Worthy wrote for The Kansas City Star. If you haven’t been paying attention, and I understand if not, Vinnie Pasquantino has been absolutely tearing it up for the Omaha Storm Chasers. He’s hitting .303/.396/.667 with 14 doubles, two triples and 14 home runs in 197 plate appearances. Yes, it’s in the minors, but yes it’s also quite good. He had three straight hitless games a couple weeks ago. Since then, he’s hitting .477/.500/1.091 with seven doubles, a triple and six home runs. That is quite good.
Worthy’s article was about both Pasquantino and Nick Pratto, but a couple of days after saying that the two aren’t quite ready to go. I can buy Pratto, but you see the numbers from Pasquantino above and you can read in the latest mailbag from Alec Lewis that opposing scouts disagree with the Royals scouts. I’ll get back to that. What was in yesterday’s article was a new reason from JJ Picollo stating that “the idea is to not rely on those talented yet inexperienced prospects as cures for a major league offense.”
The Royals would like them to debut in an offense that’s performing well. To take pressure off of them.
Okay, that might be a bit of a harsh gif here because I do sort of agree with what he’s saying in some instances. For a young player without much experience, I can buy it to some extent. I’m ignoring Pratto here because I think his strikeouts are high enough that there are things he can work on still (even though they continue to subtlely mention his swings and misses that are actually way lower than you’d think based on the strikeouts), but Pasquantino is 24-years old. Sure he only has 197 plate appearances in AAA and 237 in AA, but he has an advanced approach and, quite frankly, I don’t care how many plate appearances someone has when they hit the way he has.
The other side of that is the issues with the Royals offense have subsided quite a bit. I’ve written enough about the offense’s improvement over the last couple weeks. Hunter Samuels had a tweet that outlined it pretty perfectly, though, so I’ll just let him explain it.
This was before yesterday’s game where they didn’t hit great, but the point stands that Pasquantino would come into a lineup that is currently featuring six players who are hitting at an above average level. The biggest issues in the current lineup are Salvador Perez and…Carlos Santana.
So let’s get this straight. The Royals don’t want Pasquantino to enter a lineup that is struggling, but the lineup isn’t struggling outside of two spots. One is the guy who led all of baseball in homers last season and the other is the guy Pasquantino would replace? And so if they don’t want him entering a struggling lineup, the guy they apparently need to get going is the guy who if he gets going would block Pasquantino from the roster because he’d be hitting too well.
I will say it again. Stop. Talking. I will also say that there may be some adult language from this point forward, so I apologize for that if that’s something that offends you.
I am sick and tired of this organization taking every opportunity they can to basically tell us all that they think we’re stupid. I’d wager the vast majority of us haven’t built a world championship baseball team, but we’re smart enough to be able to smell the bullshit here from a mile away. Dayton Moore started this all just over two weeks ago when he spoke the day they fired Terry Bradshaw. I’ve harped on this far too much, but this is when my most frustrated time as a Royals fan began.
He was very defensive as soon as he was asked about the pitching struggles. He mentioned accountability and took the blame for the pitching. As I’ve said before, mentioning accountability and then taking blame for something that they have a coach to handle is not actually taking accountability. It’s deflecting. It’s feeding a load of crap to people who aren’t even looking for a filet, but just a decent burger.
Since that spectacle on the field ahead of a five-game series with the White Sox, the Royals have gone 4-11. They have posted a 5.86 ERA with 106 strikeouts and 65 walks in 129 innings. They’ve allowed six or more runs in eight out of their last 10 games. Those 65 walks mean they’ve walked 10.8 percent of batters. They’ve thrown a first-pitch strike 57.5 percent of the time.
THESE ARE TWO OF THE BIGGEST THINGS THEY’VE SPOKEN ABOUT WANTING TO FIX AND IT’S GETTING WORSE. WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE?
I feel like I’m sort of rambling in looking at specific examples I’ve already gone on about long enough, but I seriously cannot get that defensive half-hour with him out of my head and as things continue to get worse, I just keep coming back to it.
But one more point before I get off my soapbox here is that the Royals broadcast crew is undoubtedly in lock-step with the front office. You can hear on the broadcast organizational talking points and after Picollo’s comments in Worthy’s article above, Ryan Lefebvre officially sent me fully over the edge.
Early in the game, and for the second game in a row, Lefebvre was speaking about Bobby Witt Jr. and the organization’s plan to ease him into the big leagues by playing third base (sure) and hitting at the bottom of the order.
Am I imagining that he hit second and third for the first 10 games of the season? Is that something that didn’t happen but even Baseball Reference is fooled by it? Until I start to see evidence otherwise, I have to believe that everyone involved with this organization believes that we are just as stupid as can be and can’t remember less than two months back, especially with something like this where they made a huge deal about moving Witt up in the lineup early in spring training.
Stop treating us like we’re dumb. Stop pretending like your shit doesn’t stink. Stop creating problems. This is exactly what they did in 2012 when they spent the winter and spring training saying their “Our Time” slogan was about the team ready to win and then trying to convince us for months that it was actually about the All-Star game and the city in general after the team started 3-14.
Over the last couple years or so, Moore has said two things that he simply hasn’t been able to make good on. He spoke a bit ago about knowing that he needs to be more transactional and then proceeded to make the same number of moves, at most, as ever. Then two weeks ago, he spoke about accountability while defiantly refusing to even address the job of his pitching coach, who leads one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball. This is a man who has led three winning seasons in now 16 full seasons. He spoke about that as president…a promotion from his previous role. So maybe accountability isn’t something he fully understands.
I said I would get back to the point about opposing scouts believing differently from Royals scouts. This is the side that honestly matters more than anything. For an organization that has the track record this one does, their decision-making skills deserve to be in question. And their timing on promotions deserves to be in question as well. I find it interesting that Moore tried to take heat off his poor excuse for a pitching coach by admitting to struggling with promotion timing and now we’re supposed to believe this front office knows when they should be promoting others?
For years, I believed this group was incompetent. Then they delivered a winning team, then a World Series participant and a World Series winner. I was humbled. I think some things happened on the field in 2016 that made their efforts to repeat more difficult. And then some things happened off the field that impacted the 2017 season. I’m not going to fault them for this. But I am going to fault them for something the current vice president of communications with the team, Sam Mellinger, wrote quite a bit during his time as a columnist at The Star.
Mellinger wrote often that Moore was wrong for trying to serve two masters and not picking a lane. That sent the Royals into a long rebuild period that could have been shortened. But I honestly don’t care if it was shortened or not. If they were going for it, they should have gone for it. If they were rebuilding, they should have rebuilt. And from there, so many questionable decisions followed. I’m not going to relitigate the last four plus seasons. We all know what happened.
But when you couple the results with the last few weeks of pure disrespect for anyone who will listen, it leads me to one conclusion and it’s a very strong suggestion to John Sherman:
Get your house in order.
I take no great pleasure in calling for anyone’s job (outside of a certain coach who has proven he isn’t good enough), but it’s time. It’s time to move on from Dayton Moore. It’s time to move on from JJ Picollo. It’s time to move on from Mike Matheny. It’s long past time to move on from Cal Eldred. There are many others in the organization who are worthy of remaining with the team, but this organization simply cannot be saddled with the limitations of those who have brought them to this point.
As we sit here on the final day of May, the Royals, in the fifth year of their rebuild and in a year they were confident they could compete (they were, no matter what they’ll tell you today), have the worst record in baseball. They’re tied with the Reds, a team so unencumbered with winning that they simply released a pitcher who had a 3.37 ERA and 3.97 FIP in 163 innings rather than paying him $10 million. This is an embarrassment. Maybe the darkest truly is before the dawn, but the 16th anniversary of Moore’s hire is approaching and things feel as bad as ever before. Whatever is happening now cannot continue. There is talent on this roster and in this organization, which makes it slightly tricky to say those who brought the talent in should be replaced. But they haven’t shown that they will be able to handle the talent when the time is right, so the moves need to be made in order to take their work to the next level. I’m tired of being talked down to. I’m tired of losing. I’m tired of this.
Tl;dr: Burn it down.