Except, well, maybe it wasn’t. Because if Royals fans have grown accustomed to any one thing during general manager Dayton Moore’s tenure, it’s that nothing is as it seems. He’s a master illusionist of sorts, except the rabbit kind of suffocated in his hat, and he lit his sleeve on fire with the hidden lighter fluid. I suppose you can’t really complain, though, because he’s the kind of magician who you found on deep discount from a flier hanging on the Price Chopper bulletin board; eight years of doing his job cheaply and with seemingly little recourse has left him almost untouchable, it appears.
I’m speaking of course about the Trade Deadline That Wasn’t, where Moore not only didn’t sell Ervin Santana, Greg Holland and, oh, maybe even Luke Hochevar, but instead chose to not really buy, and not even really stand pat. Instead, he made a baffling move by trading pitching prospect Kyle Smith to the Houston Astros for fifth outfielder Justin Maxwell.
And look, I’m not torn up about losing Kyle Smith, per se. Although he was a former fourth round pick, and some projections had him being a back of the rotation starter (others saw him as a middle innings reliever), he was still a low-level pitching prospect with a very average fastball and an adequate curve. (That said, he DID have a 2.85 ERA in 19 starts in Wilmington this year and is only 20.)
It’s not that.
It’s that he was moved for someone who essentially figures to be Jeff Francoeur Lite except he’s older than Frenchy—and has had much less major league success. He’s an astonishingly unremarkable fifth outfielder who has a .222 career batting average and means absolutely nothing to a team who didn’t need him.
Moore told the Kansas City Star, “We think he’s going to be a strong contributor for us. He hits left-handed pitching, and he plays all three outfield positions well. He’s very athletic. He complements our entire outfield group.”
Oh, Dayton. Please just STFU, seriously.
Look, I wanted the Royals to sell. I thought it was the right move. If they weren’t going to, however—and it was pretty clear early on that they were not—then I wanted to see them go for it… I mean really fucking go for it.
All or nothing on an impact second baseman, please.
Instead, Moore sat at the corner of the bar, nervously sipping his Michelob Ultra and refraining from eye contact with any of the ladies. Sure, nobody was asking HIM to dance, but when he made the decision to go to the club to score some pussy, he should have gone in better prepared. He shouldn’t have assumed that he’s just so damn sexy that the girls would be swarming him like a hive of angry wasps.
So the Royals find themselves with a worthless fifth outfielder (who has both broken his hand and been concussed this season, mind you) and an oft-injured, shitbag of a second baseman in Chris Getz.*
Because, you know, that’s how you set yourself up for a playoff push.
(*BREAKING NEWS: Getz was placed on the disabled list, clearing the way for 73-year-old Miguel Tejada to take over daily second base duties. The fact that I’m actually happy about Tejada being the Royals’ everyday second baseman makes me deeply depressed.)
But it’s silly to be concerned about things like “playoff runs” when you’re only three games better than even and six-and-a-half games out of first place in your division. The Royals are STILL a third place team, and Dayton Moore did nothing to change that. They’re one Wade Davis start away from complete regression, and as I write this, he’s giving up first inning home runs.
Nine game winning streaks are awesome– and so is being over .500 when the Chiefs are starting up– but it doesn’t make up for the pure inconsistency of this team. Standing pat simply to maintain being a mediocre ball club was a poor decision. In a truly “shit or get off the pot” scenario, Moore forgot to put the seat down and dunked his ass in the water.
Oh well. At least there’s always next year.