Leftridge: Hey Dayton, Nice Trade Deadline

Milwaukee Brewers v Kansas City RoyalsWell, THAT was unexpected.

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.


maxwellAnd 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 gamesMLB: Kansas City Royals-Photo Day 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.

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11 Responses to Leftridge: Hey Dayton, Nice Trade Deadline

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    Sports reminds me that those the gods wish to destroy, first they drive mad.

    I understand that sometimes you have to slow down to go faster on the track. But Moore has the Ol’Roy-als running the same old, same old again. Set you sights low and still miss and shovel some more manure on the mushrooms, err, fans.

    cue The Outlaw Josey Wales


  2. Mysterious J says:

    While I think the club’s long-term outlook would have been better served by moving Santana and/or Holland, it takes two to tango. The bottom line is that nobody was going to give us the second baseman of our dreams for either of those guys. I think the best thing we can say is that Rios did us a HUGE favor by looking like such a schlub during the White Sox series, demonstrating how worthless he is.

    • I just wonder about what deals Dayton wouldn’t entertain for fear of disappointing the masses (fan-base and bosses). We’ll never know, I guess. I think there’s a very real chance that the Royals finish over .500 this season (I predicted they would before the season started, but I’ll readily admit I’ve wavered) and he keeps his butt out of the hot seat for at least another year. That’s shitty, but it’s hard to say I would have done anything differently if I were in his position. Self preservation is an unforgiving mistress.

      But yeah, the Rios rumors were terrifying. It would have taken much more than Smith to land him, and I totally could have seen it happening.

  3. Skippy says:

    Would you like to amend your column? Welcome to KC Maxwell, home run to win the game!

  4. dreamwriter326 says:

    You make some good points, especially about Wade Davis, but a healthy Paulino or Duffy (or both) could easily fix that one.

    And now for the soapbox:

    I and tens of thousands of other Royals fans who have been regularly filling Kauffman Stadium to respectable levels do believe this team has the potential to achieve big things. We ARE excited about the progress being made this season, and see the next three or four years as the most promising since George, Frank, Willie, Bret and the rest were bringing home pennants three decades ago.

    I’m deranged enough to think this team has no fewer than six and possibly seven potential All-Stars, not counting pitchers (Perez, Hosmer, Escobar, Moustakas, Gordon, Butler and Cain). Many of them haven’t lived up to their hype — yet — though anyone paying attention has seen some incredible defense these past couple of weeks and a little extra pop in their bats.

    (Illustrated nicely by that beauty of a shot into the left field bleachers by Frenchy Lite earlier today.)

    The Royals could easily finish the season 8 or 10 games over .500, which would be a huge improvement and surpass most expectations going into the season. It doesn’t make sense, then, that so many bloggers, columnists, sports writers and assorted other commentators continue to belch such sour derision at this team and anyone who wastes their time and money hoping for something other than the inevitably dismal, disgusting failure called Kansas City Royals baseball.

    Lighten up, Lefty. There are lots of seats left on this bandwagon, we have plenty of lukewarm $10 tall-boys (hope you like Busch Light), lots of high fives with strangers (who may or may not have washed their hands during that last trip to the john) and for a few bucks you can upgrade your seat with the right app on your smartphone.

    Just don’t mistake growing pains for mediocrity. Someday soon the Royals are going to make a lot of today’s naysayers proud to say they’re from this city. These days, that is no small feat.

    • Well said. If we had some sort of “comment of the day” prize, you’d win it. You make a lot of great points that I agree with, and I hope you’re right. Your optimism is excellent.

  5. Super Dave says:

    Good story Lefty

  6. Observer says:

    So … I guess this makes Dayton Moore our own GOB Bluth. I bet the front office is now quietly echoing with the softly reflective words words, “I’ve made a big mistake.”

  7. Observer says:

    Apologies for the editing typo.

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