Leftridge: Royals’ Unremarkable Season Continues with Unremarkable Trade Deadline

a'sThe Oakland Athletics have the best record in baseball. As of tonight, they are 66-41 with an unearthly run differential of +162. They are a team composed of mostly unknown individuals, an unbelievable testament to their scouting and development. They have an organizational philosophy that revolves around guys getting on base and then the guys who come up after that knowing how to get them in. Their payroll to begin 2014 was 25th out of 30 teams, at roughly $83,400,000.

The Kansas City Royals are 55-52 with a run differential of +2, and they are four games back of the division leading Detroit Tigers. They are a team of prospects who haven’t quite made it, old castoffs who washed their way back into town, and enough broken dreams to fill a Tom Waits song. They do not appear to possess ANY organizational philosophy other than, “you should see these guys in batting practice—they can really put it over the wall,” and their payroll to begin 2014 was $92,000,000. That was good for 19th in all of baseball and the largest amount in club history

In case you missed it, today was the 295th Annual Major League Baseball trade deadline.

Always eager to improve an already impossibly good team, Oakland General Manager/Unparalleled Super Genius Billy Beane dealt a really decent outfielder named Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox for ace starting pitcher Jon Lester and ho-hum-but-somewhat-valuable-outfielder Jonny Gomes. And because he couldn’t leave well enough alone, he dealt starting pitcher Tommy Milone to the Minnesota Twins for spark-plug outfielder Sam Fuld. (Milone was made expendable because, earlier in the season, Beane acquired Chicago Cubs’ ace Jeff Samardzija. Because of course he did.)

billybeaneThese are all things that Billy Beane did because he’s planning on “winning now.” This is a cool and easy thing to do when you’re in the A’s position; there was no question that they were “in it” this year. (Let’s just forget for a second that the A’s—under Beane—have always had the philosophy that “no player” is untouchable. They do not play favorites and they manage their organization for the sake of the organization itself. Therefore, fuck your “Cespedes t-shirt giveaway day” that was set to occur this Saturday. They will jettison anyone—at any time— without a second thought.)

Throughout the course of the day, and over the past week or so, really, the Royals were linked to several teams and random players. There was talk that the Seattle Mariners wanted Billy Butler. They were also apparently discussing the acquisition of outfielder Alex Rios. Late word came in that they were interested in reliever Andrew Miller and starter John Lackey. Bartolo Colon’s name was bandied about.

In the end, general manager Dayton Moore decided that this team was fine. They didn’t have the means to expand payroll, but that was okay; they’d dance with the idiots what brung them.

They sat on their hands. Stood pat. Fished in their pockets aimlessly while looking sheepishly at the ground.

They did nothing, which was the dumbest thing they could possibly do.

To be honest, I wanted them to sell. I don’t think they’re in this race. The Tigers acquisition of David Price virtually assured that they won’t win the division, and both Wild Card spots seem fairly farfetched and unreasonable.

The Royals have a lot of valuable pieces, and I think they would have been well served to entertain callers.

Once that idea was out the window, though, I wanted to see them buy like rowdy Arabs at a cheap American disco If you’re not willing to totally concede defeat, why not recklessly abandon all hope and thrust your proverbial balls against the wall, I wonder?

There were no bats to be had, according to Moore, but I guess those rules didn’t apply to Cespedes.

And I guess that Lester or Lackey wouldn’t have been a step-up from the rapidly-fading Jeremy Guthrie or Bruce Fucking Chen.

gio-stantonWhy not explode everything and offer Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Danny Duffy, Wade Davis and James Shields for Miami Marlins’ superstar Giancarlo Stanton?

Because Dayton Moore is a pussy, that’s why.

And because Moore is a pussy—and Beane is not—the A’s will once again make the playoffs (with a smaller payroll) and the Royals will still be sitting at home this October, just like they have every October since 1985.

Cool trade deadline, guys.

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17 Responses to Leftridge: Royals’ Unremarkable Season Continues with Unremarkable Trade Deadline

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    It’s freaking deja vue all over again for me. I watched Lee Thomas come from the Cardinals to the Phillies. It was pretty cool, the brain trust of a well run organization coming to a team with over 10,000 loses.

    In nine-years Thomas at least got the Phillies to the World Series.

    Distilling Dayton’s remarks on the trading deadline, he should have just said, We have met the enemy and it is us ala the comic strip Pogo.

    I think you just insulted pussies everywhere with that last line.

    • the dude says:

      One night Frank was on his way home
      from work, stopped at the liquor store,
      picked up a couple Mickey’s Big Mouths
      drank ’em in the car on his way
      to the Shell station, he got a gallon of
      gas in a can, drove home, doused
      everything in the house, torched it,
      parked across the street, laughing,
      watching it burn, all Halloween
      orange and chimney red then
      Frank put on a top forty station
      got on the Hollywood Freeway
      headed north

  2. the dude says:

    Oh god, they are still stuck with one of the worst DHs in MLB.

  3. Paul says:

    Brandon, you wanted them to sell? Really? Three and a half games out of the wildcard race and you wanted them to sell? How close would the team have to be for you to be all in? Mediocrity rules in the wild card race.

    I spent some time earlier this week listening to a sports talk show on a Tampa radio station. The Rays at the time were eight games out, but almost all of the calls and comments were about how they were just one winning streak away from being back in the race. That coming from a team in a tougher division than the Royals. I’m afraid that all these years of losing have conditioned us as fans to throw in the towel, even when our team is still in the race. Better to clean house and give up than to remain in the race and risk being disappointed.

    All that said, Dayton Moore missed a chance to make a heck of a statement.

    • mike t. says:

      yes, he did make a statement:
      “We’re not going to apologize for our market and what we can’t do. … It’s always a factor.” Dayton Moore, when asked if finances factored into the Royals decision to not get a deal done, MLB trade-deadline presser

    • I really did want them to sell… and maybe it IS just me being conditioned to disappointment. Cleveland– who is perennially better than KC these days– is 1.5 back (from KC), and they got rid of an All Star starting pitcher and their starting shortstop. I think that was Cleveland’s FO being realistic. They have a real plan– as do most organizations– but KC does not.

      I know they’re not technically “out” of anything, but I just don’t see this squad being anything other than very-slightly above-average.

      Again, all of that being said, if they weren’t gonna sell, I wanted to see them go all in. It’s the absolute lack of anything that frustrates me.

  4. greg says:

    o no dont throw in the towel… oakland = billy ball

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      Oakland put the kabosh on Moneyball with their trades yesterday.

      Trading for a player they cut just a few weeks ago.

  5. rkcal says:

    Dayton Moore is a man who knows who signs his paycheck. The fish stinks from the head down.

  6. Mysterious J says:

    Come on, they were never in a million years going to make a BIG move…do you know how much Price is under contract to make next year? Hint: it’s more than any Royals has ever made in a single year.

    Time may prove that you are right in suggesting they should have been sellers…especially with the news that Hosmer is probably finished for the year, or nearly so. However, what are the valuable pieces you speak of?

    2 months of Shields? What do you really think was on offer there?

    The last year and 2 months of Alex Gordon? You have a major problem with one outfield corner, you want to make it two?

    Yes, we have some value in our bullpen…but there isn’t a big history of relief pitchers bringing big returns at the trade deadline. Need an example? We got KYLE DAVIES for Octavio Dotel 7 years ago.

    Bottom line: you are more focused on “comedy” than being realistic here.

    • I think they could have gotten SOMETHING for Shields,
      Hosmer, Moustakas, Butler, Davis, Holland… with the exception of Salvy, I don’t think anyone on this roster should be “untouchable.” Despite their disappointments, I think there are plenty of teams who’d still be interested in Hosmer/Moose. I don’t think they’ll ever thrive in this organization, though.

  7. Nick says:

    I’m sorry: did the Royals do something?

  8. CG says:

    Brandon you sound like the ‘down on the Royals/Chiefs A Hole’ Glazer. Oh that’s me. You are preaching to the …well you know. You got one thing right is the ORGANIZATION at fault. No pedigree Royals/Chiefs..Chiefs in same boat…now you see it the core group failed AGAIN. Butler, Hosmer, Moose, Gordon and so on…ok players, no stars. Same with the Chumps…DJ,Berry,Tamba,Flowers..oops he gone, for nothing back you know the all pro…Charles is the teams only star and he is not a guy who can win games alone. Alex is good not great…nobody else has shown up. Royals same, Gordon good, Sal good, none great…oh ‘you just wait’…yeah when they are on another team..maybe ala Beltron…Damon…Zack…so on, well that’s it.

    Royals/Chiefs going nowhere in rebuild..I’ll say this Royals pitching is outstanding…one or two bats and they could compete..Chiefs just stink.

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