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Old 09-04-2009, 12:10 PM  
Mr. Krab Mr. Krab is offline
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Moore: Hillman will return

sorry if repost, i didn't see it.


Moore confirms Hillman to return as manager, says players accountable for poor season

By BOB DUTTON

The Kansas City Star



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If there was any doubt before, there is none now. Trey Hillman will return next year for a third season as the Royals’ manager.

For weeks, as the club foundered, general manager Dayton Moore voiced strong support for his increasingly beleaguered manager.
He can now do more than that.

Moore is now himself armed with a contract extension through 2014 and further bolstered by an assurance from owner David Glass of independence in determining Hillman’s fate.

That permits Moore to say, unequivocally for the first time, that Hillman will return for the final season of his three-year contract.

“Yes, Trey will be back,” Moore told The Star in an extended interview. “I think Trey has done an exceptional job under the circumstances. I think it’s important that Trey gets the opportunity to see this thing through.

“I know things would have been drastically different if we would have stayed healthy, and I don’t think it’s fair to completely judge Trey’s performance based on what’s happened with the lack of wins with our major-league team.”

Hillman will rejoin the club at Kauffman Stadium for tonight’s game against the Angels after missing three games following the death of his father-in-law. The funeral for Tom Tigner was Thursday in Angleton, Texas.

“When you evaluate any coach or manager,” Moore said, “you have to put it in a perspective of where we are as an organization and who our players are. I just believe Trey is the right leader for our baseball team, and I’m not going to waver in that at all.”

Moore readily admits he expects criticism for his decision.
“In our immediate-gratification society,” he said, “everybody wants to point fingers. But from what I’ve seen from everything that goes on in this organization, Trey Hillman’s leadership is one of the strengths of our organization.

“People can debate that, and I know they will, but it’s one of the strengths of our organization because the guy is a winner and he works and he cares.”

Moore remains convinced those qualities will carry Hillman and the entire organization through this season’s disheartening collapse from an 18-11 start that produced a three-game lead atop the American League Central.
The Royals enter play tonight with the league’s worst record at 51-82 and on pace for a fifth 100-loss season in eight years. They are 33-71 since that heady start.

Few dispute injuries to key players such as Coco Crisp, Mike Aviles, Alex Gordon and Josť Guillen contributed to the club’s decline.
The debate is whether those injuries were sufficient to catapult the Royals back to the laughingstock status that Moore and his lieutenants worked so hard in recent years to overcome.

It’s hard to find positives.

These Royals struggle to score runs while simultaneously displaying severe defensive shortcomings and an alarming inability to execute such basic fundamental skills as situational hitting and running the bases.

A bullpen stocked with proven veterans devolved into baseball’s worst relief corps despite the anchor of an All-Star-quality closer in Joakim Soria.

Most alarming, perhaps, is a young rotation viewed as the club’s chief strength has, with the notable exception of Zack Greinke, faltered noticeably after a promising start.

Moore recognizes this and openly accepts the mea culpa while apologizing to fans. He also insists, adamantly, that none of it is Hillman’s fault.

“The biggest criticism that I’ve read that people have of Trey is he can’t manage our bullpen,” Moore said. “I’ll tell you, I’m not sure the greatest baseball mind in the history of the game could figure the right matchups on certain nights.

“And I’ll clarify that by saying we have very talented relief pitchers in our bullpen who just haven’t performed up to their capabilities. To me, that’s no fault of Trey’s. That’s just a reflection of guys all having down years at the same time.”

Moore similarly absolves Hillman of any responsibility for pushing starting pitchers into higher pitch counts.
“I hear some of that stuff,” he said. “I should be blamed on that if anybody wants somebody to blame. I sat Trey and (pitching coach Bob McClure) down before the year and said I wanted these guys stretched out.

“Last year, I felt we were too conservative, that we didn’t let guys stay in long enough and work through situations and pitch deep into games. I wanted that mind-set changed.”

As for the manifold breakdowns and inefficiencies, mental and physical, that so often bite the Royals at key moments in tight games — Moore places blame primarily on the players.

“I don’t hold our coaching staff accountable for that at all,” he said, “because I know it is stressed every day. I know when mistakes are made that Trey Hillman is the first person to confront (a player).

“I know that we’re doing all of the necessary work through (pitchers’ fielding practice) and situational hitting. I know Rusty (Kuntz) has guys out working on base running. I know Rusty has guys out working bunting. I know there are development plans for all of the players.”

But that additional pregame work hasn’t produced more wins, which raises the question: At some point, doesn’t teaching simply become talk if learning fails to occur?

“I hold our players accountable for that,” Moore declared. “They understand the situation, and they’ve got to execute. I also, at times, have to recognize that we’re just not good enough. When we’re trying to execute in those situations, the other club is trying to execute in a way to prevent us from being successful.

“I hold myself accountable with regard to that as well. Here’s why: If our players can’t be successful in those types of situations, they have to be held accountable. But it’s very difficult to hold them accountable when we don’t have enough resources at Double-A and Triple-A in terms of players — not in terms of finances but in terms of (capable) players — at this point in time.”

The key, Moore insists, is building the organization from within so that such alternatives exist in the future. He points to sharp financial increases in scouting and player development that have yet to show dividends at the upper levels.

“Yet,” he repeated for emphasis. “There will come a day when we have a player make the final out at second base (on a bad base-running play) with the tying run in the on-deck circle — and we’ll tell the player to go home. Just goodbye. We’re not there yet.”

Until then, Moore said Hillman and his staff must work with what they have and do the best they can — but also be judged on the resources available.

“Is it Trey Hillman’s fault (on Monday night) that we have a player walking back (to the mound) and doesn’t have his eye on the play?” Moore asked. “Is it Trey’s fault when a pitcher throws the ball into right field on a routine inning-ending double play?

“It’s happened at least three times that we had the chance to get out of an inning and win a baseball game but didn’t execute a 1-6-3 routine double play.

“Is it Trey’s fault that in giving a young Billy Butler the opportunity to play first base, that we’ve had numerous 3-6-3 opportunities for a double play — and can’t execute that?

“It’s worked on every day. The bottom line is we’re not good enough yet, and again I emphasize yet. I still believe we have many players on our team who will begin to execute better. We’ve seen signs of that already.”

Even so, Moore acknowledges the likelihood of a roster shake-up after such a disappointing season.

For starters, the Royals need a reliable starting catcher, an outfielder with speed or pop and some dependable bullpen pieces.

So change is coming; just not in the manager’s office.

“I have complete satisfaction and peace of mind,” Moore said, “that Trey Hillman, in his leadership as a manager, works on the right things, stresses the right things and confronts (players) on appropriate things at the right time.”
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:35 PM   #16
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They better blow up this roster starting in October if they're going to blame the players.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:38 PM   #17
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:41 PM   #18
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Jeez. On the one hand, there's not a lot of talent on the team. Zack, Soria, Butler... I'm struggling to find anyone else who would start on a playoff caliber team (and even Butler might not, admittedly I haven't watched a Royals game in about a month). On the other hand, Hillman's made some incredibly stupid decisions with the talent that he does have.

Then there's Moore. 2 sides to his story as well. One side says that he inherited possibly the worst sports franchise in America and it will take a long time to get it to a competitive franchise. On the other, he's also made some incredibly stupid decisions when most of the time there were better options available.

If there is a shakeup on the roster (and by gawd, there needs to be), the improvement needs to be great and it needs to come fast. No more Guillen's or Olivo's on the roster (anyone else notice that we're paying Olivo & Buck $8 mil combined when we could have drafted Matt Weiters and paid him the same $8 mil not to suck?). I understand that it's a small market & you can't just go sign A-Rod, but there has to be improvement. Dayton can't just keep saying "wait until Moustakas & Hosmer get to the big leagues!"
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:45 PM   #19
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At the very least they have to let Hillman finish his contract. If a guy is going to be canned after 2 years for failing to turn around that sorry bunch, good luck getting a manger worth a shit to come to KC and replace him.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:52 PM   #20
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At the very least they have to let Hillman finish his contract. If a guy is going to be canned after 2 years for failing to turn around that sorry bunch, good luck getting a manger worth a shit to come to KC and replace him.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:52 PM   #21
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Building from within is the only way the Royals will ever recover. Free agent moves are essentially irrelevant at this point. It doesn't matter he's brought or will bring in, they're all just bodies keeping the seats warm for guys from the farm system. The hardest thing to remember is that his first real draft with the franchise was only two years ago. So 'his' guys haven't really had time to progress through the minors yet. It's hard to be patient, I know, but, well, we'd better learn, 'cause he's going to here through at least 2014. And we'd better hope he's just as much a genious as we thought when he was hired in '06.
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:09 PM   #22
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Dayton ****ing Moore makes a poor decision.

Wow. Surprising.

As a GM, he's a joke, and we'll continue to suck for as long as he's here. Glass is spending enough to field a competitive team. Maybe not a championship club, but a competitive one.

Yet this won't happen with Moore in charge.
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:10 PM   #23
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Hillman, IMO, is to blame for Meche's arm trouble. That alone should give Dayton pause.
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:12 PM   #24
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Hillman, IMO, is to blame for Meche's arm trouble. That alone should give Dayton pause.
According to interviews, the bolded dumbshit wanted our pitchers to have an increased workload and isn't all too worried about pitch counts.

Just a guess, but he probably doesn't understand why tracking pitches might be important.
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:26 PM   #25
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Rany, as always, keeps it classy, but blisters Moore. Long update, so I'm just going to quote an excerpt and provide the link (www.ranyontheroyals.com):

But keeping the same general manager personnel in place only makes sense when your general manager knows what the hell he is doing. Frankly, the evidence of that is still lacking. We know that your general manager can spend your cash; we don’t know that he can spend it wisely. I can’t imagine that you look at the millions of dollars Moore convinced you to give Kyle Farnsworth, or Horacio Ramirez, or especially Jose Guillen, and think that you got your money’s worth. I’m sure that you see those transactions as mistakes that should not be repeated.

Unfortunately, Moore’s public comments have yielded no evidence that he feels that way. To question Moore’s decisions is to doubt The Process, and if someone in the media dares to criticize any of his decisions, he risks getting shut out from the organization completely. (I’m not referring to my own situation with ballclub – I’ve heard from national media members who have had similar experiences with the team.)

In all honesty, what I find more concerning than the mistakes made by the Moore administration this year is the sense of arrogance that has accompanied these decisions – an arrogance clothed in insecurity. Virtually every person who has covered the Royals regularly this season – print, radio, TV, whatever – has been struck by just how ridiculously thin-skinned the front office is. Which is a problem. Not because it makes it harder for the media to do their job (it is, but that’s not a problem for anyone but us), but because a front office that can’t handle criticism is a front office that doesn’t broker dissent. It’s a front office that’s unwilling to admit when it’s made a mistake. It’s certainly a front office that’s incapable of learning from its mistakes.

This should trouble you greatly, because you’ve just promised to pay Dayton Moore a lot of money on the notion that he will learn from the mistakes he’s made this season. And my greatest worry about this extension is that Moore will regard this endorsement from his owner as a validation of The Process. Moore has defended the Royals’ performance this year as the consequence of unexpected injuries and unexpectedly poor performances, rather than as an indictment of whatever Process cooked up the idea of Mike Jacobs as an everyday first baseman or Kyle Farnsworth as a highly-compensated set-up man. Moore’s public defense of his actions is understandable; it’s not easy for a GM to admit when he’s wrong, and it’s even harder to do so without offending some of those very players he acquired. But it’s one thing to say it, and it’s another thing to believe it. I worry that, having been rewarded with a contract extension despite his track record, Moore will start to believe his own words, and assume that he earned a contract extension because of his track record.

As fans, we are not privy to the conversations that you had with Moore before this contract was signed. It’s quite possible that Moore bared his soul to you, that he took full responsibility for the disastrous product he put on display this season. It’s possible that he admitted to you that he hasn’t put enough emphasis on statistical analysis, that he underestimated the importance of plate discipline, that he made a mistake in putting together an expensive bullpen full of hard throwers who don’t actually get anyone out. I can only hope he said those things to you, because he certainly won’t say those things to us. It’s not reassuring at all that in his most recent interview, he once again repeats the canard that “I know things would have been drastically different if we would have stayed healthy.” Unless Coco Crisp is the most valuable player in the history of baseball, this is simply untrue.
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:27 PM   #26
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