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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



JOHN SLEEZER
Moore



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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, 12:11 PM   #2
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I'm shocked, he's only been saying that all along.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:12 PM   #3
Mr. Flopnuts Mr. Flopnuts is offline
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Let the meltdown commence.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:13 PM   #4
DJ's left nut DJ's left nut is offline
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See, the problem is that your GM is just as incompetent as your manager.

Sorry.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:14 PM   #5
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Trey, building off his bullpen handling experience, is going to fire Bob McClure and take over pitching coach responsibilities too.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:14 PM   #6
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Trey has done an "exceptional job"....

LOL ooooook whatever you say Dayton.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:15 PM   #7
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That team has nothing... he can't make an omelet without any eggs.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:16 PM   #8
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hopefully they suck bad enough to move.
please...
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:16 PM   #9
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Hooray!

I look forward to him building on our inevitable 100 loss season.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:18 PM   #10
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Not a shocker.

I really think using injuries and guys having bad years "at the same time" is a lame excuse. Crisp has a history of injuries, Gordon has not proven to be a good draft pick, and Guillen was a bad signing. Does that point to Hillman? No, but it points to Moore.

The bullpen guys are all having bad years. Does that point to Hillman? No, but it points to Moore.

This offense sucks. Does that point to Hillman? No, but it points to Moore.

The starting pitching has been pushed too thin. Does that point to Hillman? No, but it points to Moore, by his own admission.

So it's a broken record. Moore is going to be back, fine, we have no choice in the matter, that's Glass' call. He better figure out how to get productive draft picks in here and how to sign better free agents, otherwise this team is going nowhere.

Also the fact that guys in the organization do not know how to do simple fundamentals is not necessarily a Hillman issue, because it has been going on for years here. But to me, that indicates an organizational issue. IE are these guys getting good instruction at the minor league level? I have my doubts.

Moore has proven thus far that he is in over his head by his moves. He talks a good game, and like it or not, he's got a few more years to try and see his "plan" through, but I lack confidence in his ability to get this team there based on what I have seen. I think Glass is making a mistake keeping him...
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:22 PM   #11
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That team has nothing... he can't make an omelet without any eggs.
they don't have chickensh1t to even try for chickensalad.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:23 PM   #12
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:23 PM   #13
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Who cares !!!!! It's football time and the Royals suck!

Well, actually the Chiefs suck too, but not as much as they did suck, except for the kicker, Succop!
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:28 PM   #14
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Who cares !!!!! It's football time and the Royals suck!

Well, actually the Chiefs suck too, but not as much as they did suck, except for the kicker, Succop!
Life as a Kansas City sports fan...
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:31 PM   #15
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