Dear Dayton Moore,
I want to thank you for what you did at the trading deadline this year, and your overall efforts throughout your career as the Kansas City Royals General Manager. I’m thanking you because you single-handedly gave me the kick in the butt I needed to get my priorities straight.
You see, I’ve been a devout fan since the early-mid 80’s. When I was younger, and dependent on my parents, they made sure they saved some of their hard-earned dollars to get me into Kauffman Stadium a couple of times each summer.
As I’ve become independent, and have a family of my own, I’ve certainly done my fair share of spending at Kauffman Stadium. Until now, I never had a second thought about it.
I’m talking about doing whatever it takes, and paying any price to get to nearly every Opening Day.
I’m talking about dumping hundreds upon hundreds of dollars into All-Star Game tickets when Kansas City got to play the role of host to baseball’s finest.
I’m talking about dumping another heap of Benjamins on partial season-ticket packages because: A) I wanted to be out at the stadium as often as possible, because I thought the team was finally going to be good, and B) I figured having some sort of season ticket package would give me an inside track and opportunity to dump another heap of cash on playoff tickets.
You see, this is why I’m thanking you. I don’t ever have to worry about making those kind of commitments or monetary sacrifices ever again.
Really, this is a blessing. I’m about to be a dad again, which will “bless” me with two children under the age of 3. Obviously my free time, and disposable income are about to take a serious hit.
Thanks to you, though, that money I’ve always kind of set aside for Opening Day games and various other dates at Kauffman Stadium throughout the summer can just stay right there in my wallet.
This isn’t a decision I’ve made, it’s a decision you’ve made. You didn’t choose to take the team in one direction, or another. Rather, you chose to take the team in no direction.
It would have taken some degree of intestinal fortitude to go one direction, or another, but you saw another way. You’re a visionary, of sorts.
When it looked like there were only two options, buyer or seller, you somehow found the gutless and spineless strategy of inaction.
Choosing to be a buyer would’ve meant doing something to improve the team significantly, and immediately. Personally, I wasn’t in favor of that direction, as I see this team as far too flawed offensively to make a true post-season push. I recognize the James Shields trade isn’t panning out like we all hoped, accept and appreciate your ‘going for it’ efforts, and am ready to move on.
Choosing to be a seller would’ve entailed admitting failure, making some tough decisions, but decisions that baseball people would’ve understood and recognized as trying to make the team better in the long-term.
It’s so very perplexing as to why you didn’t opt for this strategy considering your job security seems to be cloaked military-grade Kevlar. Time is/was most decidedly on your side.
Yet, with those two options staring you in the face, you cowered, and chose to leave this team floundering.
I’m not going to go as far as saying you don’t care, because I sincerely think you’re probably a very good guy, and covet the fact that you have one of only thirty of these types of jobs in all the world.
I will go as far as saying that you’re, perhaps, incompetent as a General Manager. I fully believe and recognize you’ve done some nice things for this organization, but there’s no doubt you haven’t done enough. There’s also no doubt there’s been ample time to get this team beyond the point they’re at currently. Look around you. A lot of different teams have figured it out, and done it many different ways.
In other words, you’ve failed. I think you gave it your best effort, and I honestly do appreciate that, but there’s no other way of describing your tenure other than failure.
You cried small-market money, and preached building through the minor league system. We bought in.
You’ve been given increasingly more financial flexibility, and had what many touted as the best minor league system in decades, a few years back. We still bought in.
Mr. Glass really opened up his wallet, giving you the opportunity to add to all these sparkling prospects. We really bought in.
Now look at us. We’ve got a budget significantly higher than fellow small-market pals the Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays, and Oakland Athletics, yet they have far more success.
Not only that, but all of those ‘future stars’, where are they? The shine has faded on most of them, prohibiting you from trading any of them for anything helpful.
In essence, the one thing you’ve preached–PLAYER DEVELOPMENT–you’re terrible at.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you what specific moves I think you should have made. Quite frankly, I’ve done that enough through this website.
What I am going to do, as a result of the cowardly decision you’ve made, is to no longer spend my dollar on the Kansas City Royals. So long as you’re in charge of this team, I’m not going to come out to the stadium to watch you sail a rudderless ship.
Is that significant to you? Absolutely not. The Kansas City Royals won’t feel that hit at all. I’ll encourage others to do the same, but realize I have very little influence on the community of Royals fans. That being said, I doubt I’m alone.
What frustrates me even more is how much more this will hurt me, than it will hurt you. I have a 2-year old son I’ve been counting down the days until he and I can spend some meaningful time at the old ballpark, watching our beloved Royals together, and bonding in the special way that only baseball can provide. You’re robbing me of that experience, because like any other parent I’m going to expose my child to incompetence as infrequently as possible.
MLB baseball robbed me of that time with my father as a result of the strike in 1994. He swore to never go to, or even really watch a MLB game ever again, and other than agreeing to come out to the park for a surprise birthday party for me several years ago, he’s stayed true to that. I was 14-15 years old at the time of that strike, and feel like I really missed out on some valuable bonding time with the old man.
I’m not going to go to that extreme with my son. Should free tickets fall into our lap, I’ll still take him out to The K for a good time. The focus will be on having a good time, and enjoying the sport, not really losing ourselves in the adoration for our hometown team.
Otherwise, there’s a perfectly suitable product right down the street from our house in the form of the Kansas City T-Bones. Additionally, the wonderful world of technology and cable TV affords us the opportunity to watch a lot of different MLB teams.
So long as this team as no direction, which is the option you’ve chosen, we’ll invest our baseball fandom in a more competent product. You know, something more than a t-shirt team, which is what the Royals have become. A team that, perhaps, draws attendance because of the players they employ, rather than some silly stadium give-away.
Please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I want to over-spend on my Royals. I want to pay increasing parking prices. I want to buy partial, or maybe someday, full-season ticket packages. I want to buy over-priced and under-cooked hotdogs. I want to drink over-priced beer at the ball park. I want to risk giving my child diabetes by over-spending on a metric ton of cotton-candy or Dippin’-Dots.
I WANT to do all of these things, but it’s got to be for a team built on something more profound than wishing upon a star for success.
So, once again, thank you, Mr. Moore. You’re the GEICO of General Mangers. You’ve just saved me a ton of money and time, and unless major personnel and philosophical changes are made throughout this entire organization, then you’ve potentially saved a lot of money and time of future generations of my family as well. Unfortunately, it took more than fifteen minutes. It has taken eight years, and there’s no hope in sight.