Saturday, August 1, 2009

Actions Speak Louder than Words -- and Results Speak for Themselves

I really hate clichés. I mean I REALLY hate them. They're so often a crutch of those with nothing to say, and worse, they so often conflict with common sense.* "Actions speak louder than words," but "the pen is mightier than the sword." These are the empty words of people attempting to justify their actions.

*The big one around the office right now is, "it is what it is," usually in reference to some unfortunate corporate red tape that can't be overcome. "It is what it is." What the hell does this even mean? Is it really what it is or are you just accepting what it isn't because what is can't be what it's not or...wait. *whew* Let's move on.

So when I hear Dayton Moore tell Royals fans to "trust the process," I think responding with a cliché, like "it is what it is," might be using a crutch when the truth is needed. I'd rather follow up with a more serious response. Questions like, "what actually is the process?" spring immediately to mind.

The problem is that the process is becoming obvious. Dayton Moore likes speed, unless the player is good at stealing bases. He likes guys that have great range, unless they're good at defense. He likes good, hard working, honest guys, unless he has to settle for the me-first 'roiders and drunk drivers. Dayton is focusing on tomorrow and building up the farm leagues, but everything points to him attempting a run in 2010.* And he LOVES some guys that have great On Base Percentage, unless they can draw a walk.

*Walter has something on this coming down the pipe so I'll let him speak to that.

It's the numerous self-evident conflicts that give me pause, and there's only three logical conclusions that I can come up with:

  • Crazy: He's attempting to rebuild the 1985 World Series Team, Hall-of-Famer be damned. He's ignoring OBP because the '85 team did too. He sees "fast outfielders" and "big outfield" and one Commissioner's Trophy and has assumed that's the only way to do it in KC.
  • Scary: He's lying. He actually hates the stat-heads because he trusts his eyes. His time spent as a scout was in the grand tradition of trusting your gut, looking for intangibles, and obviously finding guys with lots of grit (of which only scouts that ride minor league busses learn the recipe to).
  • Sad: He actually doesn't have a plan. He doesn't have a strategy, an overarching theme, a comprehensive logical program built to rebuild this sad franchise and turn it into a perpetual contender.

Now, I don't believe any of those. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle; he knows the Kauffman Stadium quirkiness requires two center fielders, he probably doesn't trust sabermetrician's conclusions completely, and his plan may have gone to hell when he realized he couldn't bring in the pieces he wanted at a fair price. Let's give him what little benefit of the doubt he deserves.

But let us not be fooled. On base percentage is not a priority for Dayton Moore, regardless of 'the process.' To fall back on those damnable clichés again, let's let his actions speak louder than his words.

Let the results speak for themselves.

(click to enlarge)


  1. Great Stuff. This looks much scarier on a graph than it does just saying it. It's really a shameful "perfect storm" that Moore is GM-ing by the seat of his pants at the same time that Hillman is managing by the seat of his pants.
    What makes it more frustrating is that Moore and Hillman have it "easy" here in KC. Can you imagine if these two guyts were running this team in NY, Philly, Boston or Chicago? Ouch.

  2. Two points:

    1. KC's OBP is the lowest it has been in THIRTY YEARS.

    2. Is it possible that KC is the one bringing down that league average OBP? What would it look like if KC wasn't included in the avg?

    These are the things that pop in my head when I'm going to sleep. Thank you Dayton Moore.

  3. J.B. brings an interesting point. Sometimes when using averages, the highest and lowest examples are thrown out as well? I guess we could just be splitting hairs here but I have no qualms with taking the numbers to the Nth degree.
    As terrible as the Royals' payroll to performance ratio is - this club needs to be making every dollar count.
    Player-for-player and dollar-for-dollar, I believe we are the worst team in the Bigs.

  4. Exactly right GoS. We can complain all day about payroll differential, but when it comes down to it, GMDM doesn't have a lot of room to complain when he's got $11M/yr in Guillen and he's paying $5M to Farnsworth.

    You give me a GM who spends $70M well, and I'll give you a yearly contender.

  5. these desperately need some legends. i'm assuming the green is the league avg and the blue is the royals?