This morning, my debut piece on the Internet Baseball Writer’s Association of America “Here’s the Pitch” Daily Newsletter published. The piece can be found here and it’s open to anyone to view and read. In this piece, I talked about the dichotomy between the more “business-focused” MLB organizations that have emerged in the “post-Moneyball” era, and how the Royals seem be more “baseball-focused” under general manager Dayton Moore, who will begin his 15th year as general manager in Kansas City. While I certainly laud Moore and the Royals ownership’s focus on “baseball” over “business”, especially in regard to personnel decisions, I do mention how it has not necessarily produced the most successful product in the field, as Moore has only had three winning seasons in his tenure as GM.
Here is an excerpt from the piece:
“Business sense” over “baseball experience” seems to be the “gold standard” among MLB front offices today. However, the Kansas City Royals and general manager Dayton Moore, the second-longest tenured GM in baseball (only Brian Cashman has been with the Yankees longer), seem to buck that trend.
In Kansas City, it is all about baseball, even when popular trends hint that the Royals should perhaps be more “Moneyball” savvy. According to Forbes Magazine’s most recent MLB franchise valuations, the Royals rank 29th out of 30 when it comes to team value. When it comes to TV market size, only Milwaukee and Cincinnati are smaller than Kansas City.
No one would fault the Royals for being more “business”-centered. To some critics, they probably should focus on the bottom line more often when it comes to making personnel decisions. And yet, that is not Moore’s modus operandi…“Baseball vs. Business People: Dayton Moore and the Royals Way” by Kevin O’Brien; Here Comes the Pitch Newsletter, December 11th, 2020
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In the wake of Baseball Hall of Fame and MLB Award voting season, it seems like every year we are reminded by how the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) can be unnecessary gate keepers at times, often populated by some crotchety and disconnected members who should give way to more passionate and knowledgeable baseball writers. I don’t want to bash the BBWAA too much, as I know 95 percent of the writers who make up the organizations are class acts and talented at what they do, and Kansas City is lucky to have such talented baseball beat writers in Jeffrey Flanagan (MLB.com), Alec Lewis (The Athletic), and Lynn Worthy (The Kansas City Star). However, that 5 percent seems to stick out more than usual around this time (usually with stupid grandstanding), which ends up putting a blemish not only on the organization and other baseball writers, but on the game itself, which has lost steam to the NFL and NBA over the past couple of decades.
Thankfully, over the past year, I have discovered the IBWAA, which has been rejuvenated by co-directors Daniel Epstein and Jonathan Becker (they have helped forge a partnership with SABR which has also been awesome as well). In addition to being a member, which has helped me grow my voice and network as an online baseball blogger, I have also been lucky to follow some amazing independent baseball writers. Truly, there are some amazing baseball analysts that are a part of this organization, and the HTP newsletter showcases all those different voices each day. If you truly love baseball, and truly value independent voice and journalists (things that are going to shit, if this past year has taught us anything), then please subscribe and support this important and thorough online publication.
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