What can I say that hasn't already been said by my compatriots in the Royals' blogosphere? The Royals Digital Digest was an amazing experience. I sat in a room with Dayton Moore, Ned Yost, Billy Butler and Jeff Francouer and got to ask them questions. It was surreal. From Dayton Moore's filibustering to Minda Haas' excellent photography, the experience was one I won't soon forget.
On to the meat and potatoes of Digital Digest. I'll be honest, I knew Dayton Moore was going to give long, tangenty (?) interviews, so I hopped right in. I asked Dayton something that has been weighing on my mind ever since Dayton Moore took over. What kind of shitshow did he inherit? His answer, despite some off topic ramblings and some self-imposed "atta boys", was the one I was looking for.
"You know Brian, I knew there was going to be a lot of work to do, I knew it was going to be a tremendous challenge"
A. How cool is it that he called me by my first name? And B. Duh. Dayton had to know what kind of mess he was getting himself into. The fact that he even took this job makes me respect him even more.
"We knew that if we put a group together that trusted each other that we could motivate ownership to follow our plan"
Trust seems to be important to this current regime. It seems that everyone is on the same page that works in the baseball operations department at One Royal Way. Dayton also made it a point that every one in the front office is a "good person" so to speak. But then again, just because you can quote every verse in Psalms doesn't mean you can build a championship caliber team.
"We knew there would be difficulties with the market."
I'm not trying to stir the pot here, but this made me wonder if the Royals are going to continue using the brutal small market argument if "The Process" doesn't work out. I don't want to say he was giving himself an out with this part of his answer, but it makes me wonder. Now, to be fair, KC is not Dallas, Chicago or Los Angeles, but there are deep pockets in this ownership. I hate pointing the finger to all of our problems to the Glass family's frugality, but if a big money free agent is what will push "The Process" over the top, then I'm hoping they are ready to spend...big.
"If you would have told me four years ago that our farm system would be where it is and we would have this much flexibility in our payroll..."
I would still guarantee you that Jeff Francouer would be a Royal.
"It was scary"
Once again, the respect I have for Dayton Moore for taking this job is immense. DM went toe-to-toe with David Glass and won. This was a franchise hanging on by a string when Dayton took over. Every year, people call for him to be fired. I don't think "It was scary" was the real response. I would be willing to bet that this job still scares the bejeezus out of Dayton Moore.
"It takes awhile to do it that way (through the draft) and you have to hit on guys"
Hit on guys? Haha, just kidding. Man, have we hit.
"There are 26 clubs that have had more picks than us in the first 100 and we've been able to build our farm system (through that)"
This gives me so much hope for the future. We've been able to build a better farm system than any other team in baseball with LESS top 100 draft picks than most MLB teams. I have more than enough confidence that our pipeline will continue to produce once Mission: 2012 has commenced.
"You have to produce sooner or later, or else the fan base grows impatient"
[sarcasmfont]Yeah that's great and all, but when the hell are we going to start winning?[/sarcasmfont]
"If it hadn't been broken for a long time, we wouldn't have been here. If the Glass family would have felt the organization was close, he wouldn't have made a change."
Another reason why blaming the Glass family for the Royals' struggles is stupid. David Glass saw the pitchforks and torches in the distance and made a change.
This is just the first installment of my Digital Digest breakdown. More from Ned Yost (Tim Collins is a baby?), Billy Butler and the man, the myth Jeff Francouer will come as the weekend goes along.