This was Royals' general manager Dayton Moore speaking to the Kansas City Star on Tuesday about manager Trey Hillman: "Trey is a tremendous leader. ... He's exactly what our organization needs at this point in time."
This was Moore speaking to Hillman 48 hours later in Kansas City: "You're fired!"
And with that, bam, another Royals manager bites the dust.
That's three in the past six years, five in the past 13, and on and on this grisly story goes. From Tony Muser to Tony Pena (who did deliver an AL Manager of the Year season in 2003) to Buddy Bell to Hillman. Fired, fired, fired, fired.
Next up is former Brewers manager Ned Yost, who joined the Royals this year as special advisor to baseball operations ... which is not unlike a storm chaser signing on as special advisor to tornado damage.
Wreckage everywhere. And what I can't get over is the twister that blew through in that 48-hour span from "He's exactly what our organization needs at this point in time" to "Pack your bags and hit the road, Jack."
Talk about a reaching a crisis point.
The Royals look like they have no idea what they're doing.
They clearly underachieved under Hillman: At midweek, they ranked fifth in the AL in batting average, sixth in slugging percentage, seventh in on-base percentage ... yet 11th in runs scored. Only Baltimore's record was worse.
But they also are not getting any better players than they were five or six years ago, and the pitching is abysmal. Statistically, only the Angels have a worse bullpen right now, and only Detroit has a worse rotation.
For that, the spotlight now swings straight over to Moore, whose choice to replace Hillman was predictable: An old Braves connection from the days when Moore was an assistant to Atlanta GM John Schuerholz and Yost was a coach on manager Bobby Cox's staff.
Whatever. This is a team that has lost 100 or more games in three of the past six years and 93 or more games in five of the past six years. Moore replaced former GM Allard Baird (fired, too) in May, 2006, and the Brewers have lost 93 and 97 games in two of Moore's three full seasons.
This season? They're on pace to finish 56-106.
The exact same record they posted in 2005, the last full season before Moore was hired.
Progress? Or irreversible corrosion?
It is never pleasant when a man loses his job, no matter how much relief there surely is in many quarters of Royal fandom today.
"Thankfully, in 20 years of managing, last year easily was my most trying year," Hillman told me this spring. "Easily. Because each day, you want to give the great fans of Kansas City what they want, what they deserve."
The Royals owe their great fans something fierce. And it isn't Scott Podsednik getting picked off of base, Yuniesky Betancourt half-assing a routine infield fly and muffing it, or the current sorry bullpen that has sabotaged several games the Royals could have won.
And it damned sure isn't singing the manager's praises early in the week only to fire the same guy later in the week.