Blog Entry

Hillman out, Yost in in Kansas City

Posted on: May 13, 2010 5:20 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2010 6:50 pm

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.


Since: Sep 3, 2007
Posted on: May 14, 2010 10:39 pm

Nice reporting

Buddy Bell resigned at the end of 2007. Tony Pena abandoned the team during a May road trip to Toronto reportedly because he was trying to avoid testifying in a divorce trial back in Kansas City. But don't let facts stand in the way of a good rant.

Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: May 14, 2010 2:33 pm

Buddy Bell

Was not fired. They wanted him to stay.

Since: Feb 22, 2009
Posted on: May 14, 2010 1:28 pm

Hillman out, Yost in in Kansas City

The Detroit Lions of MLB.

Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: May 14, 2010 12:10 pm

Hillman out, Yost in in Kansas City

   I don't think the baseball world is seeing what im, seeing. But the Royals are so close. The problem is not the manager not even the pitching staff, but their is only one little thing and this season would be so different, it's runs scored. I don't have the exact facts but how many games have we lost by one or two runs, how many games have we played and not score until the 5th inning or later. Yes this would be a major problem, but when this happens to a team they usually are at the bottom of the league in batting average and here we are in the top 5 for most of the season. Yes the royals set up men always blow a lead in the 7th thru 9th inning, but if we could just turn them hits into rbi's we would be first in the central divison. How many games have our starting pitching throw 5 innings of 2 runs our fewer only to counter this with no runs.  I really liked Trey Hillman he coached and looked like a NewYork Yankee manager, and we should of kept him, and figured out how to get that one crucial hit when the bases would be loaded and no outs and would put a 0 runs scored for the inning. Why would you hire a coach that came from a team that has had the same problem were having. Trey you would of been a World Series Champion Manager, but as usual the top brass decides to fix the problem,by getting rid of someone who was helping a team to make great strides, its hard to believe at one time we had Jonny Damon, Carlos Beltran and on and on. Oh well the Royals organzation are really making a true blue fan start falling away,since 1985 we get worse and worse and i have stuck faithfully every year and the only problem is the owners making stupid deals. If you lose me as a fan, that would mean your the most up organzation in the world. George Brett for president and manager of the Royals, why don't you get in their smack them brass around and bring back what the Royals use to be. We needed you thru 93 to get that crucial hit and we need you now to get the Royals back to where we should be.   George Brett you are the Royals we nee you bad.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: May 14, 2010 12:04 pm

Hillman out, Yost in in Kansas City

I hate it when they do this.  The club doesn't spend money or go out and get good players.  They run a thin scouting department (Unlike Oakland) so they are not finding good players in the draft either.  Then they fire the Manager who absolutely had no chance. 

Before you fire the manager, make a serious push to win then you can blame him.  Geeezzz....

Since: Jun 13, 2008
Posted on: May 13, 2010 11:57 pm

Hillman out, Yost in in Kansas City

The Royals were once upon a time one of the elite teams of the American League. I had hair and acne when that was going on.

Trey Hillman was mercifully relieved of his duties of a flailing team. He joins others like Buddy Bell, Hal McRae, and Tony Pena who had a good baseball pedigree, but could not succeed as manager of the worst-run franchise in the Americna League.

Until the Royals find competent people to place in its front office who can recognize and cultivate talented players, it will never resemble the great teams it had with players like George Brett, Hal McRae, Frank White, and Willie Wilson, and many others during the glory years of the late 1970s to the mid 1980s.

The Royals are mediocre beyond the dugout. The Royals have mediocre ownership and a mediocre front office. And that was not Trey Hillman's fault.  This organization is talentless in the front office. The Royals need a new manager, a new general manager, a new president, and perhaps a new owner. The Royals need competence.
Trey Hillman was a casualty of he Royals' mediocrity and lack of competence in the front office.

Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: May 13, 2010 10:12 pm

Hillman out, Yost in in Kansas City

Here's a duh moment, from 1979 to 1991 the Royals were in the top 13 in payroll.  Gee, I wonder what that translates to.  How about league championships, trips to the World Series in 1980 and 1985, with the crown coming in '85.  Ewing Kauffman was the man, period.  Now we have a piece of crap owner that sells crap to all the okies that have made him a billionaire.  Until we get an owner that really wants to win, we'll get the product we've been witnessing for the last 20 years.  It's only by pure sh*t house luck that a Greinke or a Butler lands in our lap.  But don't worry, they'll be gone soon enough.

Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: May 13, 2010 9:24 pm

Hillman out, Yost in in Kansas City

how can you be a castoff AND an under achiever?Cry

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: May 13, 2010 9:18 pm

Hillman out, Yost in in Kansas City

Thank you, Kansas City, for making it easier to fire Dave Trembley in Baltimore.  Clearly, Andy MacPhail has been waiting for the almost-annual event at Kaufman Stadium where the manager gets a vote of support early in the week and a pink slip by the weekend. If we can just get the Orioles to let Trembley go and get somebody with a little fire in his belly before anybody else considers the available options, we just might break the 70-win plateau in the next few years.

I truly feel sorry for Trey Hillman.  He honestly has nothing on his ML roster that other teams would take over their own players beyond Zack Greinke, Billy Butler, and maybe Alberto Callaspo.  You can't expect anything to come of a roster that carries Willie Bloomquist in the starting lineup and Kyle Farnsworth as a key arm in the bullpen.  Better luck with the next organization, Trey!

Since: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2010 8:41 pm

Hillman out, Yost in in Kansas City

I feel for the KC fans, as this team is insanely bad from top to bottom.  Horrible owner, who hired a horrible GM.  Give me $100,000 a year and I'll play GM..........
1) dump Guillen
2) dump Betancourt
3) dump Kendall

Screw all the money they paid them, trade them for ANY sort of minor leaguers.

4) call up Gordon, let him play and learn, what do they have to lose?
5) Infield of Butler, Callaspo, Aviles, Gordon, with Getz as reserve.
6) Don't give Willie Bloomquist more then 150 AB's
7) Get a catcher, preferably under the age of 38, to platoon with Pena.  Of course they had one and let him go.
8) dump Meche, his arm is about as strong as the TP I just flushed down the toliet.
9) what is the team's affection with Farnsworth for?  Dump his lame a$$
10) be active in the 6-year minor league free agent draft
11) actually use OBP when trying to acquire players, unlike Jacobs, Ankiel, et al.
12) DO NOT put Soria in the rotation; in fact, let him pitch when the game actually can be won or lost, instead of having some gas can 7th/8th inning guy blow the game before he has a chance to save it.

They play in a crap division, no reason they are this bad year after year.  Not like Toronto or Tampa that has to play a million games against NY and Boston every year.

Just make out the check to "lookoutknob", thank you.......

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