While Terry Francona has been fiddling with his thumb atop the AL Central with the Guardians, the rest of the band is on fire. Royals joined the Tigers in firing their baseball chief of operations, and the Twins and the White Sox have equally important questions to wrestle with as they deal with seasons that go from “disappointing” to “shattered.”
We’ve already discussed a slice of the White Sox’s failures after their loss in the series’ opening Tuesday, and while Wednesday’s worst loss was a reason to open the vein more, I’d prefer to rest by clearing the mess around the rest of the section.
Kansas City Royals
For the first time since 2006, the Royal Family will be overseen by someone besides Dayton Moore.
Royals sacked Moore on Wednesday while trying to avoid a third season of 100 losses in the past five years.
It’s a first major move for John Sherman, who took control of the royal family’s stake in late 2019. He’s kept a low profile until this point. Moore has given two full seasons to oversee the transition from the end of his Ned Yost/Alex Gordon days to a new era, but meaningful progress remains elusive. They’ve recently introduced a number of promising players to the lineup card, but the throwing machine is a mess, and Moore has been a big reason for the slump.
Between holding on to Whit Merrifield until he turned into an alternate level player and retaining Cal Eldred despite the suspended development of the stadium staff, Moore’s actions indicated he saw no need for urgent action. His words were worse.
Moore’s cut is a unique number among MLB executives, sometimes for very impressive reasons, sometimes for strange, unscientific reasons. He was steadfast in his emphasis on integrity and building men, although when it was the royals’ turn to travel to Toronto and they had far more unprotected players than the rest of the league it exposed the dangers of defining “culture building”. hardly.
It didn’t look like the royals would go through an overhaul, as they kept J.J. Picollo, who had already been given the title of general manager under Moore, who was head of baseball operations. Athletic’s assessment indicates that Picollo is ready to be more capable of handling, a part of the job that Moore never embraced.
If a change in leadership revitalizes the franchise, Sox fans will have even more reason to bring their “SELL THE TEAM” banners to the guaranteed price field.
The royal family followed the lead of the Detroit Tigers in seeking leadership change in response to the stalled rebuilding process. After Al Avila was fired after seven mostly unsuccessful seasons in early August, they announced San Francisco Giants General Manager Scott Harris as the new head of baseball operations last weekend.
Harris and Picollo were both tasked with upgrading an organization whose methods were considered outdated and/or out of the paces of modern baseball. Harris faces a different challenge, as he inherited the huge contracts of Eduardo Rodriguez and Javier Páez, both of whom got off to terrible starts, and is also facing the end of Miguel Cabrera’s career.
His press conference was heavy on buzzwords of detail, but between those subtle stances with veterans and a farm system that’s considered among the worst in baseball, perhaps because he didn’t have much to say.
The twins haven’t kicked anyone out, but as their rebuilding may have fallen short of expectations, they face tough questions about what to change.
Aaron Jaliman had already written an autopsy of the twins’ chances when they fell to third 10 days ago, and now he’s looking ahead to the off season and wondering if anyone should expect the twins to improve in a meaningful way.
This team was never healthy, but also never got the help they clearly needed, was never modified by his quick handling of the starters to account for the bulls prone to implosion, never hit runners in scoring and was never backed with errors. This team might be better if it’s healthy, but it certainly doesn’t deserve the best.
For the fourth time in six years with a front desk led by Derek Valvey, the twins had a below-average team work, ranking 10th out of 15 teams in ERA after finishing 14th in 2021. This may be acceptable for young employees in Rising, but the Twins have only had 13 starters of 25 and below bowlers all season and are fifth among the oldest serving team in the league overall.
I would be surprised if Derek Valvey and Tad Levine lose their jobs, but I’m curious about Rocco Baldeley’s future. Some of the twins’ pitching issues may be attributed to Wes Johnson’s unexpected mid-season departure to LSU, but their inability to adapt before and after suggests his sense of the game is lacking.
This is not a request. I’d be fine if the twins kept the Deli, and I’d be exceptionally disappointed with the royals who kept Mike Matheny, because precedent says the White Sox lacked the initiative or acumen to hire their own distinguished manager.