Thursday, October 25, 2007

Breaking 100: Trey Takes Over

First - my apologies for not updating the game results yet. I started a new job, and things have been pretty hectic over the past month. I will make it a priority to finish out the season very soon.

Now, on to the other big Royals news. Trey Hillman was introduced this week as the newest Royals manager. Hillman is currently managing the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan, and his team is vying for their second straight Japan Series championship.

There aren't a lot of folks who know much about Hillman. In his brief visit to KC, he seemed like a no-nonsense baseball guy; a good communicator with a willingness to adjust his gameplan as needed.

I'm not going to pretend to know whether this is a good hire or not. Hillman has a lot of managerial experience, both in Japan as well as 12 years in the Yankees minor league system. He also took a struggling young team in Japan and guided them to a championship. That's what is needed in KC.

Hillman has already announced his coaching staff. Luis Silverio will stay, as will pitching coach Bob McClure and hitting coach Mike Barnett. Silverio will move to third base, and former third base coach Brian Poldberg will leave the Royals. Bench coach Billy Doran will also leave.

The only new coaches that Hillman will bring to the Royals are Dave Owen and Rusty Kuntz. Owen is Hillman's bench coach in Japan and will do the same in KC, and Kuntz will coach first.

It's pretty obvious how this came together. Dayton Moore told Hillman that the pitching coach is staying. He then asked Hillman if he wanted to bring any new coaches to the staff. Hillman tagged his buddies Kuntz and Owen, and Moore decided who to whack.

Spring Training is a long ways off, so in the meantime we'll cheer on the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Saga of Buddy Bell

As my old boss used to say... "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?!?!?"

What the hell is the deal with Buddy Bell? First he announces on August 1 that he will step down as manager to take a Royals front office role. The reason, he said, was so he could spend more time with his family.

Royals fans weren't too concerned. Bell's managerial record speaks for itself. It stinks. But Royals fans had a small soft spot for Buddy. He fought cancer last year and his desire to be with his family fits right in with KC's midwestern values.

But with how badly the Royals played in the final month of the season, you have to wonder if Buddy's lame duck status had any kind of effect on the team.

But now Buddy's decided to quit his new job before he even started to join the White Sox. The Royals bent over backward to accommodate Buddy. They created a new position for Buddy so he collect a paycheck while hanging out at Cincinnati Reds games.

Well, good luck Buddy. We won't really miss you much around here. As it turns out, you didn't leave much of a mark on the team or the city. You will be another forgotten manager to oversee terrible losing baseball. Bell and Muser are two of a kind.