Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Show us a sign, Mr. Glass

Tuesday, Royals pitcher Gil Meche shocked the baseball world by announcing his retirement, thus forfeiting the last $12.4 million guaranteed to him for the final year of his five-year, $55 million contract he signed with the team back in 2007.

Now that Meche is gone, and the Royals all the sudden have their lowest payroll (by far) since GM Dayton Moore arrived, projecting somewhere in the $30 million range, the (12) million dollar question is this:

Where's that extra $12-mil going, Mr. Glass?

Meche had an idea for the owner.

"Hopefully the Royals can find some guys to (spend) that money on and help the team win," he said Tuesday, while announcing his retirement.

Wishful thinking, possibly. Maybe even sarcasm.

We've been over it. The team is rebuilding (still?). The youth-movement is on the brink of surfacing. The free-agent market was thin to begin with and is even thinner now (Nice timing, Gil). There isn't much need to clutter the roster with another stop-gap or two who would only, at best, save the team from the embarrassment that is yet another 100-loss season.

Moore knows this. In fact, if you were listening to Tuesday's press conference closely, you'd know he already told us where the money is going.

When asked if the extra dough might go toward adding talent in free-agency, Moore replied, "I don't see a lot out there that's better than what we have or will potentially have in 2011 or 2012."

Translation: The money is going straight into Glass' pocket.


And herein lies the problem with Mission 2012 and all of Moore's efforts to save the Royals from continued baseball futility. His plan is based strongly on a financial commitment from a dead-beat owner who has all-too-often broken promises to his most-passionate customers (fans) and hard-working employees (former GM Allard Baird).

The Meche retirement and the money Glass will pocket as a result is a microcosm of how the former-Walmart CEO is and always will run the Royals organization. He found an average product on the market worth selling at a higher price (Meche). The product sold for awhile, but ultimately turned out to be a lemon. To pay for the mistake of his investment, the price to enjoy the product (which was all-the-while losing value) raised (higher ticket prices, concessions, parking, etc). Upon request for a refund, he refused (pocketing the new-found Meche money).

It sounds a whole lot like Walmart, all the way down to the disgusting smell coming from the restroom. The cycle continues as it has for years — just so long as the customers keep coming back for more.

It's simple. The Royals profit EVERY year. Glass will (and was going to before the $12 million gift) profit millions in 2011 off of another sub-.500 baseball team. Pocketing the Meche money, given the current state of the major-league roster, is obvious greed. It is despicable.


This is as good a time as any to remind the readers of the $250 million stadium renovation passed by Jackson County voters in 2006, which was completed with the grand opening of the new Kauffman Stadium just last season.

Glass hasn't been seen or heard from in Kansas City since.

And let's not forget, the Royals are where they are because of Glass. Sure, the strike in 1994 and the ensuing collective-bargaining agreement (which tended to heavily aid larger-market teams) didn't help, but for the past 16 years Glass has either had the last say and/or the only say in all-things Royals. He's owned the team for over a decade now. He failed to make a solid commitment to building from within until he hired Moore in 2006 and it was only then that he began investing real money in the draft. Since then, there have been missteps, and now here we are in 2011. The major-league roster is actually much worse than it was in 2000. At that time, there was Johnny Damon and Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye and an up-and-coming personnel guy named Allard Baird who was ready to make the Royals a winner again. He had no idea.

And now, the fans are just as angry and upset as they were ten years ago. The team is rebuilding (yes... still). It's Glass' work.

Had we any faith in our owner, our frustration would subside with much more ease. Maybe just a signed commitment. Something like, "When the time comes — and it is coming — you can count on me." ... You know, just a few words on the website. Anything. The fans in Kansas City need some kind of sign that when the team is ready to make a run at a pennant — next year, maybe three years from now, whenever — the finances won't run dry and promises be forgotten as the years and losses weigh on our patience and our hearts.

Just show us a damn sign, Mr. Glass.


  1. Good piece, Eli. That is one of the more depressing things I've read in a while, but it's the absolute truth. The ownership hasn't shown any commitment to winning, and all we're left with is the promise that the future will be bright, while our best players leave for greener pastures like clockwork. I'm sick of it, and it really makes it tough to keep supporting the team year in and year out. We'll see what these next couple years bring with the great prospects we have in our minor league system, but I'm not holding my breath for anything to change dramatically.

  2. I agree with you, man--- I was issued my 1st locker in 7th Grade the last time this team was postseason bound-- and I am now 38 years old and receiving W-2s in my mail. Yeeeesh.

    Same sad shit from the Royals front office.

    I am so tired of hearing that "our time" is "a couple of years down the road," that "our prospects" are CAN'T MISS.

    I have little faith in this owner, and I have less faith in our scouting dept, which whiffs on busts Hochevar and Gordon, yet tells us: "Wait until you see our talented farm system!"

    Alex Gordon last year was a joke, and towards the tail end of the year, he is quoted as saying, "I am going to dominate in 2011."

    Really? And you have faith because....??!

    The fan experience of a Royals game is beginning to be a bit embarassing, particularly the music, the piped-in cheers, and the "inspirational" pre-game video montage, which shows players who never sniffed a pennant chase, a divisional crown, a wildcard entry.

    How about a video montage with Renelvys Hernandez striking out an Indian? Or Tony Pena Jr. laying down a foul ball bunt? Or, Jose Offerman hitting a bloop single to left? WOW--- thanks for the memories, Royals!

    A #&@^ing joke is what this organization is, and Glass is indeed stuffing the extra loot into his pocket. This staff will have the ironic stature of being the worst bunch of starters with one of the game's dominant closers being hobbled by cobwebs.


  3. What do you propose they do, put it in an escrow account to pay Moustakas' arbitration? Pay some schmuck $12M this year on what will widely be considered a lost season. I say do whatever he wants w/ it now, but it damn well better be spent drafting over slot this year (as it will be the last year of this) or to bring in some veteren next year or 2013.

  4. The Moustakas arbitration account is actually genius, though they would never do it in a million years. I don't want them to just dish out the money this season to save a few losses (as is mentioned in the blog). But we can't trust our owner and ...this $12mil will make no difference on the budget for next season. These guys work year-to-year. Drafting over slot is something they've been doing and probably will always have to do to stay competitive. So I'm not sure we can fairly call drafting over slot this season - "Meche money well spent".

  5. As long as they don't get stingy if and when we have a chance to win a pennant, I'm ok with this money staying put for now. Problem is, I have no faith in David Glass and his track record would tell you the money will ultimately serve as a ...$12mil bonus to add to the millions he'll be profitting off of another embarrassing baseball team in 2011.

    Like Eli says.. how about having Glass come out and let us know he's in it to win it (finally). You know.. something like "We're establishing a core now, and when they settle in, we'll make additions to make a serious run at a World Series." Instead, all Dayton has promised is that by the next couple seasons, the roster will be mostly homegrown talent. He's been hesitant to say anything further, which tells you Glass won't commit to spending real money when the time comes, which tells you he's still a dead-beat owner, which tells you we need a passionate, committed owner if we ever want the Royals to be good again.

  6. As part of the expected collective bargaining agreement coming this year there expects to be a piece that dissallows signing over slot or paying over slot or whatever it's called. Which is why the Rays having 13 of the first 60 draft picks this draft is going to be huge for them.

  7. If that's true about the CBA, it SHOULD lead to higher major-league payrolls for smaller markets, but without any regulation (maybe not a salary-cap, but at least a salary-bottom), it would likely just lead to owners like Glass profitting more.

  8. It's viewed (at least in the limited articles I've seen) as bad for small market clubs. Since every team (except the Royals) followed Billy Beane's foray into OPS and other "advanced" statistics, the only way for small market clubs to comp...ete was through signing above slot and being able to control these players for 6 years.

    This seems to make it easier for the big boys of the world to dominate and making the opportunity window even smaller for the little guys. A true revenue sharing model should be included. If just the media was split, it would go a long way toward equity in MLB. The YES network for instance, provides more revenue for NYY than the entire Royals organization receives annually. Until this happens the Adrian Gonzales/Cliff Lee/ Carl Crawford/Prince Fielder/CC Sabathia story lines are going to dominate every trade deadline and off season.

  9. Agreed about the media-revenue sharing. There's still too much of this 'good ole boys network' running baseball. As far as not allowing teams to sign above slot... the NBA model seems to work (I don't know a whole bunch about it though), and that sounds like what they're going for. I'm not sure why it'd be bad for small-market teams if they wouldn't have to overpay for their draft picks.

    PS.. the Royals ignorance of the Moneyball theory has been frustrating me for years. At least Yuni's gone.

  10. Hello frenchy and melky and kendall still has a job

  11. I know it. They get rid of solid on-base guy DeJesus, and pick up Jeff "still milking that amazing rookie season" Francoeur. It's embarrassing.

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