June 14, 2012
On the Beat
Trusting The Process
When Dayton Moore was hired as general manager by the Royals in June 2006, he talked about how it would be a process to turn around a franchise that hadn't been to the postseason since 1985. Moore used the word so much over time that the business of restoring the Royals to respectability became known as “The Process” by their fans.
Moore celebrated his sixth anniversary in the GM chair last week, yet The Process continues in earnest. In fact, The Process is starting to become long and tedious, as the Royals are 26-34 this season and seven games behind the first-place White Sox in an American League Central that looks up for grabs thanks to the heavily-favored Tigers being duds.
The Royals were the darlings of spring training last year when numerous national media outlets stopped by Surprise, Arizona, to report on the organization's endless supply of prospects. However, the Royals are no longer such a trendy team, as they look headed to their ninth consecutive losing season and 17th sub-.500 finish in the last 18 years.
Yet it is not a good idea to suggest to Ned Yost that The Process isn't working out quite as well as planned. In his second full season as the Royals' manager after replacing Trey Hillman in May 2010, Yost believes the organization is right on course.
"Look, I know our fans want us to win now, wanted to win yesterday, and I wish we would be able to do that for them because we want to win now, too," Yost said. "We're as tired of losing as anybody, but the one thing I know is you can't cut corners when you're building a winning organization. You have to let the young players experience the ups and downs of the game for themselves and allow them to benefit from the experience. I know it is going to pay off in the long term because I've seen it happen, and we've got the type of talent that can win."
Yost got his first managerial gig with the Brewers prior to the 2003 season after they had gone 56-106 the year before. At the time, Milwaukee had suffered through 10 straight losing seasons. The Brewers would have three more losing years and one .500 season before breaking through with an 83-79 mark in 2007. The following season, the Brewers won the National League wild card and made their first playoff appearance in 26 years, though Yost was fired with two weeks left in the season in a panic move by owner Mark Attanasio.