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June 14, 2012 5:00 am

On the Beat: Trusting The Process


John Perrotto

The Kansas City Royals are suffering through yet another losing season, but the team still trusts in The Process, and an interview with Andrew McCutchen.

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.

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We open the Tomb of the Baseball Prospectus on the miserable John Gochnaur, plus career minor leaguers as major league managers.

Dead Player of the Day #23 (John Gochnaur Edition)

John Gochnaur SS 1901-1903 (1875-1929)

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Reaction to the Royals firing manager Trey Hillman along with other notable comments from around the majors.


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May 14, 2010 8:19 am

On the Beat: Still A Believer


John Perrotto

Even after being fired, Trey Hillman feels the Royals are on the right track, plus other MLB notes.

The Royals are seemingly continuing on the road to nowhere. They are 12-23, on pace to finish under .500 for the 15th time in the last 16 seasons, and now have a new manager. To the surprise of no one, the Royals fired Trey Hillman on Thursday after beating the Indians to end a seven-game losing streak. Former Brewers manager Ned Yost, a special adviser to Royals general manger Dayton Moore, will be running the team for the remainder of the season.

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Rookies Heyward and Jackson prepare for their debuts, Sweet Lou says he hasn't lost his fire, plus other notes from around the majors.

One of the biggest questions on the Grapefruit League circuit this spring has been: Who is the better prospect, Jason Heyward or Stephen Strasburg? Both Heyward, the Braves' right fielder, and Strasburg, the Nationals' right-hander, have been the talk of Florida throughout the exhibition season

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How should Pat Sajak and Grady Little adjust our view of measuring bullpen management?

In the article on the Archimedes Awards, we developed the metric BMAR (Bullpen Management Above Random) to quantify a key aspect of bullpen management: assigning the best pitcher to the highest-leverage situations. While it helped to isolate some of what we were looking for, especially when we normalized by "the best" that a manager could do with the UBBM (Upper Bound Bullpen Management) metric. The problem was that when one looked at the list, managers with consistent closers still seemed to rise to the top of the list. For gosh sakes, in 2008, Trey Hillman tied Ron Gardenhire for highest BMAR, mostly on the back of Joakim Soria.

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July 22, 2009 12:03 pm

On the Beat: Mid-Week Update


John Perrotto

The Giants make a run based on their preventing them, the Yankees ponder their next putsch, plus news and views from around the game.

AT&T Park is the house that Barry built. The Giants never would have been able to move into their beautiful waterfront ballpark in San Francisco's China Basin without having all-time home-run leader Barry Bonds hitting in the middle of their lineup to ensure plenty of sellout crowds that pay off a facility built without a heavy dose of public funding.

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April 8, 2009 9:42 am

Game Story


Christina Kahrl

An Opening Day trip to Chicago's South Side ballpark.

The Cell, CHICAGO-So, it was an Opening Day in the Cell, and that's a big deal in itself for the obvious reason that it's baseball in the ballpark that houses the only World Series winner here since the Wilson Administration. Another summer for the rituals of ballgames on the South Side, with its attendants and their less earnest brand of fandom and an understandable disdain for those of Wrigleyville. Instead of a made-up timelessness there has been adaptability that comes with the rhythms of fandom in Bridgeport and the games and the teams, whether in Comiskeys old or new, by names old or new, rituals that reflect the rituals of the city itself-torn down, built up, remodeled, beloved, despised, improved.

All well and good for those of us who might wax poetic on the relative merits of Andy the Clown over Ronnie Woo Woo, but having to double up on Opening Day after a visit in the WGN studios took the edge off just that wee bit, because it meant booking down to the ballpark using the generally uncooperative Kennedy and Ryan Expressways, and if being late on the first day was unavoidable, that didn't mean there was cause to like it. While the bunting would still be there, the first pitches were long since flung, pre-game speechifying spoken, the anthem intoned, fireworks fired off, and worst of all, the first frame and a half was already in the books, and the bottom of the second already wrapping up with the score knotted at one run apiece. Later, I'd learn that I'd missed an Alex Gordon home run off of Mark Buehrle to lead off the second after the Royals had squandered a shot at a crooked number in the first, while the Sox had their own bid at a multi-run inning cut short after a Josh Fields two-out RBI base hit plated Jim Thome, but Jermaine Dye's attempt to rumble home on the hit was DOA on a David DeJesus strike to the plate from left. Rats.

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Boras vs. Coonelly, Olivo vs. Hillman, and the NL West vs. destiny.


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The Royals skipper talks about managing on both sides of the Pacific, and his relationship to his players.

Trey Hillman has a world of experience. He was manager of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters from 2003-2007 before taking the helm in Kansas City, and the 45-year-old Hillman has spent better than half his life in the game. Signed by the Indians in 1985, Hillman spent three years as a player, three as a scout and minor league coach, and 12 as minor league manager in the Yankees organization before his five seasons in Japan. A native of Amarillo, Texas, Hillman was named as the 15th full-time manager in Royals history last October.

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All parties in the Erik Bedard trade seem satisfied, while in Boston a medical battle shapes up over Curt Schilling's shoulder.


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January 6, 2008 12:00 am

Every Given Sunday: Puddle-jumping, Swish, and Inaction


John Perrotto

The Royals' new skipper, the White Sox aim to win in '08, and the rest of the news from around the league.

The Kansas City Royals hired Trey Hillman in October after he spent the previous five seasons as manager of Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan. While Bobby Valentine has shown that a manager can go back and forth from the United States to Japan and be successful, no one without previous major league experience has made that same transition while taking the trip across the Pacific. Yet, while Hillman has made a name for himself across the ocean, the Royals believe he is the right man to get them back on the winning track. Kansas City has had just one winning season in the past 13 years, lost a combined 403 games in the last four seasons, and hasn't been to the postseason since winning the World Series in 1985.

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