Dayton Moore has taken a lot of guff from Royals fans in the past couple of years as a result of his constant exhortations for them to “trust The Process,” which is the term he uses to refer to his plan to rebuild the Royals. The problems with this? “The Process” is rather amorphus, inasmuch as one year it appears that the team is going with youth and the next year they sign a bunch of mediocre free agents. No one really knows what “The Process” is.
But the worst part is no one really knows how long “The Process” is supposed to take. That is, they didn’t until today, when Dayton Moore coughed up a deadline:
“Our goal by 2013, 2014 is to have the majority of our 25-man roster be
homegrown players. That’s what we’re shooting for, that’s
been the long-term plan all along . . . Look what Colorado did, look what Minnesota did, look what the New York
Yankees did. It took the Yankees seven years. They
committed to it in ’89, and finally in ’96 they won with homegrown guys.
I’m not talking about getting to .500, I’m talking about winning the
World Series when I say eight to 10 years.”
Well, I think he’s backdating the Yankees’ rebuilding a bit, as things there really didn’t get going until Gene Michael was hired in 1991 and began to rebuild the team’s player development model and change the team from a free-agent pariah to a free-agent player. If I had to put a date on that I’d say maybe 1992, when Danny Tartabull was signed and Derek Jeter was drafted.
But fine, let’s give Moore his eight or ten years. Royals fans have been waiting this long. What’s several more?
The Athletics have hired former MLB manager Matt Williams, the team announced Friday. Williams will take over third base coaching duties under manager Bob Melvin, filling the vacancy left by Nationals’ bench coach Chip Hale after the 2017 season.
Williams is no stranger to the Bay Area, but this will be his first time sporting the green and gold. He got his start in pro ball with the rival Giants in 1987, where he manned third base and collected four All-Star nominations before jumping ship to the American League in 1997. After a one-year stint in the Indians’ organization, he returned to the NL to finish off his 17-season career and eventually hung up his cleats with the Diamondbacks in 2003.
Post-retirement, Williams has crafted a resume that almost over-qualifies him for a coaching gig. He led the Nationals to a cumulative 179-145 record from 2014 to 2015 and earned props as NL Manager of the Year after bringing the team to a first-place finish in 2014. In 2016, he split the season as a first and third base coach in the D-backs’ organization, then accepted a studio analyst position with the Giants for the 2017 season. Although he has yet to suit up for the Athletics in any role, he’s not unfamiliar with skipper Bob Melvin. The two were teammates on the Giants’ 1987-88 roster and spent some time in Arizona together when Melvin took a coaching job there in the early 2000s.
While next year’s reunion will be fun to watch (unless, I suppose, you’re a Giants fan with a long memory), Williams may not have his sights set on a coaching role forever. As the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea reported back in July, the 51-year-old knows what it feels like to win as a manager, and it’s a position he might be open to pursuing in the future.
“For me, my most comfortable space is in uniform,” he told Shea. “I’ve done the ownership thing and front-office stuff, and that’s fun. The most gratification I get is swinging a fungo and throwing batting practice and being on the field. It’s what you know and love. I look at myself as a teacher first and foremost. At the end of the day, I think that’s how I have my greatest influence.”