The demise of Trey Hillman yesterday has got me thinking about the fates of KC's two major franchises and the way those organizations are run and their teams being built (if "built" is a word that could be applied to the Royals). Both teams are in the midst of new regimes rebuilding the organization from the ground up. However only one organization seems to really have a rock solid idea of how that should be done.
After watching the draft this year I was struck by (and I think most AP readers were as well) the Chiefs ability to have a plan and to stick to and to execute that plan. Dayton Moore talks about "the process" but is there any physical evidence to suggest what the process might be? Scott Pioli has talked at length about the "right 53" players. Coach Haley's interview with NFL Network yesterday underscored those ideas a lot -- Haley talked about having young players that want to be good and are willing to work hard to be good and to be a part of something special. Does anybody get any sense of that sort of profiling being done over at the K? The Royals' philosophy regarding player acquisition seems to be to throw as much shit at the wall and hope some of it sticks. To overpay for old, marginal players. Is there another planet or alternate reality/dimension where Jose Guillen is one of the "right" players for your organization?
The Chiefs upgraded their coaching staff this year by hiring two coaches with Superbowl credentials who were also head coaches. If Crennel and Weis want to be head coaches again then Todd Haley and the Chiefs must be successful. The Royals hired Trey Hillman who had never stepped foot in a major league dugout before. It seems to me that Moore thought way too hard about hiring a manager when winning guys with prior MLB experience were available. Moore hired a guy from Japan, where managers are revered and never questioned. Pioli has talked about part of being one of the "right 53" being players who will respond to the way Haley coaches. We all know by now that Haley is a hardass taskmaster from the Bill Parcells mold. What good would it do to bring in players that would wilt or rebel under Haley's volcanic rage (by the way, I love Haley's volcanic rage)? I doubt the Chiefs were ever seriously looking at Brandon Marshall for that very reason -- if he couldn't deal with McDaniels how in the hell was Marshall going to handle Haley? Again, the Royals seem to have no clue about team chemistry or any sense that team chemistry even matters.
If what I have read is accurate, Hillman had no idea how to handle a guy like Guillen, a locker room cancer everywhere he's been. Hillman lost the team the first year he was in KC. It was really weird yesterday to read reports about how the team really respected Hillman as that flies in the face of what the reality seemed to be -- that the players had no respect for Hillman whatsoever. Since Moore and Hillman are both overtly religious guys, it seems odd to me that Moore would acquire players with reputations for poor professional character. And it seems odd to me that Moore wouldn't even consider how these players might mesh with Hillman's style. Or each other. The Royals don't seem like a team to me, just a bunch of guys wearing the same laundry (as Jerry Seinfeld would say).
The Chiefs seem to moving in a methodical way with a plan that has proven to be very successful in Boston. People may be overly optimistic about 2010, but I would be shocked in the Chiefs weren't a very good team in 2011. The Royals on the other hand. . . They have been rudderless for 20 years. Hillman is just the latest in a series of managers shown the revolving door. The Chiefs have only been a losing team for three seasons, the Royals are entering a third consecutive decade of utter incompetence, on pace to lose 100 games again this year and DOA in May. The Chiefs give me a true and justified sense of hope. The Royals are just pathetic.