Yesterday, the Kansas City Royals got their man. Or, from a different point of view, they got our man: Dayton Moore, subordinate of John Schuerholz, putative target of Stan Kasten, potential small market dupe for David Glass.
Well, that last part remains to be seen, but it was hardly a well-kept secret that Kasten viewed Moore as at least a strong candidate to assume the Nats' general manager position. And there seems to be substantial reason for the attention directed to Moore, 39, who has been considered one of the hottest GM candidates for the past couple of years and reportedly turned down an offer from the Red Sox in the midst of As the Theo Turns.
Of course, no one can simply assume Moore will be a success with the Royals or would be a success anywhere else---both on the basis of his own insights and abilities, and on the basis of his executive lineage.
Who, for instance, spent five years during the early 1990s as Atlanta's scouting director and director of player development/personnel? Oh, that would be Chuck Lamar---who, in his own words, built a model organization in Tampa . . . except for the winning part. Or, moreover, who was attached to Schuerholz's hip for nearly two decades, both in Kansas City and Atlanta? That would be Dean Taylor, who, by blogging coincidence, headed the organization of the Nats' weekend opponent, the Milwaukee Brewers, for three seasons.
Taylor was hired by the Brewers on September 21, 1999, and the BrewCrew got progressively worse in each of his three seasons. Actually, that's not a great description. Instead, they went from mediocre-to-poor in the three seasons preceding Taylor's arrival (80 wins, followed by consecutive seasons of 74), to a bit poorer in Taylor's first season (73 wins), to pretty darn bad in his season season (68 wins), to You have to be kidding me!!! in his final season (106 losses). The Taylor years were not, I am fairly certain, considered lavishly successful.
To be fair, a general manager's successes and failures must be viewed in the context of his organization's circumstances. I mean, Taylor was GM of the Brewers while: a) Wendy Selig-Prieb was the "owner"; b) Bud Selig was in vigilant "We're so poor, the small products can't compete, and our product sucks" mode; and c) Wendy Selig-Prieb was the "owner." On the other hand, d) Taylor did sign Jeffrey Hammonds to an incomprehensible contract, straight off a Coors Field-inflated and rare-healthy season.
As for Lamar, he had to work with Cam Bonifay---another failed GM---as his assistant. Pay no mind that Lamar himself hired Bonifay.
(One other ex-Braves executive, Frank Wren, spent a season as a big league GM. His context was the most plainly apparent: Wren served under Peter Angelos, the poor guy.)
Anyway, I suppose the point is that, just because Moore was Schuerholz's right hand man, this is in itself no guarantee of success. Of course, I suppose we already knew that. I'm not sure if Lamar and Taylor play any part in that evaluation.
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As noted, the Nats begin a three-game set in Milwaukee tonight. After a strong start, the Brewers are in something of a free fall. Hell, they were just swept out in a four-gamer by the Pirates. Plus, they're starting some guy named Dana tonight. And Dana has a 7.97 ERA. So, I'm feeling pretty good about this one---about as good as one can feel when Royce Clayton is your two-hole hitter, much less regular shortstop.
Check out BrewCrew Ball for the Milwaukee perspective. Of note: The teams are wearing old-style, Negro League uniforms. Sweet!
Also, check out Jeff's Minor League Splits Database. It is awesome.