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Royals fire longtime front-office executive Dayton Moore Bieber wins again as Guardians beat White Sox 4-2 for sweep

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KANSAS CITY, MO – Kansas City Royals fire longtime executive Dayton Moore on Wednesday, ending the rollercoaster ride as a powerful general manager and president that took the club from a perpetual 100-game underdog to two World Series and a 2015 championship before quickly falling back to mediocrity.

Royals owner John Sherman, who hired Moore after acquiring the club from David Glass in 2019, announced the move during a press conference in which Moore spoke briefly before quietly slipping out of the room.

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“I think the goal is clear: to fight for the championship again, and we need to make sure that we are moving towards that goal,” said Sherman, whose club was 30 games behind .500 ahead of the Minnesota game.

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“In 2022, we regressed,” Sherman said, “and this is happening. It happens to great teams. But when I started talking to Dayton and others, I felt like we needed more change than what was being said, and that was a big reason for it.”

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Last offseason, Sherman tried to shake things up a little in the front office, promoting Moore from general manager to president of baseball operations, and JJ Piccollo promoted to grandmaster. But the awkward division of work never worked out, and Sherman decided to move forward with Picollo handling all aspects of baseball operations.

Picollo was the first person Moore hired when he took over the royal family in 2006.

“I’ve known JJ since he was 21,” Moore said during his brief appearance. “He is an incredible leader and, as I mentioned earlier, he is more than willing to lead baseball operations in a very innovative and productive manner. I’m proud that he continues to get this opportunity.”

Sherman said he expects other changes to be discussed going forward and into the offseason, including whether to keep manager Mike Matheny and his coaching staff. But these decisions will be made by Piccollo.

“JJ was great to work with,” Matheny said. “He was on the road, we had a lot of meetings lately, when the season was coming to an end. He has a great understanding of the system and what needs to be done.”

Moore was hired in 2006 and tasked with rebuilding an organization that hadn’t made the playoffs in over two decades. He quickly followed a plan he learned from longtime Braves executive John Schuerholtz, investing in Latin America and the minor league system before spending on proven major league talent.

It took nearly a decade for the plan to work, but the Royals began to see progress with a winning record in 2013 as a wave of young players began to reach the big tournaments. And the breakthrough came the following year, when the team built around itself Eric Hosmer as well as Mike Moustakas won the first of two consecutive AL pennants.

The Royals lost their first trip to the World Series to the San Francisco Giants in a seven-game dramatic series, but ended their run the following year by beating the New York Mets in five games to become their first championship since 1985.

“He’s a great guy, a great person,” the Royals’ catcher said. Salvador Perez, one of the stars of those championship years. “It’s hard, you know? I never thought he was going to leave this organization.”

For most people in the organization, Moore is the only boss they’ve ever known.

“Everyone looks at us like we’re baseball players,” the Royals second baseman said. Nicky Lopez said, “But there is life outside of baseball, and he cared about that. He cares about us as people, and that’s something special.”

On Wednesday, the end of Moore’s term may have seemed abrupt, but it took years.

He knew that a small market organization would not be able to keep Hosmer and other stars as they became free agents after their championship years, so after an average 2016, the club began an almost complete rebuild.

He was slowed down by poor draft picks, lousy player development and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on baseball, and the Royals have had 100 consecutive losing seasons. And when the club finally hit the ground running last season and some of its young talent moved into the big leagues, it failed to capitalize on it. The Royals have had a slow start to this season and have never recovered.

“There is now a gap between where we are and what we expected,” said Sherman, who owned part of the original Guardians prior to the acquisition of the Royals. “It felt like we made progress in 2021, and in 2022 I don’t feel that way.”

An organization tasked with taking Picollo to the next level is better than what Moore inherited 16 years ago: Infielder Bobby Witt Jr. is among the top contenders for AL Rookie of the Year, with rookies such as Vinnie Pasquino as well as MJ Melendez to give Kansas City a young core, reminiscent of the group led by Hosmer and Moustakas.

However, there are many organizational issues that Picollo must resolve.

The Royals have struggled to develop the pitch for years – their team currently has the fourth-worst ERA in baseball and the worst WHIP by a wide margin, which led to the sacking of pitching coordinator Jason Simontacca earlier this season.

They struggled to identify talented players in the draft, constantly sniffing picks in the first round. This includes four players drafted over two years during their World Series who did not make a significant impact in the major leagues.

And they struggled to keep up with the changing times, preferring the old, anecdotal intelligence methods to the new school of analytics and data-driven decision making that leveled the playing field with big-market baseball clubs.

“Dayton is always talking about what a championship team looks like. That’s a great conversation,” Sherman said, “but I’d like to know what the wildcard command looks like first. Because Kansas City fans know that if you can get a wild-card slot and start dancing, anything can happen.”

CHICAGO – Shane Bieber bowled with two runs in the eighth inning, and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Chicago White Sox 4-2 on Thursday night in a three-game streak.

Cleveland had a seven-game lead over Chicago in the AL Central for their 15th win in 18 games. The Guardians (83-67) could capture the 2018 Division One franchise title as early as Sunday.

Bieber (12-8) scored his fourth win in a row. The 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner allowed seven hits, struck out five and went none in 7 2/3 innings.

“Like many good pitchers, he worked to find his stuff,” said Guardians manager Terry Francona. “He kind of made himself look like Bieber, which is pretty impressive.”

Trevor Stefan finished eighth and Emmanuelle Klass made ninth in his best 37th save in the AL with 41 chances.

Cleveland’s pitching staff produced just one outing in three games.

“We’re a confident company and we have a lot of fun doing it,” Bieber said.

Gavin Sheets homered for Chicago in the eighth. Johnny Cueto (7-9) allowed four runs, three earned and eight hits in six innings in his third loss in a row.

Chicago isn’t out of it yet, but it needs a lot of wins – and help – going forward.

“(The season) is not limited to three games, but we knew what we had to do in this series, and we couldn’t do it. It’s frustrating,” Sheets said. “It’s not just this series; we should have played better all season.”

The White Sox (76-74) have dropped three in a row and four of six overall.

Cleveland took the lead and stayed on Jose Ramirez’s sacrificial fly in the third. Stephen Kwan hit an RBI triple in the fifth and scored another Ramirez sacrifice to give the Guardians a 4–1 lead.

The White Sox, who started September with an 8-2 series but couldn’t catch up with the Guardians, took the lead first. Eloy JimenezRBI single.


The Guardians’ second run was set up by a Cueto strafing attempt that bounced in front of a first baseman. Jose Abreuglove in the third. The ball rolled back to the fence of the dugout and allowed Amed Rosario jump from first to third. He returned home in the field after Ramirez’s sacrificial fly.


Guardians: RHP Zak Plesak (broken finger) could get a start or two before the end of the season, but Francona said that would only happen if Pleshak was ready. He has been absent since 30 August.


Guardians: Cody Morris (0-2, 2.30 ERA) Dating Texas righty John Gray (7-7, 3.80 ERA) Friday night.

White Sox: RHP Lucas Giolito (10-9, 5.07 ERA) vs. Tigers LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (3-5, 4.35 ERA) Friday night.


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