At least that's what Sam Mellinger thinks. In a column today where he pretty much blames the strike of '94 for ruining the once-successful Royals franchise (and incorrectly makes the argument that a salary cap would have helped out the team), Mellinger says this:
Persistent losing appears to have changed that. (David Glass) is now operating like successful team owners, by committing more money, by hiring the best people he can and letting them run the baseball team.
But the Royals are no longer viewed as an industrywide joke; the punchlines mostly stopping when Moore was hired and baseball insiders started noticing a renewed commitment to scouting and player development.
You hear that, chuckleheads? The Royals aren't going to suffer your endless punchlines and knock-knock jokes anymore. They're a serious organization now and will no longer make stupid free-agent signings or ridiculously bad trades. SO STOP MAKING FUN. You too, Yuniesky Betancat.
The Royals spent more on last year's draft picks than any team in baseball history. This year's big-league payroll, $70.6 million on opening day, was a club record.
Their focus on rebuilding the organization from the inside is a reflection of that, too. A record $11 million on last year's draft picks is the clearest recognition that the Royals must get back to the days when their farm system produced (George) Brett, Frank White, Bret Saberhagen, Cone, Willie Wilson, Dan Quisenberry and more.
Yes, that is exactly the best way to resurrect a team that has suffered through one of the losingest decades in history, by throwing more money at the problem. This comes on the heels of years of Royals fans complaining about said salary cap and how their small-market team cannot compete with the big boys in New York and Boston.
Well, the 2008 Rays invalidated that argument. You can succeed with a low payroll team if you run it wisely from the ground floor up, which is exactly what the Royals didn't do. Not only did the team cut the major league payroll after the strike, they cut the funding for signing draft picks and forced their minor league teams to sew their own uniforms.
But now, hey, David Glass isn't going to slash prices anymore, he's going to spend his way to a better franchise! So, put away your Royals joke book. That one about a Jew, a nun, and Hal McRae walking into a bar just doesn't make me laugh anymore.