In fact, they've gone pretty terrible, as the Royals are 19-42 since and are 11 1/2 games back in what's still a pretty mediocre division. So, as is normally the case when things like this happen, fans start to look for someone to blame. The popular target in Kansas City is Trey Hillman. So, will Hillman finish the year in Kansas City?
According to Royals general manager Dayton Moore, not only will Hillman finish out the 2009 season, but he'll be back for 2010 as well.
"Absolutely," he says. "We're all in this thing together. You can't keep changing managers and coaches. Continuity is very, very important. If you've got people who work hard and people who care and are smart, you stick with them. Because if you stick together through the tough times, we've got a chance to win here and do something special long-term.Moore has a good point. With a team that's usually as young as the one the Royals are trying to build, changing managers every few seasons is usually counterproductive, and since 2002 the Royals have made five changes. Tony Muser gave way to John Mizerock for 13 games before Tony Pena took over, and Pena lasted until May 2005 before he was replaced by interim manager Bob Schaefer.
"You just can't keep reshuffling."
Buddy Bell was then brought on to replace Schaefer for a few seasons, but never brought a winning team to Kansas City before Hillman took his job last season. Now, in Hillman's season and a half he has a .427 winning percentage -- which is by no means good -- that is better than anything any of his predecessors put up.
Still, things change when expectations rise and patience runs out. So even though Moore has reassured that Hillman will be back, Trey probably shouldn't get too comfortable. After all, with the team's performance and some of the recent questionable -- and I'm being as nice as I can there -- trades they've made, Hillman's not the only one who is starting to feel the heat.
Dayton Moore's honeymoon period in Kansas City seems to have come to an end as well.