I’ve slowly been inching towards writing this for the past few months.
John Sherman unwilling to acknowledge the catastrophic failure of the Royals baseball operations department is going to cause a shit storm of drama Kansas City has not seen since the late 1990s when the team was rumored to be sold to billionaire Miles Prentice, who had intentions of relocating the team.
Sherman currently seems to be more occupied on his shiny new (taxpayer funded) downtown stadium than the product he will be putting in the shiny new (taxpayer funded) downtown stadium.
Royals Twitter, who have never been fans of the current regime, is ready to move on.
Over the last couple years or so, Moore has said two things that he simply hasn’t been able to make good on. He spoke a bit ago about knowing that he needs to be more transactional and then proceeded to make the same number of moves, at most, as ever. Then two weeks ago, he spoke about accountability while defiantly refusing to even address the job of his pitching coach, who leads one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball. This is a man who has led three winning seasons in now 16 full seasons. He spoke about that as president…a promotion from his previous role. So maybe accountability isn’t something he fully understands.
“The key question behind all this: why? Why are the Royals awful, again? The simple answer is that they are so because their front office, led by Dayton Moore, has made and continues to make the decisions to put them there. It is time to clean house. Dayton Moore, JJ Picollo, and Mike Matheny need to go.“
The huns are at the gate. Time has simply run out for Dayton Moore and his front office. That’s the given. There’s no reasoning to delay the inevitable.
Sherman refusing to move on from this regime is not only going to cause strife among his fans, who have voiced their displeasure at the box office where the Royals rank 25th in all of MLB, it’s going to potentially have catastrophic political and economic consequences for KCMO and Jackson County.
Sherman and his ownership group will need Jackson County voters’ approval for the new stadium project, which is surely going to be unveiled in the near future to gin up some much needed positive PR for the Royals. The problem is that the positive PR is very much tied to Jackson County’s current enthusiasm level for the Royals.
The cold, hard truth is that it’s the lowest it’s been in a very long time.
The Royals got stadium funds in 2007 simply because their renovation plans were tied to the Chiefs renovation plans. Kansas City would never let the Chiefs leave. Period. The stadium renewal project was for the Truman Sports Complex as a whole. The Glass family kicked in zero dollars, while the Hunt family spent millions of their own dollars on Arrowhead Stadium improvements.
The Chiefs are currently more popular than they’ve ever been and they are going to start turning the sports complex into Chiefs World/Mahomes Land the second the Royals leave the property. The clock is already ticking on the Royals at the TSC.
…but what if the Royals can’t garner enough support from the voters they so desperately need for a new home? They have very little leverage here. The Chiefs are ready to build their parking lot kingdom and have very publicly stated they intend to stay at the TSC for eternity after a brief controversy about them considering a stadium proposal from Wyandotte County.
Meanwhile, the Royals situation seems quite a bit more messy.
If Jackson County does not approve the funds for the downtown stadium, will John Sherman fund the multibillion dollar project himself? Doubtful.
A lack of enthusiasm and failure to get out the vote on a stadium tax would result in disaster. I assume that Wyandotte County, ever so opportunistic, has a plan for a stadium complex and the ability to throw STAR bonds all day at John Sherman. Something Missouri and Jackson County cannot offer.
Relocation rumors would run rampant. Las Vegas, Nashville, Montreal and Charlotte are all larger, more attractive markets than Kansas City.
Am I in full-on doomsday mode? No. Not at all. But trouble is on the horizon and a course correction is desperately needed at this juncture of the franchise. Optimism is in short supply and this ownership group is about to need all the ammo they can get.
The owner needs to act, and soon, or else he is going to be engaging in a Quixotic campaign to sell an increasingly expensive project to a less than enthusiastic voter base who has been tapped out and disinterested for a very long time. The result of which would be a tragic downfall of KCMO’s prowess and tradition as one of the country’s great baseball towns.