Hillman adamant about changing Royals' losing ways
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- High above the puddled sidewalks, Royals general manager Dayton Moore sits in the Dick Howser Suite wearing a perfectly pressed pair of gray slacks and a dead-serious gaze. He was in this same building past midnight just hours ago, humbled over a 15-1 loss to the Indians, chatting with his new skipper about everything except that wretched game. They knew there would be days like these, and that every "You're the man!" chant in early April would inevitably drift to "You [insert-your-favorite expletive]!"It's three weeks past fairy tales, and Moore looks tired but hopeful because today is another day to make things right. Lightning streaks across the eastern sky, and the shower turns to a downpour.
I was never part of the Royals' system before six months ago, but from the day I was hired as manager, I will fight tooth and nail to do everything I can for the reputation of this organization.
--Trey Hillman, Royals manager
They are like-minded and quickly bonded during a two-day interview session last fall in Japan. Neither man is willing to put a number on the 2008 season. While fans might be happy with the Royals going .500, Hillman and Moore won't put a lid on expectations.But back to the lecture: Moore didn't see it as a coach's rant. He saw a passionate man quickly addressing an issue and establishing consistency. Had Hillman laid back and dismissed it as an early mistake in spring training, how could he command his players' attention in August? "I think it's good for our game," Moore says. "Go ask George Brett what he thought of it. George Brett thought it was really impressive. And Trey Hillman wasn't trying to make a statement. Trey Hillman was trying to be himself. "I didn't even think anything of it, because I know where the guy's heart is. His heart is with the players."
Elizabeth Merrill is a senior writer for ESPN.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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