Hillman knows job could be in jeopardy

Updated: May 12, 2010, 10:05 PM ET
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Royals manager Trey Hillman realizes his job could be in jeopardy with his team struggling.

The Royals went into Wednesday night's game against the Cleveland Indians sitting 11 games below .500, mired in a six-game losing streak. Kansas City is in last place in the American League Central, 10 games behind the Minnesota Twins.

Kansas City is 55 games below .500 since Hillman was hired after the 2007 season, replacing Buddy Bell, who resigned. Hillman managed five years in Japan, winning the 2006 title with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.

"I know it's the last year of my contract," Hillman said Wednesday. "I've been driven my whole live to be as successful as I could be. I'm still driven the same way. At the end of the day, what Trey Hillman really wants is the Kansas City Royals to be a contending club and to be in position to win baseball games. That's all I want."

General manager Dayton Moore continues to support Hillman, who had never played or coached in the majors when Moore hired him.

"Trey is a tremendous leader, somebody who is very consistent with who is he is day in and day out," Moore said. "He's exactly what our organization needs at this point in time."

On Tuesday, the Royals began a crucial 10-game stretch against the Indians, Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles, who are a combined 31 games below .500. The first six of those games are at home in what could be a make-or-break it portion of their schedule.

"I'm still 11 games under .500," Hillman said. "I still feel blessed to be here. We're not where we want to be. We've got 120-something games left. Over the years where I've been and what I've done, I've learned the first month and half of a season does not a season make. We can still gain some ground. We've still got some time to do some things right."

If things do not change soon for the Royals, time could run out on Hillman.

"I would prefer if I had my druthers that I be the manager," he said. "But that's not the end game for me. I've always been driven to be part of things that are successful and I will always be. I've been blessed to have been a part of things that have been very successful. It wasn't just me. It was all the components that go into it. But in a lot of the situations that have been successful in my past, I have been the leader."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press