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Off the Couch

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"The days of passively developing players at this level, the major-league level, are over. We are not in a position anymore of waiting for people to perform up here. We had to do that the past few years. But now either they perform or we'll find a replacement."
-- Allard Baird, The Kansas City Star
"I think some players were shocked by [Carlos Febles' demotion to Omaha]. I think Carlos himself was a little shocked. But this is the reality here now. You have to perform to a certain level."
-- Baird, The Star
GH: There is obviously a double standard when comparing the players' performances with Tony Muser's. If the Royals are "not in a position anymore of waiting for people to perform up here," then why does Muser's shadow still darken the Royals' dugout?
"Let's face it: The easiest way out for a GM is to fire the manager when things go bad. That happens a lot. That just seems to make it easier on the GM because he doesn't have to take the heat anymore from people pressing him to make a move."
-- Baird, The Star
GH: Can it then be said that the easiest way to deal with an underachieving player such as Febles is to send him down to Omaha? Where's the Tony Muser who was supposed to be an expert at developing young players?
"It's all about conviction. If you believed in a guy a month ago or a year ago, why would you change now? Besides that, I can't exactly sell a manager like Tony Muser and his program to the [Royals] scouts and minor-league people and to the whole organization and then suddenly back off. If I make the sell and then suddenly say I was all wrong, you lose your credibility."
-- Baird, The Star
GH: Baird's job performance clock started ticking after the All-Star break. It's time for this guy to produce or he and Muser can both head north on I-29.
"I can't believe that everybody [on the Royals] is willing to accept losing like they're accepting it. The fans get mad. They're tired of losing. But in the papers you read 'Well, we got some hits, we think we've turned some things around.' We haven't turned anything around. Nothing's gotten better."
-- Al Fitzmorris, KMBZ 980

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