The national media and baseball community has grabbed onto a story this offseason about the Royals involvement in fighting what they call the “new drug” in pornography and done to it what some who watch too much porn may do (you can use your imagination). That’s a story that national outlets with little background in this organization can grab hold of and mold with the prior narrative they have laid out through the years that the organization is backward in their handling of analytics and the advancement of statistics. After all, when they built the best defense in the league in 2014 and 2015 by a comfortable margin while going to two World Series it was said to be good fortune, three years of luck. No, the game would correct itself and it has, leaving the team around .500 while they have dealt with injuries and a death that changed them as people. All while writers wrote about a juiced ball that left a team built on defense and contact to watch balls leave the yard that their once-speedy outfield would have run down. It’s unfortunate because while those writers and radio talking heads have been discussing pornography they have missed out on a better story about Dayton’s leadership style.
Where could they find this information? Perhaps they should ask Danny Duffy, a left-handed starting pitcher that stepped away from the game, came back and achieved some success, encountered Tommy John surgery and achieved success again all while tweeting the now famous line “bury me a Royal”. Why is Danny so loyal? Of course, some fans have loved up on Duffy throughout his career but next to him every day is a front office and coaching staff that has helped him along the way. If you ask he’ll tell you about the staff and how they’ve been there alongside him during his up and down journey much like he did during his press conference following a DUI arrest last season. That loyalty is also evidenced in other players like Mike Moustakas and minor leaguers Rudy Martin and Hunter Dozier who all mentioned the staff and leadership when I spoke with them Monday after the cancellation of the exhibition game in Omaha. Journeyman reliever Jason Adam, a former Royals 2010 draft pick that was traded to Minnesota before signing with the San Diego Padres has no problems telling anyone who asks that the staff in Kansas City was always upfront with him and honest.
“The Royals go above and beyond, they make that extra effort to make sure we are growing not just as baseball players but as men,” Adam said.
The porn story is great for headlines but what one may miss out on is the trip Dayton had his staff take to the MLK Center in Atlanta. In a sport that is seeing a steady decline in participation from African-American athletes and a sporting world that was charged up with a President’s tweets telling players they should be fired for kneeling, Moore was taking a hands-on approach to learning about the community and their feelings, pushing his fellow leaders to learn from MLK and the Civil Rights movement while drawing a correlation between the current events of a divided nation. This isn’t the only thing he has done either as people in Kansas City have already seen his involvement in the Urban Youth Academy facility, built near the Negro League Museum in downtown Kansas City. On this day GMDM talked about how one of the things he’s most proud of is the involvement the Academy has in softball leagues in the KC area. How those league’s getting girls involved in softball will someday help grow the major league sport as former softball players will eventually become future mother’s all while giving the youth in the city a spot where they can mentor and grow the youth as people.
This is the point it seems for Dayton, he’s brought the city a World Series and a parade like he said he would but what one gathers from a discussion with him is that it is more important to see his player’s, staff and people he interacts with growing as people while leaving a lasting impression on the city he lives in. The saying “Flags fly forever” is one that gets tossed around often but the impact Dayton is making amongst the people he interacts with will truly be was last forever.
Danny Duffy Audio Link
Rudy Martin Audio Link
Jason Adam Audio Link
Anderson Miller Audio Link
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