Royals general manager Dayton Moore isn’t an I-told-you-so type of guy, so there hasn’t been any temptation to rub it in to the numerous columnists and sports talk-show hosts who scolded Moore for not being a seller at the trade deadline.
Moore simply knew his Royals were better than their record showed, and that eventually they would go on a sustained run.
"I really don’t pay attention to all of that (criticism)," Moore told FOXSportsKansasCity.com by phone. "Most of the time I’m talking with (president) Dan Glass or (CEO) David Glass or (manager) Ned (Yost) or people in our baseball operations department. I’m not tuned in, I guess, to what outside observers are saying about us.
"It isn’t like we suddenly gained faith. We knew this team could perform at a high level, and I still think it can perform higher. We had a glimpse of what this team could do during the 10-game streak (in June).
"Our only thought (at the deadline) was, ‘How can we make this team better now, or what can I do to help this team get better right now?’ There was never any consideration (of selling). We owe it to the fans and to ourselves to compete for a championship. That has been our mindset all along. Any deal we would have made or will make in the future will be done to make this team better right now."
While Moore is relieved his team is playing winning baseball — the sizzling Royals have won 22 of 28 — he still thinks there’s plenty of room for improvement.
"We’re still capable of playing way better than we are — I mean that," he said. "We’re doing the things necessary to win, and that’s a great sign.
"But we really don’t have anyone who is really hot offensively right now. That’s why I say we can be better, and I fully believe we will be even better down the stretch."
Moore, in fact, was still stinging Thursday morning from the tough 5-2 loss to Colorado the night before, a game in which the Royals lost because of four unearned runs.
"Losing games is still absolutely miserable," he said. "It’s a horrible feeling. The misery of losing is still far greater than the enjoyment of winning.
"When we win, it’s more of a relief, like, ‘Yeah, we expected to do that,’ so it’s OK. But losing, it’s hard to get rid of losses. They stick with you."
Still, every now and then, Moore does stop and appreciate the ride.
"Yes, it has been fun watching this group of players mature and develop into winning baseball players," he said. "I have enjoyed that. It’s why we’re in this business.
"Early on in the process, as we were building, there was a balancing act of trying to win as many games as we could at the big-league level while still trying to develop players for the future.
"But now, the future is here, and it really came last year and we started to expect to win. Any losses hurt more now."
Last year’s experiences should help this team, Moore said.
"But it’s a different feeling," he said. "Last year it was just imperative that we began to play meaningful games (in September). We did that, and that was important for the growth process. But we came up a little short.
"This year there’s a sense that we belong where we are. But we also know that we have to be even better to get where we want to go, which is ultimately a championship."