Moore’s reaction to Royals’ surge: ‘We haven’t accomplished anything yet’
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Yes, the Royals have won nine straight.
Yes, they have gone into Detroit and pounded the mighty Tigers two straight.
And yes, the Royals, when almost everyone in Kansas City counted them out a few weeks ago, now find themselves perched on top of the American League Central division by half a game.
But Royals general manager Dayton Moore isn’t about to get carried away with the recent surge, just like he wasn’t ready to panic when things were going poorly for the Royals.
"We haven’t accomplished anything yet," Moore told me by phone Tuesday night. "Lots of teams go through runs for two or three weeks. You have to sustain it for a while and then you have to win games where you might not be hitting well. That’s what good teams do.
"Look, I appreciate what we have been doing. I appreciate it because I know the history, and I know the times in the past where we weren’t competitive. So this is good.
"But like I said, it’s June, and we haven’t accomplished anything yet. We have to keep playing hard."
Moore isn’t downplaying the Royals’ recent surge. He’s as encouraged as anyone about the offense’s sudden explosion.
Moore just wants his troops to keep focused on every day.
"It’s a cliche, but what happened yesterday doesn’t matter," he said. "It’s what you do today that counts. It’s like that for every team in baseball.
"You can’t get too caught up in the moment, whether it’s going well or it’s not going well. We’ve had stretches where it didn’t go well and you can’t overreact to that, either. Baseball is a long season and you have to stay focused each day."
But make no mistake, Moore is grateful the offense finally has caught fire.
"The two things you have to have to be competitive over the course of the season is pitching and defense," he said. "It’s been that way for over a hundred years.
"That’s the thing that keeps us competitive through the tough times. We can pitch it and we can catch it. Then when the offense hits, we can go on these runs."
Moore and manager Ned Yost strongly believed the offense would be capable of its recent surge when they sat around during the offseason and scribbled down lineups.
"We knew that having Nori and Omar would improve us," Moore said. "And to be honest, I do think that they can be even better than they’ve shown. They have shown that during their careers.
"The core of the team, we knew they would be trending upward. They aren’t even there yet, really. We expect and they expect they will continue to trend upward."
This is a group, Moore believes, that will continue to get better not just this year, but in years to come.
"These are guys that want to play here," he said. "They signed long-term deals here because they love Kansas City and they want to perform for this organization. That’s what gets you through the hard times, knowing you are happy where you’re playing."