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The hardest word to say (cont.)

Posted: Monday May 14, 2007 11:35AM; Updated: Monday May 14, 2007 3:08PM
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Dayton Moore has wasted no time in putting his stamp on the Royals since taking over last summer.
Dayton Moore has wasted no time in putting his stamp on the Royals since taking over last summer.
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Moore heard that same word-of-mouth stuff, but he and his scouts thought Meche could do better. Just because he had underachieved didn't mean he always would. They saw star potential.

"We were being very aggressive, obviously," said Moore. "But we had to consider three things: What our current roster looked like, what we had in the minor-league system and what the free-agent pitching landscape was going to look like in '07 and '08. We had the worst pitching in all of baseball a lot of years, and last year we had the worst pitching in Royals history.

"All of our scouts said he was the one guy who made the most sense for us. It was eight-for-eight among our scouts. He is 28 years old. He had some success. He's entering his prime years ... I felt he really wanted to embrace being a No. 1. We didn't have a chance at [Barry] Zito, and we didn't have a chance at [Jason] Schmidt. Gil Meche was that one guy we felt had the potential to be that guy going forward for us. But obviously, we paid not for what he had done but what we thought he was going to be.

"As you know, the market had already been set at four for 40. They made it very clear what it would take for him to be a Royal. Before we're really ready to win, it might take two or three years. We knew we were going to get criticized. But our fans were happy. Our players were excited about it. And our owner was really supportive. He said, 'If you guys think he's the guy, go get 'em.'"

"There's nothing more disappointing than when people want you to get something done, and you don't do it. That's one thing I learned from [Braves GM] John Schuerholz. Get the guy. Sometimes you might overpay, but get your guy. With this job you're going to be exposed. You've got to face up to things."

Same goes for writers. It was time for me to face up to things.

Dayton Moore was 100 percent right, and I was not.

Does Boss still want clean sweep?

Yankees GM Brian Cashman made the call to fire the team's "performance enhancement" coach he hired, Marty Miller, following an unusual string of hamstring pulls and other muscle-related injuries. But George Steinbrenner, who has left baseball decisions to Cashman, as he promised, apparently wanted a clean sweep. That put interim Dana Cavalea, a longtime club employee who worked under Miller, in peril, as well.

However, two things that could still spare Cavalea: 1) the Yankees have gone Cavalea's first 12 days without a serious muscle-related injury, and 2) he's close to several players, including Alex Rodriguez.

Around the Majors

• The Cardinals are looking for help. One long-shot idea would be to take Jeff Weaver back from Seattle if the Mariners would pay much of the nearly $6 million-plus remaining this year. The Mariners obviously haven't unlocked the key to Weaver, who is 0-6, with a 14 ERA.

• Before Mets rookie Mike Pelfrey was finally sent down Sunday, execs were starting to wonder whether the Mets are so confident that they could waste games. Maybe they are that confident. And maybe they can. But they still sent down Pelfrey, who's obviously in need of seasoning.

Carlos Gomez, the Mets' just-promoted outfielder, is "faster than Reyes," one scout said admiringly.

• Hairy or hairless, the Mets are just dangerous. I loved this comment from David Newhan, son of Hall-of-Fame baseball writer Ross Newhan: "This is dumb. Can't we just wear our pants high?" Newhan went along, anyway.

• Touching blog on Michigan Live this week, from Danny Knobler of Michigan's Booth Newspapers, who wrote about Brian Bluhm, the Tigers fan who used to email in about his favorite team. Bluhm, a graduate student, was killed by the crazed shooter at Virginia Tech last month.

• Nobody needed his four-game suspension more than Scott Proctor. He's tied for the team lead in appearances with 20.

• There goes Billy Beane again. Signing up Nick Swisher for $26.75 million over five years is a hit.

• Beane still has the touch. He signs Jack Cust, a perfect A's player all along, and suddenly the guy does what folks said he could do for years. He hits five home runs in four games (and the A's score 38 runs in those games).

• New favorite name: Cardinals pitching prospect Blake Hawksworth.

• If the Brewers need offense, they could promote third-base prospect Ryan Braun. Third base is their weakest position offensively, and it will be a surprise if Braun -- a "stud," said one scout -- stays in the minors all year.

• Angels GM Bill Stoneman, talking about not wanting to rush into a foolish trade for offense, told the Orange County Register, "You know me -- I'm not going to do something for the sake of the short term that costs us in the long run." For me, the first 10 words sufficed -- You know me. I'm not going to do something ..

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