When the Royals clinched their first playoff berth since 1985 with a 3-1 win over the Chicago White Sox last Friday at U.S. Cellular Field, owner and CEO David Glass was present but not much in view.
That was by design, and for a few reasons … including the prospect of getting doused in champagne.
“I did not put goggles on, and I stayed just out of reach so I didn’t get sprayed,” he said, laughing, as he stood in the home dugout before the Royals’ AL Wild Card Game against Oakland on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. “I think Dayton (Moore, the Royals’ general manager) planned on not being sprayed, but they poured it all over him.”
But Glass, 79, didn’t avoid the spotlight just to stay dry.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time; I really haven’t had anything to do with it, though,” said Glass, who was appointed interim chairman and CEO of the team upon the death of Ewing Kauffman in 1993 and acquired the team on a permanent basis in 2000.
“My son (Dan, the president) runs the team, and he and Dayton and Dayton’s people and the manager and the coaches deserve all the credit.
“They’re the ones who put the team together and assembled the players. And I get in free and get to watch the games.”
Glass considers Moore the architect of the turnaround from a franchise that lost 100 or more games four times in five years as of 2006, the summer in which Moore was hired and, not coincidentally, Glass began investing more substantially in the product.
“If you’re going to hire a general manager and give him the responsibility to do it, then stay out of it,” he said. “If I’m going to direct his activities, specifically, then you don’t need him.
“So you hire the right guy and you make it work.”
No doubt Glass considers Moore just that after he revived the once-proud franchise.
Moore is considered a possible target of his former employer, the Atlanta Braves, to fill their vacant GM job, but Moore last week told The Star’s Andy McCullough he doesn’t expect that to matter.
“It’s not like employer-employee relationships, or anything. It’s more like Dayton’s a part of the family. We’re all working together to get to the World Series. He’s got that commitment out there. I’m not concerned about that.”
His only concern on Tuesday was the game ahead.
“We’ve been a long time getting here,” he said. “And I was a Royals fan long before I got directly involved with the team, and I’ve seen the fans in Kansas City and what a great baseball town it is.
“And they deserve a winning team, and they deserve this kind of excitement. And my only hope is that we can win this game tonight and keep it going for them.”