John Hart has been pretty adamant to John Schuerholz. His preference is to not be the full-time general manager for the Atlanta Braves. Schuerholz is still working on Hart, but the expectation is the Braves will have a different setup in the front office.
So is Schuerholz waiting on Hart to change his mind, even though Hart has told him he doesn't want the big job? Or is Schuerholz waiting on someone else?
Chances are Schuerholz is waiting on Dayton Moore, the general manager of the Kansas City Royals. Moore's team has an important meeting starting on Tuesday. It could last four days, maybe five, maybe six or even seven.
Moore's Royals are in the World Series, with game one against the San Francisco Giants Tuesday night in Kansas City. Nothing is going to happen until after the Royals season is over.
Why would Moore leave a team he's gotten to the World Series for the Braves? Well, as unrealistic as it may seem, it's very possible. Moore undoubtedly knows that his team has caught lightning in a bottle. The Royals may be set up for consistent success, but this much? Do we really believe, even if the Royals win, that they are going to be favorites to do this again next season?
The World Series may loosen up the purse strings a tad, but the Royals are still going to be a small market team. Their payroll will never be huge, and while the Braves are far from a large-market franchise, they'll probably have a higher payroll moving forward with the new stadium on the way.
But the biggest reason is Moore's ties to Atlanta. He spent 12 years in the Braves organization, as a scout and executive. His mentors are Schuerholz, along with Paul Snyder, the legendary scouting director for the Braves and Roy Clark, who was just brought back in the organization after five seasons away.
Schuerholz, Snyder and Clark taught Moore baseball. They taught him what he implemented in Kansas City that has his team in the World Series. Moore respects that, and there's a chance the Braves could be his "Notre Dame" job, meaning he may never leave Kansas City for another team but the Braves.
Even though the Braves have made a lot of hires for the front office, Moore would probably not bring a ton of people with him from Kansas City if he got the job. J.J. Picollo, his chief assistant, would probably replace Moore in Kansas City. Lonnie Goldberg, Moore's scouting director, might move up and be the assistant GM. Both Picollo and Goldberg were with Moore in Atlanta.
He's familiar with Fredi Gonzalez, who was the Triple-A manager when Moore was the farm director a decade ago. There are just a lot of people in place that would make the surroundings very familiar for Moore, even though he's been gone for nine years.
Moore recently attended the funeral of Jose Martinez, the beloved Braves scout who died earlier this month. Schuerholz, who spoke at the funeral, undoubtedly spoke with Moore, and even though it probably wasn't in an official capacity (since that would be tampering) you know that people talk. They just do. So don't be surprised if Schuerholz at least gauged Moore's temperature about coming home to Atlanta.
And that's what Atlanta is for Moore. Even though technically he's from the Kansas City area and went home when he got the Royals' GM job, his baseball home is with Atlanta. And until he's officially out of the picture, Moore will remain a candidate for the Braves' GM job. There are just too many connections that make it a good possibility Moore could be returning to Atlanta.
Maybe if John Coppolella, the other leading candidate, is named the GM this week we'll know Moore has either told Schuerholz to move on or he wasn't really that big of a candidate. But chances are Schuerholz is waiting o officially talk with Moore, just to see if he's interested in returning to the Braves.
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Braves obviously waiting on Dayton Moore
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