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Dayton Moore blames Kauffman Stadium for the Royals poor walk rate

Jun 20, 2013, 4:04 PM EDT

Kauffman Stadium AP

Know who walks a lot? Players with plate patience and good strike zone judgment Know who doesn’t walk a lot? Players with lousy plate patient or strike zone judgment. Both of those kinds of players are further impacted by playing for organizations which either encourage or discourage players who work the count.

Dayton Moore, general manager of the Kansas City Royals, however, thinks something else is at play with his team’s poor walk rates over the years: the ballpark:

“We have the largest ballpark in terms of square footage of any ballpark in baseball,” Moore says. “When pitchers come here, they have the mindset to use that park — put the ball in play, throw strikes, attack the zone. There isn’t the same fear factor of getting beat deep that you might have elsewhere.

“I think that plays a huge factor in that walk statistic.”

  • Kansas City Royals walks at home in 2012: 202
  • Kansas City Royals walks on the road in 2012: 202
  • Kansas City Royals walks at home in 2011: 235
  • Kansas City Royals walks on the road in 2011: 207

They had more walks on the road in 2010 than at home. They had a TON more walks at home than on the road in 2009. I’m not sure what exactly this all means, but I will say that blaming opposing pitchers’ approach at Kauffman vs. on the road doesn’t seem to carry a lot of explanatory juice.

What does is the fact that the Royals, as an organization, have never really valued players with plate discipline and have done things like sign Jeff Francoeur to multi-year deals. It’s also worth noting that back in the days of George Brett, Darryl Porter and Amos Otis, the Royals walked a lot. And played in the same ballpark.

So hey, if it makes you feel better to blame the park, Dayton, go ahead. Just please show us some evidence that the park is to blame.

  1. cohnjusack - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    The A’s also have a big ballpark, and they’re of course famous for never, ever drawing walks.

  2. Chris St. John - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    It’s statements like this that make me wonder how Dayton Moore got to be in charge of an entire major league baseball team.

    • raysfan1 - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      Steinbrenner traded him to the Royals along with George Costanza.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      The explanation made perfect sense to me. And then I looked at the numbers.

  3. mybrunoblog - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    I don’t know where I come in on the walks thing. My point is technically Calcaterra is right that it’s the same ballpark from 35 years ago. In reality with the dynamic changes made to the Kaufman stadium (playing surface, added outfield structure, fence position, and something they called increased vertical circulation) have changed the ballpark a lot.

    • jsc1973 - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      It was actually a tougher park in the Royals’ heyday, when the team played on turf. But it’s always been a good hitters’ park as long as you’re not swinging for the fences, because the hitter can pick up the ball exceptionally well against the backdrop at Kauffman. This is why so many Royals have had high batting averages in the past, and why people have had high walk totals there before.

      Yes, some pitchers might be more aggressive pitching there, because they know it’s a tough home run park, but a team of line-drive hitters will destroy you if you just try to get the ball over the plate in Kauffman. And the whole line of analysis is bogus, anyway. Studies have shown that the most important ballpark to avoid walks in is Fenway. Why? Because a walk and a high fly to left and you’re down by two runs. A walk and that same fly ball in Kauffman means one out and a runner on first.

  4. Ralph - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Trust the process, Craig.

  5. specialkindofstupid - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    So, in the past when pitchers have thrown balls three feet off the plate to Jeff Franceour, they did so because of that particular ballpark’s large square footage and not, it turns out, Franceour’s tendency to repeatedly swing at said pitches?

    Got it, Dayton. Makes total sense.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:34 PM

      Wow…that swing by Franceour really was a “specialkindofstupid.”

    • moogro - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      That will be approaching 4 feet. I don’t know how the catcher is going to catch that one.

  6. lyon810 - Jun 20, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    How is this joke for a general manager still employed??? He clearly ruined perhaps the deepest farm system ever. Astounding

  7. drewsylvania - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    He should be fired immediately for even saying this. Might be the dumbest thing ever uttered by a GM.

  8. drewsylvania - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Moore thinks the corollary to

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”


    “If it’s broke, don’t fix it either”

  9. andreweac - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Craig, how dare you question the process. Embrace it, covet it and love it.

  10. sportsdrenched - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Once again. I had to check to make sure an article with quotes from the Royals front office wasn’t an Onion peice.


  11. kiwicricket - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Rex Hudler concurred with this theory. I am willing to give Dayton the benefit of the doubt, he’s proven to be on the ball and savvy about these things in the past.

    /leaves room after running out of sarcasm

  12. tfbuckfutter - Jun 20, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    They should install a bigger home plate.

  13. 13arod - Jun 20, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    It is called plate discipline

  14. mlenenski - Jun 21, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Dayton Moore is a John Shuerholz disciple without the record. Like the rotten apple that falls too close to the tree.

    If he doesn’t like the ballpark he should change it by bringing in the fences. Then maybe his knucklehead batting coaches could teach their knucklehead players how to hit more homeruns.

    Or better yet, just make George Brett the GM.

    • jsc1973 - Jun 21, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      Make George Brett the Czar of Royals baseball. Let him do anything he wants to do and whatever he pleases. The results couldn’t be any worse, and they’d probably be a lot better.

  15. kcrobert10 - Jun 21, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    He needs to be figuring out how he is going to get Stanton from Miami or he will be on the unemployment line by September.

  16. ILoveBaseball - Jun 21, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    Hey, let’s check the facts.
    In 2013 Kauffman stadium ranked 6th from the BOTTOM in walk factor at .890 (KC plus visiting teams walks at home divided by KC plus away team walks on the road). In 2011 it ranked 3rd.
    Here’s another example of something that feels right ……… and demonstrably isn’t.

  17. peoplesrepublic0fdabayarea - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    San Jose Royals

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