Royals name Moore new GM

Royals name Moore new GM

OAKLAND -- After weeks of speculation, the Royals replaced general manager Allard Baird with Dayton Moore of the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

Baird, the team's general manager since 2000, was dismissed with the Royals holding the worst record in the Majors at 13-37.

Moore, 39, becomes the sixth general manager in franchise history. Neither Moore nor the Royals would reveal the length or details of his contract.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be going to Kansas City," Moore said. "Kansas City has great tradition and a great fan base. It has ownership that I believe is 100 percent committed to winning. But the most important aspect is the atmosphere it provides to raise a family. For me to grow in baseball and my family to grow and mature, it provides the perfect opportunity."

In Atlanta, asked Moore why he took the Kansas City job when other opportunities might have become available.

"There are only 30 of these jobs. You can't pick and choose. You have to be willing to take some risks and accept some challenges. I want to go there, reach my ceiling and meet the next challenge," Moore said.

"I was still undecided Monday as I was going to the ballpark. It just hit me when I pulled into the parking lot that 'this is why we do this.'"

Moore was introduced to Kansas City reporters in a conference call on Wednesday afternoon.

"If I didn't think there was a chance to win a championship in Kansas City, I wouldn't commit myself or my family to this," he said.

Currently assistant general manager of baseball operations to Atlanta's John Schuerholz, Moore has been with the Braves since 1994. Schuerholz was one of his predecessors in the Royals job from 1981 to 1990.

"We are fortunate to attract one of the brightest young minds in baseball," Royals president Dan Glass said. "Dayton comes from a winning tradition and brings tremendous experience in all aspects of baseball operations."

The Royals announced that vice president of baseball operations Muzzy Jackson would serve as interim GM until Moore takes over after next week's First-Year Player Draft.

Moore has Midwest roots -- he was born in Wichita, Kan., and is a former resident of Garden City, Kan. He lives with his wife Marianne and their three children in Duluth, Ga.

For the Braves, Moore was responsible for overseeing all aspects of scouting and player development. He has been the club's director of international scouting and director of player personnel during his career.

He's also been associated with some current Royals front-office employees, including Deric Ladnier, senior director of scouting; Brian Murphy, assistant to the general manager; Jin Wong, director of baseball operations; and Linda Smith, manager of scouting operations.

Moore is a graduate of George Mason University, where he served as assistant baseball coach from 1990 to 1994.

Baird, 44, took over the Royals' GM job on June 17, 2000, succeeding Herk Robinson. A long-time scout, Baird was instrumental in expanding the team's worldwide presence.

However, the Royals' top finish in the Baird era was third place in 2003. After that, the club lost 104 games in 2004 and a record 106 last season.

"The only thing I have to say is I have the ultimate respect for everybody in the organization," Baird said. "I want the best for the Kansas City Royals and for Kansas City."

Baird said he planned to take some unscheduled down time.

"I really don't know what I'm going to do now," he said. "Baseball has been my life. This is the first time I'm not going to be on the field at this time of the year since I was 5."

Baird was in the last year of a two-year contract extension that he signed after the successful 2003 season. He has been associated with the Royals for 18 years.

"We are grateful for Allard's long and loyal service to the Kansas City Royals," Glass said. "He has always acted with integrity and the organization's best interest at heart. We will miss Allard and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors."

Players held Baird in high regard.

"I feel bad for Allard," said pitcher Scott Elarton, whom Baird signed in the offseason. "We should have not been this way. We got off to a bad start, and it was basically our fault that he got fired. Everybody feels bad."

"He was very approachable, a good communicator -- things it's kind of hard to find in a general manager," Elarton said. "He'll be missed, but that's baseball, and I'm sure he'll tell you that himself."

Catcher John Buck, obtained by Baird in the Carlos Beltran trade, said he was shocked by the move.

"Something that everybody respected with Allard is that he was always up-front and honest with the players," Buck said. "What a good general manager he was -- it's kind of tough to see him go."

First baseman Matt Stairs said he was disappointed by Baird's departure.

"I've been here three years now. He brought me here. It's not just a baseball relationship but a friends' relationship," Stairs said. "Not only was he a good general manager but he turned out to be a very good friend."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.