Royals built to be a perennial contender
Owner Glass hails Moore for bringing sustained success to KC
KANSAS CITY -- When Dayton Moore was hired as general manager of the Royals in 2006, he pledged to build a franchise that eventually would be a perennial contender.
And that time has arrived, as the Royals beat the Astros, 7-2, on Wednesday in Game 5 of the American League Division Series and advanced to the AL Championship Series for the second straight season.
"When we hired Dayton, that was the plan all along," owner David Glass said as Salvador Perez sprayed him with champagne inside the Royals' clubhouse. "We weren't interested in just getting there one year and not getting back.
"That required a lot of patience on his part, along with [club president] Dan [Glass], despite the criticism to the contrary from some people in the media. He stood in there and built something that is here to last."
The Royals will open the ALCS at Kauffman Stadium against the Blue Jays on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX.
"This should be a very interesting series," Glass said. "I'm very proud of the way these guys hung in there this season and fought back in this series. I was in Houston, and I saw the looks on the faces of those fans when we came back, and hopefully, we can keep coming back."
Moore generally prefers to deflect any praise regarding the club's ascension to the league's elite, but his offseason signings of Alex Rios (two hits, two RBIs) and Kendrys Morales (three-run homer), and his non-waiver Trade Deadline deals for Johnny Cueto (eight innings, two runs) and Ben Zobrist (sacrifice fly) helped catapult the Royals over the Astros on Wednesday and into the ALCS.
"Just a credit to our scouts, and they get the credit for recommending them," Moore said. "And then the players themselves get credit for going out and performing.
"The truth is, they blend in well with the other guys in that clubhouse. And it's an environment created by the core group of guys and [manager] Ned [Yost] and the coaching staff that allows them to succeed."
Moore became a bit emotional as he talked about this year's team, which won its first divisional title in 30 years.
"It's a special group of guys that has a great passion for the game and for each other," Moore said. "You can tell the way they play for each other. There's a commitment there.
"They love playing for one another and for the city. I can't say enough about them."
And next up are the Blue Jays, who won an emotional Game 5 over the Rangers on Wednesday in Toronto. The Jays-Royals matchup will be a rematch of the 1985 ALCS, which Kansas City won in seven games.
"We're hungry, and they're hungry," said Hall of Famer and Royals vice president George Brett. "Should be a good series."
Brett hasn't been to Toronto since 1993, when he threw out the first pitch in a World Series game between the Blue Jays and Phillies.
"It's always been one of my favorite cities," Brett said. "Can't wait to get back."