The Kansas City Royals have decided to cut their losses early in the season and fire manager Trey Hillman.
With the firing, Hillman is the first to go in the 2010 Major League Baseball Season.
In his place will be Ned Yost taking over at the helm.
“I love Trey Hillman, I love him as a … ,” said Royals General Manager Dayton Moore “Obviously, it’s a very difficult decision. The process is very difficult, relationships that are formed are very strong, but at the end of the day we’ve got to make decisions that are best for our baseball team and our organization long-term and that’s the conclusion that we made.”
Hillman spent 12 years for the New Yankees in their organization and at one point was up for consideration as a manager in waiting for the club. He won a couple manager of the year titles when in the minor leagues.
Hillman’s first season with Kansas City was in 2008, where the team compiled a 75-87 record. In 2009, the Royals dipped to nearly losing 100 games, going 65-97.
Entering 2010, the expectation for this Kansas City team were loftier, as they possessed the 2009 Cy Young Award winner in Zack Greinke.
However, the team struggled from the start in 2010, as Greinke did not earn a win until this past Thursday. Hillman was fired with the team at 12-23 on the year.
“Ned, obviously, has been through what we’re going through today,” Moore remarked. “A lot of similarities to Trey, actually, as far as the energy, the relational skills that he has with people, somebody who knows our system.”
The Royal locker room was somber upon learning the news of their manager’s fate.
“This game is a roller coaster, but the one thing that stayed consistent over the last couple of years was his character, the way he approached us every single day,” said pitcher Brian Bannister said. “I know he gave 100 percent to us all the time. He was a man I was proud to play underneath. He was a man I looked up to.”
In his last game as manager, the Royals won for their manager, 6-4.
“It’s on your mind because you don’t ever have a guarantee that you’re going to be in a dugout again, much less a major league dugout,” Hillman after the game. “I was very appreciative of getting a chance to be in the dugout, but I had to keep reminding myself stop thinking about what you’ve got to cover after the game, you’ve still got a game to manage. It was pretty challenging, but the goal was achieved.”
Online Sportsbooks have the Royals well back from the contenders in the American League to win the 2010 World Series.