Friday, October 19, 2007

Sports - Royals Hire Hillman to Manage

I don't know what a Ham Fighter is, but there are several things I like about this hire.

1.) We may have actually beat out the Yankees on getting this guy. It always feels good to beat the Yanks.

2.) Beyond the track record of success, there are stories about Hillman being able to adapt his style to the players he has. He went to Japan as a walks and homers guy, and found out he had a speed team, so made it work with good pitching and defense.

3.) It's nice to have the team do something a little out of the box. Rather than hire another retread manager, they went and got a guy who is on his way up.

Hillman may eventually crash and burn, but it's better than watching Buddy Bell get burned night in and night out when you already KNEW he was going to struggle because that's how it had been the time before and the time before that.
clipped from www.kansascity.com
Trey Hillman, manager of the Japan Series champion Nippon Ham Fighters, will be the next Royals manager.

Hillman interviewed last year with Texas, San Diego and Oakland after leading the Fighters to their first title in 44 years. He managed 11 years in the Yankees’ minor-league system before heading to Japan.

That connection to the Yankees prompted the Royals to accelerate their negotiations Thursday after New York’s managerial job came open when Joe Torre rejected a one-year extension offer.

“He’s won at every level of the minor leagues,” Moore said. “He’s been manager of the year at every level. He took a team over there in Japan that had never won and in year No. 4, they won the Japan series.

“This year, they’re back in the Japan series with a team that’s last in basically every offensive category.”

Hillman becomes the 15th full-time manager in the club’s 40-year history.

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