On Monday I wrote about how Kila Ka'aihue was not being used appropriately by the Royals and then three days later manager Trey Hillman is fired. Coincidence?
Actually, Trey Hillman and I have crossed paths before. Many, many years ago I was the official scorer for the Greensboro Bats minor league team while Hillman was manager there. He was a very pleasant, quiet individual who rarely had anything to say to me and rarely complained. Not the case with his vociferous pitching coach Juan Nieves who would call up to the press box after almost every game to ask how many earned runs his pitchers had given up and requesting explanations on how I came up with that number and why I didn't score more balls as errors. Good times.
A couple years ago I was director of research for a firm and I had thought that I had sort of reached my pinnacle as a statistician after some wanderings. At this point Hillman had just been hired by the Royals for his first major league job, the pinnacle of his profession, after having wandered. It felt like we were tied together in a way. I was downsized and became a librarian and now Hillman will also be looking for another job. My guess is he will take a major league coaching job somewhere for a while. I think he's too young to be done managing and he has been successful in the minors and in Japan but teams will be a little gunshy based on the Royals lack of success with him (or anyone) at the helm.
I wish Hillman the best of luck and hope that Ned Yost finds a way to get Kila into the lineup more.