KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Behind a pair of dark sunglasses, Dayton Moore's eyes dart around a spring training practice field in sunny Surprise, Ariz., trying to take in everything happening all at once.
There's the Kansas City Royals' new-look pitching staff going through stretches on an adjacent field, and a lineup filled with promising young position players who've yet to fully live up to expectations preparing to take batting practice as the regular season draws near.
Altogether, they hold the future of the Royals in the supple leather pockets of their mitts, in what could become a make-or-break year for a franchise grown weary of losing.
"We haven't been to the playoffs since 1985," Moore says, the Royals general manager finally breaking his silence. "Absolutely, there's a sense of urgency for us to set a winning course."
More than any other reason, that's why Moore has gambled his professional future - not to mention a rebuilding project five years in the making - with a series of...