OTC: Has Ned Yost Earned His Repuation As A Baseball Dunce Or Our Respect?

hosmer“Ned Yost and Buck Showalter: The Dunce and the Chessmaster”
Headline, Wall Street Journal GH: Ned Yost is what the back of his baseball card says he is – a guy who this Royals team is going to have to win in spite of his gaffs. There are those who continue to support Ned Yost. I believe many of them do so because they root for the Royals and bristle at any criticism leveled at their manager, players or organization…or their radio station happens to own the radio rights to Royals’ broadcasts. The national media is not bound by those biases. Read on.

“Flying in the face of the prevailing industry trend, Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost are making for must-see TV. And they are doing so for completely opposite reasons. … In Kansas City, Yost has become baseball’s accidental millionaire. His moves have backfired so often that fans have coined a new adjective to describe the Royals when they are doomed by one of them: ‘Yosted.’ And yet, Yost is the first manager of a Royals playoff team since 1985. … But if the Orioles make a run to the World Series, they will do so partly because of Showalter. If the Royals play deep into October, they may do so partly in spite of Yost. And that isn’t boring at all.” Brian Costa, writer, Wall Street Journal

“I think (the dunce label) just flat-out disrespectful.”
Henry Lake, 610 AM
GH: Of course it is disrespectful! Was Milwaukee being respectful when they fired Yost with his team in first place during a late-season pennant run? Respect is overrated. It is simply how someone views another. Get over it.

“The coming ALCS is, being kind, a managerial mismatch. On the one hand is Showalter, who has been the singular driving force behind the Baltimore renaissance, who has managed to shrug off brutal losses to a third of his regular lineup – Matt Wieters, Manny Machado, Chris Davis – and does something every game that puts the O’s in position to win. On the other is Ned Yost, once fired with less than two weeks to go in a season when his Brewers were in first place, and that may seem like a harsh sentence unless you watch Yost work every day. Put it this way: There are more than a few Mets fans whose eyes are scarred from watching Terry Collins grapple with The Book and other daily items of managerial whim. Collins, who is a fine day-to-day keeper of clubhouses, is less proficient at the in-game moments that occur every day. And Yost makes Collins look like Muggsy McGraw.”
Mike Vaccaro, sports columnist, New York Post

“This (Royals) team wasn’t so ridiculously talented that they could win despite their manager. When the Royals eventually lose, they’ll blame it on Yost and that’s the easy way to do it and go about it.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: The easy thing to do now that the Royals are in the ALCS is to overlook Yost’s poor record on managerial decisions and bury your head under a Royals blue blanket. The difficult thing to do (especially for the local media) is to buck the wave of euphoria that is washing over Royals Nation and continue to point out that this team has succeeded despite Yost. I am all for doing things the easy way but the media is not allowed the luxury to be swept up like a fan and forget to execute their jobs.

“Only … look who’s still playing. And look who’s still managing.  If Showalter were playing Yost in chess, the Orioles would be the no-brainer pick (especially since poor Ned would probably think they were playing checkers). … But it’s not chess. It’s not football. It’s baseball. The O’s get a huge checkmark in that box. They’ll still need a little more than that.”
Mike Vaccaro, sports columnist, New York Post

“Is it really too difficult to give him credit? The dunce has won four straight playoff games with really a team that doesn’t have playoff experience.”
Jay Binkley, refuting Yost’s critics, 610 AM
GH: There is no conspiracy to discredit Yost. It simply is popular opinion.

“The ALCS opener will be at Camden Yards and will feature a Cinderella opponent from just outside the Land of Oz because of factors that cannot be appraised with the usual baseball metrics. Call it karma or mojo or the most overused word in the sports lexicon — destiny. There’s going to be at least one team in the World Series this year that will have no logical explanation for its presence on baseball’s biggest stage.”
Peter Schmuck, sports columnist, Baltimore Sun
GH: The Orioles won 96 games and won the AL East by 12 games. They led MLB in homers. They have Buck Showalter as their manager. There is plenty of logic to think the Orioles should represent the AL in the World Series. Eric Hosmer hit nine home runs this season and he is on the cover of SI this week. Do not even try to make sense of this game called baseball.

“I just think this (Royals team) is a team of destiny.”
Mike Boddicker, the former Orioles and Royals pitcher, 810 AM

“The only question is what happens when an unstoppable intangible force meets an irresistible intangible object. The Royals have it going on, too. They’re a good team with a lot of measurable things going for them, but they stole that victory in the wild-card round, and they found all sorts of ways to confound the winningest team in baseball in their AL Division Series. They have good starting pitching and a super bullpen. The Orioles have good starting pitching and great relief. The Royals led the major leagues in stolen bases, but hit the fewest home runs. The Orioles led the majors in home runs, but they had the fewest stolen bases. It’s hard to separate them on paper, so the best-of-seven ALCS may come down to who has The Force with them.”
Peter Schmuck, sports columnist, Baltimore Sun

“I’m the luckiest guy alive. I see ISIS is out there cutting people’s heads off. The real world has got some major problems, some major problems, and we’re just so doggone lucky to be coaching and playing a sport, and being criticized for not getting a call made with a couple seconds left in the game or being criticized for not catching a dead pig with air in it. So to me, life’s pretty damn good and I’m so lucky to be having to field these types of questions.” Scott Shafer, Syracuse head football coach, after the Orange lost 28-6 to Louisville Saturday
GH: Every coach, manager and front office heavy needs to read Shafer’s quote before every press conference – and then do their jobs with the understanding they are darn lucky to be paid so handsomely to be critiqued.

“A 19-year-old Ken Griffey, Jr is exactly the way Lorenzo Cain is playing right now. He’s a game changer. He’s really had a chance to show what he can do because he’s healthy. I know that’s kind of a hefty comparison with him and Junior but the way he’s playing right now, he’s at that level.”
Rusty Kuntz, talking to Bob Fescoe and Josh Klingler Wednesday, about the Royals center fielder, 610 AM
GH: Cain has given us glimpses of greatness since he arrived from the Brewers via the Zack Greinke trade but his oft-injured career has yet to really take off. Maybe it just did against the Angels. Confidence is a magical weapon in athletics – and Cain and his Royals seem to be swimming in an ocean of that elixir.

“It’s great to get hot during the playoffs. He must be feeling really comfortable right now.” Cal Ripken, on Mike Moustakas’ playoff run, TBS
GH: Moose hit .212 for the season with 15 homers. He is batting ninth for the Royals in the postseason. This is not how Moose’s career was supposed to go. He doesn’t look like Buddy Biancalana but he has a chance to be Buddy Biancalana over the next three weeks.  

“After it was all said and done (and Billy Butler had stolen second), Albert (Pujols) gave me the raised eyebrows like he really did go.”
Rusty Kuntz, on how The Angels’ first baseman reacted to Butler’s stealing second Sunday, 610 AM

“Thou shalt not steal. Unless you are Billy Butler.”
Sign out front of Asbury United Methodist Church on Nall

and @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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67 Responses to OTC: Has Ned Yost Earned His Repuation As A Baseball Dunce Or Our Respect?

  1. KCdan says:

    We got LoCain from the Brewers.

    We have definitely had a really good season in spite of Ned, but this next series has me worried. He’s gonna do something stupid.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Thanks for the fix, Dan.

      • Frank says:

        We get it Greg, you want the Royals to lose so you can have the real fix of being able to say “I told you so” instead of KCDan’s fix which at this point is wishful thinking. Please just have the balls to say “I want the Royals to lose” instead of pussyfooting around it

        • Java Man says:

          We get it Greg, you want the Royals to lose so you can have the real fix of being able to say “I told you so”

          Absolutely, 100%. He has it written already.

  2. Matt says:


    Milwaukee was not in first place when Yost was fired. The Cubs nearly led that division from wire to wire. They won the division by 7 games. Milwaukee played very well in August that year, including a 9 game winning streak but barely made a dent in the Cubs lead because they were just better that year.

    Not defending Yost; not a fan of his, but let’s set the record straight here. They were challenging for the wild card, and the wild card only.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Matt, You are correct and I have updated my post. His Brewers were tied for the WC lead and 16 games over .500 w/ 12 games left in the season when the Brewers fired Yost. Interesting note is that the Brewers replaced Ned with David Sveum, the Royals current hitting coach.

      • Matt says:

        Very ironic indeed. Was talking to a Cubs fan today at work about that, and they don’t have many nice things to say about Sveum either. :)

      • Kyle says:

        Just a question…how have things worked out for the Brewers since then?

        • Kyle R says:

          Well, let’s see, they made it to the 2011 NLCS and lost to the Cardinals in 6. They led their division this year for 150 days before having an epic collapse that may cost Ron Roenicke his job, though nobody expected them to be anywhere near the division crown this year, so I’d say it’s gone pretty well. The Brewers are going on 10 years of consistent contention with a farm system similar to the Royals’ Gordon/Hosmer/Moose/etc. group, so let’s see how the Royals are in 2018 or so and compare.

          • Kyle Fan says:

            You tell ‘em, Kyle! I mean, the Brewers have finished 3rd or 4th and pretty far out of contention all of the years outside of 2011, but they did have that one year. And I still love you.

          • Kyle says:

            Kyle R, they had one good year, the one you mentioned. Also prior to that year, they got Grienke, while losing Cain, Escobar, and Odorizzi (AKA Wade Davis) who have become a major part of the foundation for the Royals. They no longer have Grienke and like you said, made an epic collapse this year. So with one truly successful year out of 6, I would say it has not gone so well. We will see how the Royals are down the road, but so far with Ned, they have been consistently climbing in the right direction.

      • Stringer Pete says:

        Once again, that’s Dale Sveum.

  3. Johnny Midnyte says:

    Ned Yost is Greg Hall’s white whale. Facts mean little in this narrative dumpster fire.

  4. Danny says:

    Greg, somebody finally brought up Denny Matthews’ lack of excitement on the playoff broadcasts during Petro’s 10 a.m. hour. Worth a transcribe if you heard it.

  5. Jim says:

    I’m not the biggest Yost fan by any stretch. But, you HAVE to give credit where it’s due. He’s lead a small-market team to the most wins in the last 25 years. He’s won 4 straight playoff games doing it “his” way. Not to mention SWEEPING the team with the best record in baseball. Criticize any decision you want. Say the Royals have won in SPITE of Yost. Say he’s lucky. Whatever. The only thing that matters is WINS. The players play. THEY are the ones that make the manager look like a genius or a goat.

    Showalter was fired by the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Rangers. 2 of the 3 went on to win the WS the next year after he was fired. The media’s tongue bath of Showalter is ridiculous. He intentionally walks the go-ahead run and puts his closer in the 6th inning. Both worked out and he’s a genius. Yost brings Tim Collins to pitch to Hamilton and THAT works out. Everybody screams that it was a stupid move even though it worked.

    For me, I’m enjoying the living hell out of baseball in October after a 29 year slumber. I’ll give Yost the benefit of the doubt that he knows his team just a TAD better than I do.

    • FJH says:

      Amen. Eff the East Coast media, they don’t know anything about the Royals. It’s time to get behind this team (warts and all). We have what we have. There are going to be great/bad plays, ups/downs, ENJOY THE RIDE!

    • Joe Blow says:

      Not only has Showalter been fired multiple times, but it’s taken him a few years each time to find another position. He’s been mentioned multiple times whenever the Royals (or other teams) have an opening at manager, and passed up pretty often. If he was such a genius, why wasn’t he snapped up immediately? He’s like those kickers in the NFL that are decent enough, but that teams only pick up for a year or two when they can’t find any better options..

    • Kyle says:

      100% dead on Jim.

  6. Java Man says:

    “The difficult thing to do (especially for the local media) is to buck the wave of euphoria that is washing over Royals Nation and continue to point out that this team has succeeded despite Yost. I am all for doing things the easy way but the media is not allowed the luxury to be swept up like a fan and forget to execute their jobs.”

    Full of yourself much, Greg? Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is admit that you are wrong.

  7. Joe Blow says:

    I am all for doing things the easy way but the media is not allowed the luxury to be swept up like a fan and forget to execute their jobs.

    The easy way is to blame Yost for everything that goes wrong. It’s been happening for years. So at least you’re honest about being all for doing things the easy way..

  8. Alphonse Tooty says:

    Blah, blah, blah. Another day another round of Yost-bashing. Meanwhile, the Royals are four wins away from a World Series and I-70 Series II is a distinct possibility. But let’s hammer away at Yost some more, shall we? Is there any wonder why Greg was an utter failure at holding a job in the sports media?

  9. Cletus Frade says:

    Sports talkers and media types in KC for years have shouted from the rooftops that baseball managers are irrelevant and their decisions only affect the outcome of 3-4 games a year. Of course, this is nonsense but it seems quite hypocritical for all the local experts to be so concerned about how Ned Yost will be the downfall of the Royals. You can’t have it both ways. The truth is, baseball managers’ decisions affect the outcome of their team’s games about 155 games a year, if not all of them.

  10. FJH says:

    At this point, it doesn’t matter what the media and fans think about Yost. For whatever reason, the team is ready to run through a brick wall for the guy and that is what matters right now. In the end, the performance of the players is what will determine the outcome of the games. No amount of bitching is going to get Yost to change, so what is the point?

  11. Joe Blow says:

    Oh, I forgot:

    Talking shit about Ned Yost? Check!
    Backhanded swipes about the Royals chances? Check!
    A bunch of quotes regarding the supposed mismatch the Royals are facing? Check!

    Looks like another ALCS week OTC update!

    • Java Man says:

      The transformation is complete. Greg has at long last has become a little Kietzman. I’m thinking his move to Kansas is what pushed him over the top.

  12. Paul says:

    Come on Greg. Why the venom? Everybody thinks they’re smarter than Ned, but how many of us were yelling for the Royals to dump Shields at the trading deadline? How many people were saying it was time to bench Moose in favor of Valencia? How many people were saying that Hosmer needed to go to the bench when he returned from the DL and leave Butler at first? How many people were pushing for Aoki to be benched?

    Ned may not be a great tactical manager, but he was the right person to bring this team of youngsters along. He stayed positive through the bad times, and we all know there were plenty of bad times. I wasn’t a Ned supporter for a long time, but by golly, he got my favorite team to the playoffs.

    • Kyle R says:

      Lotta good points here and in Jim’s earlier comment. I’m pre-disposed to not think much of Ned, being a Brewers fan first and Royals fan second, but it’s hard to argue with these points. Bringing Ventura in as a relief pitcher in the WC game was awful but they got past it and, since then, he’s pushed all the right buttons at least.

    • Joe Blow says:

      It’s the same reason why Royals message board people still have a hard time saying anything good about the front office or manager. Why people like Rany — who has repeatedly railed against the Shields trade for two years now — can’t admit that all of the players the Rays got have been below average so far without 96 caveats about how he was actually right. It’s easy for people to complain along with the majority, but hard to acknowledge that they were mostly just complaining because a lot of other people were, too..

      • Steve says:

        Actually, Rany has admitted he was wrong about trade. Lots of people have. And while Myers was hurt and didn’t have a good year, Odorizzi was pretty solid and showed his upside this year so I wouldn’t say all the players have been below average. Not to mention, Myers won the ROY last season. I’ve always leaned toward the positive side of the trade but let’s not act like Odorizzi was some hack and Myers hasn’t shown promise.

        • Joe Blow says:

          It doesn’t count when you’re extremely negative for two years, then, like, “Whoops, I might have been wrong!” With a bunch of reasons why you probably weren’t.

          Myers won ROY with a good half season, but according to the numbers this year, both Myers and Odorizzi were below average. Yeah, they have potential, but every Major Leaguer does..

          • Steve says:

            That’s fair, although I think a lot of people had the opinion of “If we make the playoffs, the trade paid off”, which I think he had that feeling. But the incessant complaining of it was a bit much at times. At the same time, I’d rather he and others admit they were wrong then continue to bash it, but whatever.

            And I wouldn’t agree that EVERY major leaguer has potential, at least not the same potential. Myers has more potential to be a star than, say, Lane Adams. And Odorizzi has the potential to be a No. 3 starter, which is very valuable. That’s my point. Those guys have shown the ability to be very good, granted in short stints. And I’d say Odorizzi’s season was better than below average. I know the ERA+ was below 100 but just looking at his numbers (less than a hit per 9, more than K per 9, for example) and see that he had a bad finish to the season, I think he’s an interesting pitcher for the next few years. Hopefully, the likes of Zimmer and Finnegan will produce for the Royals and it won’t matter.

  13. The Independent Rage says:

    Mike Vaccaro should realize that the problem with Yost is not that he would fail to realize there was a chess match going on with Showalter, but rather that Yost would go to the bullpen for Bruce Chen or Ventura on two days rest once the match started to tire Yost out.

  14. randyraley says:

    Proud of the Royals and Cardinals. I can’t laugh hard enough at the national media who basically gave Kershaw a hand job for the last two weeks and all the way into the 7th inning of yesterday’s game. Fox network executives are no pulling out their hair at this. How refreshing to see the Missouri teams go 6-1 against the LA mega teams. I love this time of year, even moreso now.

  15. Steve says:

    I don’t understand the people saying Yost doesn’t deserve criticism. For the most part, he’s not a very good in-game, tactical manager. He does some mind-boggling things. I also don’t think he’s the dunce people make him out to be. I think what he deserves the most credit for is how much the team seems to genuinely like him and want to win for him. He appears to have the respect of the clubhouse and that means something. The man has his flaws and it’s OK to admit that.

    • Kyle says:

      Who said he doesn’t deserve criticism? What people are saying is that folks like Greg refuse to give him any credit at all, mainly it seems, because he is surly with the media. Is there a thinner skinned group than the sports media in KC? If there is, I have not seen it.

      • nick says:

        Les Norman was on the radio yesterday and said had he had a few big names in baseball tell him off the record that there was a near 100& certainty Ned Yost would have been fired after the Oakland game if not for the improbably Royals come back, down 7-3 in the 8th.

        And he would have deserved it.

        The team won the game. The players’ confidence soared and continues to soar. Ned benefits. Ned WILL be back next year. If he wins the ALCS, he may get a 5 year contract.

        • nick says:

          Er, eliminate the first “had”, the ampersand should be a % sign, and it should say “improbable”. (Forgot to proofread)

        • david says:

          The only ‘big name’ that matters is GMDM. No way GMDM fires Yost after the Oakland game, win or lose.

        • Joe Blow says:

          If a team is willing to fire or extend a manager based on one game, they truly don’t understand how baseball works.

          *cue the “Royals don’t understand baseball” comments*

          • KV says:

            It wouldn’t have been based on one game. It would have capped off a September of idiotic in game moves during the middle of a pennant chase during a self proclaimed “all in” year. Pinch hitting Ibanez with Butler and Cain on the bench? Using Crow instead of a rested Hererra or Davis merely because it was the 6th inning? Having your hottest hitter bunt so you can have a match-up of Willingham or an arctic cold Gordon v Scherzer with runners in scoring position? The base running fiasco with Butler in the first inning of the A’s game (which was far more egregious than the Ventura move)? The list goes on and on. Yost absolutely deserves credit for helping to maintain a stable close-knit clubhouse, but please, let’s stop acting like he’s some kind of baseball savant.

            • david says:

              Yep, Fire Ned and loose the team next year. That would be a worse decision than running Billy against Oakland.

            • Joe Blow says:

              Pinch hitting Ibanez with Butler and Cain on the bench?

              If Yost had pinch-hit either of them, it would have been, “Pinch hitting right-handed batters against a righty with LH options on the bench?”

              Using Crow instead of a rested Hererra or Davis merely because it was the 6th inning? 

              Yost gave kind of a bullshit answer to stupid questions after using Crow didn’t work, but the bullpen is more than 3 guys. You can’t just keep using the same guys night after night.

              Having your hottest hitter bunt so you can have a match-up of Willingham or an arctic cold Gordon v Scherzer with runners in scoring position?

              And, if Aoki doesn’t move the runner, it would be, “Yost doesn’t even understand how to move runners against a former Cy Young winner when runs are at a premium.” I mean, earlier this year, a lot of fans wanted Aoki off the team. Then, all of the sudden, he’s an untouchable hitter.

              The base running fiasco with Butler in the first inning of the A’s game

              Butler fucked that one up. Lester hadn’t thrown to first base all season. The same play had worked earlier in the year. If Butler did it right, he’s either going to steal second, or the Royals would have had a run. You know, except for Yost fucking it up..

              • KV says:

                A) 42 year old player/coach Ibanez shouldn’t have been near an MLB stadium much less batting with two out in the bottom of the ninth with the winning runs on base against a team you’re allegedly battling in a pennant chase. I don’t give a shit what the pitching match-up was.

                B) That game was played on 9/14. Herrera and Davis pitched previously on 9/10.

                C) As Yost is fond of saying, you go with the hot hand. Well, with the exception of Moose. And apparently Aoki!

                D) That’s a call play from the dugout…that you usually use out of desperation, not with two out in the first inning of an elimination game when runs may be at a premium. Wrong play at the wrong time.

                • Steve says:


                  Thanks for responding so I didn’t have to. The Crow decision especially is not defensible.

                  And back to my earlier point, OK, maybe people aren’t saying he doesn’t deserve criticism (although that’s how I’m reading several of the comments on this thread), but I do find it interesting that so many people have turned into staunch Ned defenders now that we’re winning. Funny how that works. Honestly, just goes to show how the manager gets too much blame when we’re losing and too much credit when we’re winning.

    • Alphonse Tooty says:

      Crticism is warranted. Calling for Yost to be fired before the season was finished is over-the-top stupid. But, that’s Greg and he’s proud of it.

  16. david says:

    Ned stays the course, keeping the team focused on today’s game while forgetting yesterday’s game. Greg and his crew want a Billy Martin yeller and screamer that gets performance from fear. Anyone who has worked in any organization knows that Martin’s way will work short-term, Yost’s way will work long term.

    Like was said above, this team respects him and will run through a brick wall for him. Isn’t that what you want from your leader?

  17. Mysterious.j says:

    Wait, there are people who still take Greg’s baseball opinions seriously after he suggested moving Billy Butler to the outfield?!?!

  18. Merle Tagladucci says:

    QUICK QUESTION: Who shuffled the lineup that got ended up getting hot these past 2 weeks? Just curious. Who put Escobar in the leadoff spot, Aoki #2, Cain #3 and so on…? Who’s been leaning heavily on the rookie Brandon Finnegan in the playoffs, only to be rewarded for the leap of faith?

    Ned has a lot of faults but if that’s all you focus on, you’re a moron.

  19. Herb says:

    If Yost played chess against Buck he’d intentionally lose his Queen early just to try and prove he can win without it.

  20. JB says:

    Once I heard that Ol Ned was a big, big stock car fan that was all I needed to know. It’s one thing when your driving them but when you’re just watching them turn left for 3+ hours you are somewhat limited. Let Ned Go. Let My Ned Gooooo!

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