OTC: Ned Yost Picks Slumping Vargas To Start In LA And KC Media Rushes To Defend His Every Mistake

“In his last four starts, (Jason Vargas) has given up 18 earned runs in 18 innings.”
Steve St. John, 810 AM
GH: Vargas is 0-3 in his last four starts. Sounds like the perfect guy to gamble your team’s playoff chances with – if you’re named Ned Yost. This is just another dumb decision by Yost that we are forced to sit by and watch and hope that it doesn’t play out like common sense says it will.

“It’s a lot of trust put in me, so I feel good about it.”
Jason Vargas, on being named the starting pitcher by Ned Yost for the Royals opening game in the best-of-five playoff series with the Angels, MLB.com
GH: Vargas had a nice season for the Royals and he looks like a reliable number three or four starter for the Royals next season. But he is leaking fluids down the stretch like a jetliner forced to crash land. He has no business starting any playoff games where there is another option. Let’s just hope Yost’s moronic move to pitch Ventura on one day’s rest hasn’t ruined the rookie for the postseason.

“I’m optimistic that Ventura will pitch well. I’m not expecting it.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: What the hell does that mean? Petro might want to look up the definitions of the words optimistic and expecting.

“Did you hear the idiocy from KK? He was reporting about the Twitter interaction between @TheRealJGuts and @McCulloughStar? He thought the interaction was literal, and that if Guts was confused about who was pitching the rest of the staff must be too. Even for KK it was embarrassing”
Trent, @TMTraughber, Twitter
GH: When I heard KK say that Guthrie was “confused” about what his role would be in the postseason, I thought Kietzman was referring to comments the Royals pitcher must have made during an interview or press conference. No. It was a tongue-in-cheek tweet by Guthrie to McCullough that was obvious to anyone with a sense of humor…or anyone not trying to create controversy that doesn’t exist for their four-hour radio show. See below for the tweet that KK turned into confusion.

“@McCulloughStar Do you know when I pitch?”
Jeremy Guthrie, @TheRealGuts, in a tweet to the KC Star’s beat writer after McCullough had listed some pitching decisions reported by the Royals, Twitter

“You can hammer on Ned all you want but you know what? Nobody in that game (Tuesday night) was more important than Ned.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: What is with all the Kansas City media who seem to be hell bent on defending Ned Yost? Does Yost have to send Billy Butler to the plate without a bat for these guys to declare him incompetent? Read on.

“At least he had a plan.”
Danny Parkins, on Yost’s decision to bring in Ventura in the sixth Tuesday after having started in Chicago on Sunday, 610 AM
GH: AT LEAST HE HAD A PLAN??? Is this the new height of the bar for a manager making millions of dollars a year? Andy Reid had a plan against the Titans in the Chiefs opener but no one was applauding him for having it. The Raiders had a plan. Jimmy Carter had a plan. Having a plan doesn’t cut it.

“I know that I come off as a Ned apologist at times but I’m not! I’ll give you five ex-major leaguers who will tell you off the record that Seitzer blows (as a hitting coach).”
Soren Petro, on the criticism that Yost has taken over firing Seitzer as the Royals hitting coach, 810 AM
GH: Yeah, and the hitting coaches that have all replaced Seitzer have been wonderful.

“Warts and all, Royals have won with Ned Yost, not despite him.”
Headline in the Kansas City Star for Vahe Gregorian’s column on Yost
GH: I read Gregorian’s schmaltzy, warm-and-fuzzy, nuzzle-job of a column on Yost and it made me a bit ill to think this columnist represents Kansas City. This was as apologetic as a high school newspaper column written by a coach’s kid. And that is likely a disservice to high school journalists everywhere. This one made we want The Star to put their paywall back up. Here’s a link if you have the stomach.

“At times, the criticism of Yost borders on hysterical.”
Vahe Gregorian, Kansascity.com
GH: I resemble that remark…and take great pride in it. Yost has proven to all that he is a tactical nightmare waiting to blow up in the face of all who care about the Royals. He is a dinosaur who managed to escape the Ice Age.

“(Criticism directed at Yost) is often unreasonable, perhaps in part because he seems ill-tempered if you don’t spend time with him … and don’t see a personality that some of us are partial to.”
Vahe Gregorian, Kansascity.com
GH: What does it matter to fans and readers what kind of personality Yost brings to Gregorian and his chums in lighter moments? Gregorian is partial to Ned? All the more reason to avoid what he writes about the man.

“When Yost retrieved Ventura, the boos were of such a fury that many no doubt wanted him fired on the spot. His explanation afterward did little to justify the decision.”
Vahe Gregorian, Kansascity.com
GH: Gregorian listed many of the YostBuster moves that the Royals skipper used to sabotage his team but Gregorian STILL thinks we should overlook these blunders because the team has won. In fact, Gregorian lists far more reasons to back up claims that Yost is a buffoon. But I guess he wants us to applaud him for wearing a uniform to each game.  

“Some suggest that the Royals overcame not only the A’s but Yost to do so, just as some believe the Royals are in this position despite Yost. Neither, though, is true. Yost, to be sure, is an imperfect manager, which is a fine match for what general manager Dayton Moore calls ‘not a perfect baseball team.’ But he’s certainly no dope, even if it’s become sport to suggest that.”
Vahe Gregorian, Kansascity.com
GH: Then Gregorian cuts to the chase…

“Yost makes some baffling decisions, yes. And don’t we all?”
Vahe Gregorian, Kansascity.com GH: These two sentences were written by a big city columnist about the city’s MLB team. The 29 years of wandering the MLB playoff desert is bad. Writing like this is worse.

“Oh, Ned Yost was getting fired. And I was not the only one in the press box thinking that. I have a feeling that some of the words I was going to use will be written and reused at some time.”
Jeff Passan, MLB writer for YahooSports.com, when asked by Danny Parkins what his game story was going to be had the Royals lost to Oakland Tuesday night, 610 AM

“Ned Yost is the worst tactical manager in baseball.”
Keith Law, MLB analyst and writer for ESPN, 810 AM
GH: It seems we need to step back from the BBQ to get an accurate view of Ned Yost’s work in Kansas City.

“I’m just glad everybody else was happy with the call and that’s good enough for me. … If I listen to it I’ll find nine things I didn’t like about it. It’ll just sort of ruin it for me. … I appreciate you honoring my request.”
Ryan Lefebvre, who stipulated to The Drive that he did not want them to replay his play-by-play of Sal Perez’s game-winning hit Tuesday night while he was on their show Tuesday, 610 AM
GH: I do not understand those who cannot objectively evaluate their own work – or worse yet are afraid to even review it. We all have our demons but a broadcaster who refuses to listen to his work is doomed to repeat what he doesn’t know he’s doing wrong.

“I understand being critical of your own work, but we’ve never had a request like that from a radio person before.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: Whitlock told me once he keeps a stash of his old columns under his bed and every once in a while he will pull one out for a good chuckle or to make him feel good about his talent. I think that’s healthy. Confidence is a beautiful thing if you choose a profession in the public eye. Playing scared is not.

“We talk to Denny (Matthews) every Monday and he is so unbelievably matter-of-fact. I turned around and looked up to the radio booth (at The K) to see Denny (Tuesday night). I wanted to see if there was any emotion. I saw one time he was just sitting back with his hands behind his head and I wondered if that was a ‘Wow, I can’t believe this moment,’ or he was stretching his arms. I wasn’t really sure.”
Danny Parkins, in a question posed to Lefebvre, 610 AM
GH: Parkins was very complimentary toward Matthews but his comments hinted that he isn’t quite sure about Matthews’ play-by-play work. In other words, Parkins sounded like he did not want to be critical of his weekly radio guest but he has his doubts. Denny gets treated like an icon here in Kansas City and his work really has not deserved that treatment in years. Denny’s a grumpy old man who appears to do little more than watch the clock during his shift.

“(Denny) was amazingly relaxed in my opinion.”
Ryan Lefebvre, 610 AM GH: Well, that’s one way to say it.

[email protected] 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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48 Responses to OTC: Ned Yost Picks Slumping Vargas To Start In LA And KC Media Rushes To Defend His Every Mistake

  1. b12 says:

    Yup. Vargas. Dude always has a look on his face like he’s surprised each pitch wasn’t an 800 foot home run. But, 2 runs over 6…with A LOT of help from his defense. Can’t ask for much more, especially after his September performances.

  2. david says:

    Vargas was filthy, Moose came through, bullpen dominated, great in-game management.

    Oh yeah, Fire Ned for not using Holland earlier.

  3. MightyMo says:

    No Ned apologist, but I though he used his bullpen perfectly last night. Quick with a hook and had faith in a lot of guys. Let Holland sit until needed, because there is another game tonight. I think Duffy could easily slide into the 6th and 7th inning role and Ned should avoid the temptation of starting him in Game 4.

  4. FJH says:

    They won, and took control of the series.

    • mike t. says:

      certainly puts them in the driver’s seat. I’m predicting a loss tonight, then back to KC where they win games 3 and 4.

  5. Joe Blow says:

    OTC: Ned Yost Picks Slumping Vargas To Start In LA And KC Media Rushes To Defend His Every Mistake

    How about — “Ned Yost Makes a Decision and Online People Rush to Criticize it Before They Even Know if it Was a Good Move”.

    • Jim says:

      Boom! I’ve given up trying to decide what a good move or bad move is. At this point, every one of them is working. haha Some crazy shit happening with the boys in blue!

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