Ned Yost penned a deal with the Kansas City Royals today that will extend his stay in KC through 2015. The numbers and figures and all those specifics are still left vague, but at this integral moment in Royals history, none of that matters. The ensuing press conference was incredibly foretelling. Today, Rant Sports provides a play-by-play of that moment:
“I think we made great progress this year, and I’m very excited about our future.”
What follows is a plainly spoken tirade of respect, thanks, appreciation and reverence from the just-re-signed Yost. He thanks the Glass family, voices his respect for Dayton Moore, and proclaims his gratitude for every player before taking questions with Moore. Most of the local media’s questions were aimed at Kansas City’s GM – a man suddenly on the hot seat for a competitive MLB team.
When Moore takes the floor, everything becomes business. He is well-spoken, but monotone; for better or worse, Moore turns more than one answer into a team pitch, plans or methods he would utilize to achieve success. One would be lying to say they didn’t get bored at some point. This formulaic doggedness may make for an uninspiring press conference moment, or three, but it is the birth place of the mindset and overall strategy that have brought the Royals this far.
He fondly praises Yost, while speaking decisively about an eager fan base, a community that’s excited to see more Royals baseball.
“In a small way, I feel like we’ve won the World Series, because we have captured a fan base that is excited.”
Though the answers are upbeat, they’re upbeat in a professional business meeting kind of way. Moore’s business-minded nature is a perfect representation of what has happened to this team. Things are serious now, and winning is expected. The signs of a perennially competitive ball club have never been more prevalent in a Royals’ clubhouse since the 80’s, and Moore knows it. He also knows how important his actions will be for a hungry fan base moving forward.
Moore finishes another profusely thought-out answer before Yost fields another quick question. The GM snaps off some dry humor for the press, and the team’s freshly re-signed skipper fields the next question. Yost, taken over by the dry business tone of the room, answers some questions with more of his token talk of positive trends and successful team evolution. Yost still speaks modestly, but he is markedly higher in tenor and positivity than Moore. His answers follow the same guidelines of vagueness that justifiably come from this time of year that blooms with so many unanswerable questions, but all of Yost’s responses to the media brim with an underlying optimism.
The plain encouragement from Yost symbolizes his effect on this team. While Moore breaks down the finer specifics, covers all his bases, and presents the appropriate and professional answers, he shows exactly what it takes to succeed in his particular role with the Royals’ franchise. Yost does the same in this press conference with his trademark gruffly veiled optimism.
“That was the last little component that we needed, was the confidence in each-other, and the confidence that this team could win every single day.”
Questions bouncing between Moore and Yost are answered with more positivity and more plans for the future. Local media’s questions continue to be pointed, specific and purposeful, far more so than the average early offseason press conference. The answers continue to drip with a stern determination to keep this team moving in the right direction.
Yost will almost certainly anger fans next year. He’s going to make “debatable” decisions, like his detractors have pointed out. He will inevitably pull a starter, just to watch the bullpen blow a crucial game. He will make mistakes, but he will also fuel a team full of young players, who have never been at this precipice of success before, with optimism and confidence. That fact is difficult to overstate.
This article wasn’t meant to be filled with statistics, but here’s a note that makes whatever the naysayers complain about irrelevant: the Royals were the best team in the American League in the second half.
It may take a playoff appearance to disprove detractors, but that may come more quickly than most would expect.