Kansas City Royals: Can Ned Yost Handle Expectations In 2014?
Ned Yost incites arguments among Kansas City Royals fans on a consistent basis. Some think Yost is exactly the kind of guy to manage this young and talented group of core players, while other fans believe Ned is incapable of managing a playoff-caliber team in the MLB. Whether or not that latter opinion is true, it certainly seems to be what the Milwaukee Brewers believed.
Yost managed the Brew Crew for the better part of six years, starting back in 2003. While Milwaukee neared their playoff entry in 2008, Brewers personnel relieved Yost of his duties. Since then, Yost has often referred back to his time with the Brewers, usually in an attempt to relate it to KC baseball. It seems, at least to me, that Yost used his experience there to provide this roster with a successful mindset for the last several seasons.
Ned made the move to Kansas City in 2010, and immediately the Royals began to succeed. You can’t give him all the credit for a shift from 55 wins in ’10 to 71 in 2011, but it was he that kept the still-lousy team together and on-point. Since Yost’s arrival in KC, the team has finished the season with a better record each year.
Last year’s 86-win team performed better than the Brewers club from which Ned was so unceremoniously booted. That team won 83 games in two consecutive years. So, is one season of perhaps faulty managerial choices enough to make you fear about Yost leading your team into the playoffs?
I won’t disagree with the angry people online who complain about Yost’s in-game choices and lineup shakeups and what-not. I only assert that nobody else would be as well-liked by this group of guys as Ned. I’ll take consistent team chemistry even if it comes with a few bonehead choices later in the season.