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Is it time for Ned Yost to get the axe?

May 27, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

Ned Yost and his flexible thumb Getty Images

Expectations can be a drag. It’s not Ned Yost’s fault that a lot of people thought the Royals would be this year’s version of the 2013 Pirates and end a long playoff drought. So if the team is failing to meet those expectations, is it really his fault?

Well, sure. Because in this particular case the expectations weren’t terribly unreasonable. No one predicted a championship or even a division title. But respectability and occasional friskiness is definitely something this Royals team should be living up to given the talent on the roster. Perhaps Yost isn’t doing anything egregiously wrong (just go with me on that for now, Royals fans) but lots of dudes have been fired for managing a talented but underachieving team which appears to be listless and without fire.

Ken Rosenthal — who has never been one to call for managers’ heads all willy-nilly — thinks it’s time for Ned to go:

. . . if ever a team appears in need of a fresh voice, it’s this one. I’m not sure what that voice should sound like, though at this point, screeching probably would be preferable to soothing. The entire organization seems almost too comfortable, waiting for a surge that might never come . . . Considering the Royals’ talent, can anyone say [Yost] is getting the most out of this club?

Nope. Not at all. And that’s before you take into account his crazy in-game decisionmaking, his odd bullpen usage and post-game comments which, intentionally or not, suggest that winning isn’t always the most important thing. Which, to you and me and the kids at the bus stop it shouldn’t be, but to a major league manager it kinda is.

I’m not sure who today’s version of Billy Martin is. The guy who comes in, kicks butts, lights a fire under a team and manages a quick turnaround. Maybe it’s Ozzie Guillen? Maybe someone else? All I know is, it ain’t Ned Yost.

  1. sportsdrenched - May 27, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    As much as I don’t like Ned as a manager. I’m not sure firing him would do much good. Rosenthal strikes the nerve with this quote:

    “The entire organization seems almost too comfortable,”

    I think a lot of the weirdness, and defensiveness of the organization comes from the Front Office…and maybe ownership because it’s been like that since the Glass Family took over.

    As long David lets his son Dan run the organization you can get the best manager and GM, and I think this organization will still find ways to do less with more.

  2. proudlycanadian - May 27, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    Yes, but wait until after the Blue Jay’s series.

  3. luz56 - May 27, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    How about those underachieving Nationals with HGH Williams leading the way?? Take about a curse after the 2012 playoffs

  4. chiefs2582 - May 27, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    I have been hammering this fact since opening day. The fact that this is not more talked about is beyond me. I have always thought he was terrible, but this year it’s like he doesn’t even care.

    How he could let Herrera come in the other night and pitch 98 down the middle of the plate time and time again was laughable. Our opponents were using multiple relievers in an inning. But Ned just lets Herrera stink up the place. Every pitcher has a bad day, thats why you have multiples out there. Where was Wade Davis? Or Collins who came in and at least located much better after him. I’ve watched passionately for two decades, but at this point, I put it on in the background and just read the box score. Yost plays such a huge role in most games. Even though an MLB manager doesn’t have a lot of in-game decisions, Ned somehow gets flustered and can never form a logical though.

  5. gbart22 - May 27, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Sometimes a change is just needed even if it’s not something a manager or coach necessarily did wrong.

    • Old Gator - May 27, 2014 at 10:11 AM

      You’ve convinced me. I’m going to go wash my underwear right now.

  6. Old Gator - May 27, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    Slobbering Ozzie???? What in any alternative universe have you got against a great steak and jazz town like Kansas City, Craigster? Yeah, I can just see him at his introductory press conference saying “Quantrill? Hey I luhhhhv that guy, man!

    As far as who’s the equivalent to Billy Martin, come on, Craig – there is only one: the greatest untapped resource since oil shale, the one, the only, the inimitable Wally Backman!

  7. blingslade - May 27, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    I think the Glass family raised their ticket prices 25% this year with the unreasonable hopes that the Royals could compete with the big boys like Detroit…

    ..and then, the Royals go out and have the weakest offense in the history of baseball.

    So yeah, it’s ALL the managers fault lol.

  8. jbaxt - May 27, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Weren’t the Royals 14th in runs scored last week? The names they have simply aren’t producing while the rest are playing .500 ball. Moustaukas and Butler never lived up to what they were sold as. If they had, this team would be 5-10 games over .500 but instead one guy in in Omaha and the other is, in my guestmation, the worst DH in baseball.

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