Yost emboldened (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Today the Royals announced that "bench coach John Gibbons and pitching coach Bob McClure will not be in the Kansas City dugout next season." Presumably, this is because they will not be allowed to come back, and not merely because the team has foreseen the future and believe that each man will die, disappear, or get very lost driving to Spring Training next season.
Gibbons and McClure were both holdovers, and their dismissal could be a sign that Yost has solidified himself in the organization and now wants to bring in, as they say, one of "his guys."
John -- "the ship is sinking" -- Gibbons was brought into help Hillman in between prayers and McClure had been around even longer.
Now, I've never been particularly good at One Royals Way Kremlinology, so this could simply be standard issue coaching staff churn. McClure, once, amazingly enough, considered something of a guru by Royals fans, had been pitching coach since 2006, and was credited with helping to turn around/stabilize/whatever Gil Meche in his initial good years with the Royals. McClure no longer has a reputation as a true difference maker as a pitching coach, but does anyone really think, as Yost seems to imply, that it was his fault the team walked so many people?
"Mac has done a great job," Yost said, "but the results are the results. They speak for themselves. It was a tough decision, but we just felt we needed a different voice. We’ve got to find a way to throw more strikes."
I'm not going to go all J'accuse on Yost for this, but... even disregarding the obvious point that maybe the manager should also be accountable, c'mon. Really? Maybe the walk total wouldn't have been so high if Yost didn't insert Tim Collins into every game.
Regarding Yost as a manager, I think the absolute lack of any criticism we've seen or heard regarding him points to a strengthened position. Trey Hillman, Dayton Moore's big gamble and attempt at an inspired hire, was tossed aside and eventually replaced by the utterly generic retread Yost.
It appears that Yost has moved from being the interim fill-in to an organizational mainstay relatively quickly. This could have just happened, or it could have been the plan all along.
And of course, things could also change. The Royals have talked big about 2012 for two years now. Yost is in place to be the guy to take the credit if it works, but he's also there to take the fall of the team starts 15-37 next season.