First of all, here is the audio of Ned's comments to the media, in answer to a question posed by a reporter on the low attendance Tuesday night.
"I mean, what, 13,000 people got to see a great game?"
"It's really, really important we have our fans behind us at the stadium."
"We had a great crowd last night, and I was kind of hoping we'd have another great crowd tonight, and we really didn't."
"We've been working hard to make our fans happy and make our fans proud for a lot of years, and we'd like them out here to enjoy a night like this with us. Because this was a special night. This was a fun night. I just wish there could've been more out here to enjoy it with us."
Ned Yost defended and clarified his comments on Soren Petro's show on 810 today.
#Royals Manager Ned Yost says attendance comments weren't made as a criticism. He just wants more fans to enjoy the experience.— The Program (@theprogramkc) August 27, 2014
The podcast of the interview with Ned is available here.
Sam Mellinger has his idea of what Ned should have said.
"The fans who came out tonight were great. It wasn’t a huge crowd, but I know tickets aren’t cheap, and it’s a Tuesday, it’s hot out, and people have to work and get their kids to school tomorrow so we appreciate everyone who comes out and supports us because it means a lot.
"I’m hopeful that as we continue to win, and continue to make this a season that we’ll all remember for the rest of our lives, we have more crowds like Monday than we did tonight because this is so much fun, and I want as many people as possible to feel that fun."
There. Is that so hard?
Dayton Moore is doing some damage control, saying he loves the fans.
"We love our fans. We're very appreciative for their great support. I've been on record with that since I got here. That's why I came here, was to build something for our fans. That's why we came here."
Joe Posnanski blasted fans once early in his career, and says it was a dumb thing to do then, and is a dumb thing to do now.
Yostnoy’s complaint, if possible, was even more illogical. It showed a fundamental misunderstanding how baseball tickets are sold.
1. A large percentage of tickets sold are season tickets – those were sold way back in the offseason and are unaffected by the Royals recent surge.
2. A large percentage of tickets sold are bought well in advance – that’s why certain nights of the week do way better than other nights. Tuesday night games tend to be some of the smallest crowds of the week for obvious reasons. Bill James, years ago, wrote about the myth that Nolan Ryan drew significantly more fans to the ballpark. People, for the most part, don’t say "Hey, Nolan Ryan’s pitching tomorrow night, let’s all go out." They say, "Hey, we’re free next Friday night, let’s go to the game."
3. Families build their plans around their children’s schedules – and school started this week. I wouldn’t take my kids to a night ballgame on the first week of school if Lou Gehrig and Satchel Paige came back to play. Well, MAYBE if Lou Gehrig and Satchel Paige came back – but for a late August Royals-Twins game? Are you bleepin’ kidding me? Again, the question was not why there were empty seats. The question was why anyone at all showed up.
Craig Brown at Royals Authority also felt the comments were ill-founded.
...I don’t think you talk attendance when you have a fan base that has gone through what Royals fans have experienced the last 29 years. This team has spent the last three decades specializing in shit. And someone wants to talk attendance just weeks after the team has become relevant for the first time in that span? Come on. Trust doesn’t happen on the back of two good months of baseball. Not after what we’ve seen as Royals fans. Not after what we’ve collectively gone through.
Crowds are going to build through the rest of the season. Attendance is going to be crazy this weekend. After this home stand, there’s one home stand left. That will be crazy, too. Especially with the Tigers coming for the final home series of the year. Make no mistake, The K is going to start rocking. In fact, it has been rocking. The fans have responded. Just like we knew they would. To ignore that support and focus on a Tuesday in late August is selling the fans a bit short. Especially after the last 29 years and all that.
The internet had opinions on this!
13K last night an indictment on Royals not fans. They drew 2M plus 11 of 14 years when winning. Haven't drawn 2M since 19991.— JACK HARRY (@JACKHARRYKSHB) August 27, 2014
Ned Yost did NOT rant about the fans. He didn't go off. He was asked a frickin question. #Royals— Henry Lake (@lakeshow73) August 27, 2014
Ned Yost is right - the #Royals need to have more fans at the ballpark. No reason to give him grief for saying so.— Kings of Kauffman (@KingsofKauffman) August 27, 2014
Fans are treated like sacred cows when it comes to attendance... which is myopic and stupid.— TJ Carpenter (@TJCarpenterWHB) August 27, 2014
You want people to show up to a game vs MIN on a Tuesday in August in the first week of school? Win a World Series. Sell 30k season tix.— Brian (@BrianMcGannon) August 27, 2014
@BrianMcGannon Milwaukee averaged 37k in 2008. They've never won a World Series and they hadn't made the playoffs in 26 years. You're wrong.— Kevin (@KevinMcGannon) August 27, 2014
Please don't let Ned Yost ruin the feeling of the year's signature win. He says dumb things ALL THE TIME. You thought he'd change now?— Danny Parkins (@DannyParkins) August 27, 2014
I wonder if the Royals owner was even in attendance for Tuesday's game.— Royals Review (@royalsreview) August 27, 2014