Despite some better play since the All-Star break, the Royals are still on pace to have the worst season in franchise history. Even if they win 42% of their remaining games, the rate they have won since the Midsummer Classic, they would still lose 107 games, more than any other Royals team.
Losing isn’t fun, particularly for those accustomed to winning the past few seasons. The frustration really set in for manager Ned Yost a few weeks ago, which has led some, including R.J. Anderson at CBS Sports to speculate that Yost may want to step away from the Royals at year’s end. Yost is in the last year of his contract with the club and after a freak accident that nearly cost him his life, he may want to ride off into the sunset, championship ring in tow, to go huntin’ with Jeff Foxworthy in Georgia.
But I don’t see that happening.
Ned Yost has a job that just 30 men in the world possess, that hundreds more covet. He is paid handsomely to show up at the ballpark every day and be around the game of baseball. He gets to pal around with his buddies on the coaching staff. He gets to tutor young players. He gets reporters asking him questions. He is relevant, important, a man of stature.
Who wants to give that up?
Ned Yost will turn 63 later this month, and while only three current managers are older (Joe Maddon of the Cubs, Jim Riggleman of the Reds, and Bruce Bochy of the Giants), it is not paricularly old for a manager. Heck, he’s not even eligible for Social Security yet!
People assume Yost doesn’t want to be part of a rebuild, but he has already been part of two rebuilds, one with the Brewers and one with the Royals as they built towards a championship. He is not about to jump ship to a better situation either, his loyalty to the organization seems pretty strong, as he reiterated to MLB Network Radio this week.
Earlier this year, he re-established his desire to see the rebuild in Kansas City through.
“I like this group of young kids, one, and two, I love this organization and I want to try to put it in a position to succeed,” he said. “This is tough times. Can you imagine a new manager trying to come in and negotiate a 5-17 team? It’d be hard on them. It’s easier for me to do it. The rough times, it’s easier for me to do it.
”When we get out of the rough waters ... maybe that’s when I’ll look at it. But not until then.”
Would Ned be pushed out? Not likely. Dayton Moore seems to be a big fan of Yost’s, and as he recently told Bob Fescoe on 610 Sports, he expects Yost to return.
“I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t return. We talked a little bit about it in spring training, and we said we’d look at it once the season is over. Ned has given me no indication he doesn’t want to return and I certainly hope that’s the case.”
Still, the departure of Ned Yost is inevitable at some point, so when will the skipper step down? Royals owner David Glass expects to contend by 2020, so perhaps Yost will hand over the reigns to his successor in anticipation of that season. He has previously indicated that his successor will come from within the organization, with potential candidates like bench coach Dale Sveum, first base coach Mitch Maier, catching coach Pedro Grifol, bullpen coach Vance Wilson, minor league manager Brian Poldberg, and special adviser Jason Kendall.
Until then, don’t expect to get rid of Ned Yost so easily.
When will Ned Yost depart the Royals?
This poll is closed
After this season
After or during the 2019 season
After or during the 2020 season
Some time beyond the 2020 season