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Reactions to Ned Yost’s retirement

The baseball world reflects on Ned’s tenure.

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2019 MLB in Omaha: Detroit Tigers v. Kansas City Royals Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images

Ned Yost has announced his retirement, effective at the end of the season. He had his critics over the years, but Yost won two pennants and a World Series and more games than any other manager in Royals history. Here is a summary of reactions around baseball.

Sam Mellinger remember’s Ned as a manager that believed in his players.

His greatest strength as the Royals’ manager has been belief. He overwhelms players with belief. He defends them without fail publicly, and the basic question he asks himself before making strategic decisions has always been what will instill the most belief.

That’s why he somewhat famously refused to pinch hit for Alcides Escobar, why he let Escobar play everyday even as a day of rest may have helped, and why he made Escobar a leadoff hitter when it made not even a crumb of logical sense.

It’s why he prefers defined bullpen roles, why he’d often remove a starting pitcher before the statistical possibility of him taking a loss existed, and why he dumped the old-school idea that players shouldn’t blast music in the clubhouse or celebrate big plays or even routine wins.

Yost’s decision-making chart is plain: Will this create more confidence for the players? If yes, do it. If no, start over.

At Baseball Prospecuts, Craig Brown highlights Yost’s strenght as a skipper.

“Pinch-hitting for guys gets in their dome,” Yost, who announced Monday he would retire at season’s end, told the beat writers following the game. “And you don’t want to get in their dome in the second game… It’s hard for (fans) to understand it. But that plays a big part in it, them having confidence in knowing that the manager has confidence in them in those situations.”

Confidence. No one realized it at the time, but that was the masterplan behind what was known in Kansas City as The Process. Confidence. The belief that, because the manager has faith in you and your abilities, you can get the job done. Managing is so much more than filling out a lineup card and walking out to the mound to pull a struggling pitcher. It’s about instilling confidence in the assembled roster that they can play the game as well as anyone.

Brendan Gawlowski at Fangraphs remembers Yost as a skipper that could guide young players.

He also had a steady hand with young players. In Milwaukee and Kansas City, he helped turn perennially losing teams into playoff-caliber squads, happily shepherding young talents through the inevitable growing pains. Notably, a number of highly touted prospects who began their big league careers slowly — Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, Jorge Soler, and Adalberto Mondesi among them — eventually blossomed. Might they have done so sooner under another manager? Perhaps, perhaps not. Regardless, most of the best prospects under Yost’s watch figured things out eventually.

Andy McCullough recalls his time with Yost as a beat writer with the Royals.

Yost often disliked the questions I asked. I can see why. I was 26, but I felt like I understood the game. It seemed clear to me that Yost was behind the sport’s curve in a variety of ways. And it was clear to Yost that I felt that way.

A few months later, the Royals became the first team since 1954 to win a game by scoring all four of their runs from sacrifice flies.

“See, Andy?” Yost said. “My lineup made history.”

Alec Lewis talked to Yost’s son, Ned Yost IV about his dad’s retirement.

“I think the past one or two years, he’s been thinking about winding it down and trying to pinpoint a time,” Yost IV said. “And I know he wanted to see this organization back on the right track. Obviously, he feels they’re there. I’ve known for a couple of weeks this was going to be his last season. He wanted to keep it a secret until the end. But I’m excited for him. I’m excited he gets time off to do other things besides baseball. It’s a blast. It’s a blessing. But it takes up so much of your life.”

The MLB Central crew chime in on Yost’s retirement.

And Ned received applause from around the baseball world.

Fans remember Ned fondly.


Should the Royals retire Ned Yost’s #3 uniform number?

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