In news that was either a complete shock or not remotely surprising at all, depending on who you ask, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost announced on Monday that he will retire at the end of the 2019 season. Yost is the winningest manager in franchise history, and helped snap a long playoff drought and win the team’s first World Series in 30 years back in 2015.
The 65-year-old skipper has a 1201-1338 record in 16 season as a big league manager, including a .471 win percentage with the Royals, but will be remembered far more fondly than the number suggest. The tributes have already started to roll in, in fact. Our friends at Royal Review had their gripes with him at times, but are generally thankful for all of the success he helped steer the club toward. Andy McCullough of The Athletic recounted some rather hilarious conversations between himself and Yost when McCullough was a beat writer in Kansas City.
“Andy, where is your ass?” Yost said. He turned to one of his coaches, Pedro Grifol. “Pete,” he asked, “how come Andy has no ass?”
Yost was commenting on the sagging of my skinny jeans, which were a hot topic that spring. Yost suggested I “buy a pair of pants that let your calves breathe.”
Weeks later, during one of those sessions in his office, I said I was worried about the Royals. How could this team compete when their manager spent so much time pondering my fashion sense?
“I could really care less about your pants,” Yost said.
Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star also dove in.
Yost’s decision broke the baseball internet for a while, as did a report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today that former St. Louis Cardinals manager was Yost’s likely replacement in Kansas City. Matheny, who posted a .555 win percentage in seven years with the Cards, is living proof that a manager’s win-loss percentage means little to their overall prowess in the long run. Matheny was widely regarded as one of the worst managers in baseball in his time in St. Louis, and was eventually fired when the team was hovering around .500 in 2018.
If Matheny gets hired in Kansas City, this would be a boon for the Tigers. Matheny was widely derided for both his in-game management...
According to the @baseballpro Annual, Mike Matheny had the lowest wRM+ (97.4, defined here: https://t.co/CFlZe8Qqeg) of any active manager.— Beyond the Box Score (@BtBScore) July 15, 2018
...as well as allowing instances like the Bud Norris-Jordan Hicks kerfuffle to brew in the clubhouse. Our friends at Viva El Birdos were ecstatic when Matheny was canned last season, and the team’s performance — they finished 41-28 under interim manager Mike Schildt last year and are likely going to win the division this year — suggests that Matheny was holding them back to a certain extent.
We can’t be completely sure how a new manager will pan out, of course, and this Matheny “news” is a preliminary report from a writer who has been known to get these things wrong on the regular. But if it turns out to be true? I won’t be mad.
yes but the rest of us really do https://t.co/cMl4tkXCgn— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) September 23, 2019
I guess we should talk about the Tigers on this Tigers blog
September off days at the tail-end of a last place season don’t bring much news when the manager’s job is safe, so there is precious little to discuss about our favorite team this morning. Monday’s round of stories from elsewhere around the Tigersphere reflected that.
Lynn Henning of the Detroit News looked at a trio of outfielders from Double-A Erie that all share one trait; they can’t really hit. This includes former first round pick Derek Hill and upstart outfielder Jose Azocar, both of whom will be Rule 5 eligible this offseason. Azocar will likely go unclaimed, but the Tigers face an interesting decision with Hill, who could be a bit more useful on an MLB roster next season, when active rosters expand to 26 players for the entire regular season. Hill is currently 4-for-12 with a double in Arizona Fall League action. Our friends at Tigers Minor League Report dove further into Erie’s season on their most recent podcast.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press kept his eyes on the major league squad, highlighting a pair of strong performances from Grayson Greiner and Bryan Garcia in recent weeks, as well as late-season surges from Victor Reyes and Harold Castro.
Around the horn
Kirby Yates and the Padres are discussing a contract extension. A D.C. pizza chain is giving out $3 pizzas when Bryce Harper strikes out this week. Twins fans are already looking at playoff matchups. Nicholas Castellanos is not getting $100 million. Scott Boras is mad about stuff.
Baseball is really, really hard
Yu Darvish, 4 Pitch Overlay (synced at release).— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 23, 2019
All Swinging Strikes.
Just wanted to see how much space that would cover. pic.twitter.com/1iiwWO7ngK