The inevitable became reality on Tuesday when Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost(Neddy if you’re nasty!) received a on year contract extension, which makes him the Royals head honcho through the 2016 season. This wasn’t even close to being a shock, as it was expected Yost would receive more years after guiding the Royals to their first playoff and World Series appearance since 1985 while compiling an 11-4 record in the postseason.
It was been well chronicled my dislike for Yost(seriously, just read anything from 2013 on this blog), and the Royals run in October didn’t change my opinion on Neddaniel. I do give him credit for this; during that run in the postseason Yost was smart enough to let his players just go out and play. He didn’t over-manage, he didn’t over-think anything; he let them just go out there and play the game that needed to be played. He was also smart enough to change the way he handled his bullpen most of the season and didn’t define them to set roles in the playoffs. This allowed someone like Kelvin Herrera to not just be the “7th inning pitcher” but come in earlier if he was needed:
There is hope that the postseason helped Neddeth when it comes to managerial decisions and that he has learned and grown from this experience. For the Royals sake I hope that is true.
While this news wasn’t a shock to the system, the one curious part of the extension was the length of it. You would think after Yost guided the team to the World Series that management would roll out the red carpet for him and offer him at the least a 3 year extension(or a lifetime contract, one of the two). Well, there is a reason why it was only one year:
“Dayton’s got this year and next year, and that’s all I wanted,” Yost told The Kansas City Star in a telephone conversation. He added, “One extra year, I’m happy with that. And we’ll just play it out, and see what happens after that.”
There has also been talk that Yost might only want to manage another season or two as well:
If that is the case he could be setting up the team for his future replacement, which as of this time would appear to be Vance Wilson, the manager of the Royals AA club in Northwest Arkansas. The Royals still have a decent chance to get to the playoffs again in 2015(VegasInsider.com has their odds at 25/1 to win the World Series this year) and it appears that Yost still feels as if the team has some unfinished business:
“I think we’re in great shape headed into this year,” Yost said Tuesday, “We came as close as you can to winning a world championship last year and when you don’t do it, it leaves a taste in your mouth. It’s something you strive to do, and I think everyone in that locker room will tell you they want to finish this thing off.”
I made the comment before the start of the 2014 season that as much as I disliked Yosty he was the devil we know ,knowing full well that he wasn’t going anywhere. I’ll never be a big fan of Yost’s work, especially if this past October didn’t sway me. Yost is what he is, which is a manager very stuck in his ways and the style of baseball he feels can win ballgames. That thinking paid off in 2014, but the real story will be whether he can keep the team in the hunt over the next two seasons. Quite often I make the comment “things could always be worse” and most the time it could be. As much as I would like Yost to wander off to that deer stand in Georgia and never come back, I also realize we know what we can expect from him as manager. The question in 2015 is whether or not Yost will be as flexible in his thinking as he was in late September and October of 2014 or will his stubbornness rear it’s ugly head? Yost has earned his extension but it doesn’t mean his work is done.