It has been a bad couple of weeks for Royals fans.
Its been a REALLY bad couple of days for manager Ned Yost (and hitting coach Jack Maloof).
The date was May 6. The Royals were in first place. It was the end of the eighth inning at Kauffman Stadium, the Royals were clinging to a 1-0 lead behind Big Game James Shields 2-hitter in a pitching duel against White Sox ace Chris Sale. The Royals were three outs away of a 3-game sweep. In a bizarre move, with Shields at 101 pitches and cruising along, Yost calls on closer Greg Holland to nail the door shut. Five baserunners later, the save was blown and the Royals lost it in the 10th when Jordan f’ing Danks hit his second career HR batting in Adam Dunn’s spot in the lineup.
After the game, Yost babbled on about not wanting to trot out a pitcher for another inning after he has surpassed 100 pitches (something he had done with Shields twice since) and that Shields had “done his job” and that Holland “is our closer and has a job to do…we have confidence in him to do that job” and blah, blah, blah.
But, that my friends, was only a sign of things to come.
Fast forward 25 days and 23 games later.
Holland has not had another save opportunity and the Royals have went from first to worst in the AL Central with a brutal 4-19 stretch – the fourth such stretch in franchise history (2008 under Trey Hillman and 2005 and 2006 under Buddy Bell) – are in the midst of a eight-game losing streak, losing 12 of 13, including losing two of three at Houston to the God awful LASTros and all three in Oakland to a team that lost eight of 10 one series after taking two of three in Anaheim (who swept four in KC just a week and a half later). Weren’t we supposed to be past this? Weren’t there supposed to be better times ahead?
It is hard to say that fateful May 6 game could have started all of this, but how can you not? How different could this season be if Shields finishes off that game and the Royals win 1-0, move to 18-10?
Since, Shields has lost two games 2-1 and the Royals have lost all of his starts, and despite a sub-3 ERA (2.97) he is 2-6.
It only got worse for Yost.
On Tuesday, he went for a job around the Truman Sports Complex, like he always does prior to a home game. Since his team was struggling, he decided to take a different route. He stopped by Chiefs practice and tried to sneak a peak of what was going on, security swarmed and was ready to arrest him. After pleading with them that he was the Royals manager, they eventually believed him and let him go. When he returned to the clubhouse, he was randomly selected by MLB for a drug test.
It got worse.
The Royals went out and lost to a rookie making his second career start 4-1, getting two hits from the SAME GUY (Billy Butler), extending the home losing streak to 10 games, matching the franchise record, also by Yost and the Royals the year before. Both have been done in the first two months of the season.
Then after the game, like all the managers during the Royals era of futility dating back to 1994, had his moment. 610 Sports personality Danny Parkins asked Yost about how the player’s are being held accountable and he responded with, “What are you asking me to do? Take off my belt and spank them?…”
Add this to his “it’s not a platoon” in reference to the clear platoon taking place in the outfield between Jarrod Dyson and Jeff Francouer.
More of his hypocricies continued last night after yet another loss.
Mickey Mantle’s Liver brought us this nugget:
Ned Yost, Oct4, 2012 – “I think we’ve got a group of young power hitters that are capable of hitting homers. Our offense was built more around singles and doubles, because we’ve got a big field and we drive the big parts of the gaps. But it’s difficult to get three or four singles in a row to score a run. We have to have the ability to open it up a little bit more, use the power that we have to take advantage of a quick strike — a walk, a base hit, boom! There’s three runs instead of trying to mass eight singles or seven singles and two doubles together to score some runs.”
Ned Yost, May29, 2013 – “It was never the idea to get up there and try to hit homers. I don’t think I said I want to try to hit more homers, but I do think we have the ability to hit homers. That’s what we’re working toward. We haven’t hit homers, but it’s not because we’re up there trying to hit homers. We’re trying to drive the ball. We know that, with our athleticism, if we can find ways to drive the gaps, we’re going to score runs. But we’ve got to get guys on. When we do, we’ve got to get pitches we can take advantage of and drive them in the gaps. Then, naturally, power is going to come, and balls are going to jump out of the park. Before, it just took us three or four hits too often to score a run.”
When, will the hypocricy stop!
And don’t even get me started on Maloof, who said, “I’m not overly concerned because I think we’ll lead the league in fewest homers again this year.”
WHAT A MORON.
I think Yost is pretty dumb too. Well, maybe not dumb, but stubborn and arrogant.
Something needs to happen soon. I think it goes beyond Yost. It is not his fualt the team is not hitting. But, something needs to happen. Some heads need to roll. The offeseason pitching acquisitions made it obvious that this was a “we’re actually going to try and win” year. They are not. It has turned into a comedic clown show. Some heads need to roll. Whether that means sending some guys down to Omaha (Moose, Getz, etc), releasing some guys (please, please Frenchy) or firing the hitting coaches, something needs to happen.
Apparently Yost, himself, agrees something needs to happen, “We’re going to have to make some changes,” he said after last night’s 5-3 loss to the Cards.
Now, the hitting coaches are the most likely choice. Generally, you would like to see them get two years, but these clown promised to bring more power and it has been the exact opposite, a regression. The only one consistently hitting is a Kevin Seitzer disciple Alex Gordon, and it is clear that he is NOT listening to these clowns.
Fire someone. Fire somebody.