Because, Ned: Royally Stupid

Sarah Davis

“Obviously this person’s a hazard. Stupid people are dangerous.” – Suzanne Collins

If you need a reminder of why the Milwaukee Brewers fired Ned Yost in the middle of a pennant race, here’s one: Ned Yost is a very negligent manager without a clue of what is going on around him. This is a clip of what Doug Melvin had to say about his decision to fire Ned Yost back in 2008: “Yost didn’t have all the answers for was is going on the last two weeks.”

What may seem like an easy solution to a problem that is dragging the team down in the minds of many, seems like a daunting task in the mind of Ned Yost. I’m not sure if it’s oblivion, or stupidity. Either way, neither is acceptable, and something needs to change.

Since the All-Star Break, Omar Infante is hitting just .220/.249/.288 with each number in that line more depressing than the rest. To any baseball literate individual, these are clearly not the numbers of a number two hitter, so why is Yost keeping Infante in such a prominent role in the lineup, especially while nursing a sore arm? Surely Ned can’t honestly believe that he deserves such an honor…. Surely he can’t. Omar’s numbers while batting lower in the lineup are .281/.286/.353. Maybe a simple solution would be to point Ned toward a stat sheet (Infante has been dropped to No. 7 in the order tonight).

Yet another case of Ned not looking at a stat sheet would be with Billy Butler. While thinking that a pudgy, average first baseman should be playing the field over a Gold Glove first baseman might seem a little bit absurd, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out the correct solution here: Put Billy Butler back at first base. As a first baseman, Butler is hitting .290/.350/.466 with five home runs in 131 at-bats. In 370 at-bats as a designated-hitter, Billy has seen a significant decrease in numbers with an anemic line of .254/.302/.330 with only three home runs (has one HR as a pinch-hitter). At the current moment, Billy Butler would be an upgrade over Eric Hosmer, who has committed four errors since his return from the disabled list, September 1.

Right now, there is a serious case of under-managing going on. About a month ago, quite the opposite was true. In fact, many of us thought Yost was over-managing players, or maybe just an in general inconsistency that made it feel like over-managing. It was one day of letting Danny Duffy throw only 79 pitches, and the next letting Yordano Ventura throw over 100 pitches that really left the fans baffled. At first, I thought that he was trying to save Duffy’s arm for the playoffs, but I also thought that he would do the same with Ventura. One thing is for sure: Ned Yost never fails to confuse me, but that isn’t exactly a good thing.

I wish I had answers. I wish I could sit here and tell you why it is Ned Yost is doing what he’s doing, but I can’t, nobody can. I wish I had answers for why this team is folding under the pressure. Most of all, I wish I had answers for why people born after October of 1985 have never witnessed a Royals playoff appearance. I wish I had answers to all of these questions, but I don’t. I just don’t know about this team anymore. I do know this though: We’ve made it through twenty-nine years of stupidity, and we can handle twenty-nine more.

Because, Ned.

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