On Tuesday, four words were quoted, tweeted, and re-tweeted over and over again, by numerous sources/Kansas City Royals reporters, and then spread like wildfire throughout the Royals Twitterverse.
“I don’t have a plan.”
I have a feeling these words are going to haunt Ned Yost for a little while. Should they? I’m not so sure.
Obviously, you never want to see those words uttered by your manager. This quote was regarding Yost inserting Danny Valencia into the starting lineup, and sitting a profoundly struggling Mike Moustakas, even though the Royals were facing right-handed starting pitcher, Andre Rienzo, of the Chicago White Sox.
Let’s take a step back, and look at what we know. We know Yost doesn’t enjoy talking to the media. We know Yost has a reputation for being a bit gruff with the media. We know Yost doesn’t like to justify lineups, rotations, or any kind of baseball decision with the media.
None of this is groundbreaking news. We also know that the media feeds quotes from Yost, and Royals General Manager, Dayton Moore, to the Royals faithful. That’s their job—to report, and then the Royals fans take it from there.
Ned Yost and Dayton Moore aren’t exactly Dick Howser and John Schuerholz in terms of popularity (Or acumen, probably.) throughout Kansas City. Thus, there is a well-established pattern of devouring every word they say, by a large segment of Royals fans.
A quote is obtained by reporters, they throw it in the pool of Kansas City Royals fans, and watch the piranhas have a feeding frenzy. In fact, when Yost makes any sort of questionable comment, or decision, there’s an immediate groundswell of ‘#Yosted’ tweets submitted. For those that may not be in the know, ‘Yosted’ translates to ‘idiot’, or some variance thereof.
Sure, if Yost’s quote is taken at face value, you’re left with the idea that he is lost, or clueless. If that’s the way you took it, then you got trolled by Ned Yost, which I believe is by design from Yost. At this point, Yost knows what the public thinks of him, so he probably wants to toy with us a little. I know I would if I was in his chair.
In my opinion, you don’t play at the MLB level, then become a Bobby Cox understudy, and come out of those experiences ‘clueless’ on how to handle baseball decisions. I interpreted that quote as Yost not having a plan, but rather having an action. A plan is for something you’re going to do, or thinking about doing.
Penciling in Danny Valencia in lieu of Mike Moustakas doesn’t require a ‘plan’. Moustakas has been given a generously long leash, and has been an epic failure. Yost’s job is to put the team in the best position for success.
With a young team, that can be kind of tricky, as you sometimes have to let some kids play through growing pains. Well, the Royals have been there, done that, with Moustakas. The time was right, if not overdue, to abort the Moustakas experiment.
If you’re reading this, and find yourself referring to me as a Yost apologist, you’re wrong. Generally speaking, I don’t think the manager accounts for much in terms of wins and losses.
A good manager can probably be credited with a handful of wins, at best, throughout an entire season. I don’t find Yost to be a particularly strong in-game manager. I think he’s probably average when it comes to that, but that’s something that is pretty hard to quantify.
I do, however, think Yost is exceptional when it comes to managing his clubhouse, acclimating young players to the big leagues, and find that he’s incredibly loyal (To a fault, sometimes) to his players. I think this Kansas City Royals team needed that kind of manager, but as these kids grow older, perhaps a manager with a different skillset would be more beneficial.
To me, with regards to the ‘plan’ for Moustakas, it looks like the writing is on the wall. If what I believe is true, and the Royals plan on activating Omar Infante very soon, then it makes sense to get Valencia some everyday action, with an imminent PLAN to ship Moustakas to the land of misfit toys—Triple-A Omaha.