by John Viril—
Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost, aka Old School Stupid, blew another game on Saturday in Toronto. Leading 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th with 2 on and one out, Yost refused to bring in his best pitcher. Instead, he slavishly adhered to conventional wisdom and “saved” closer Greg Holland for the 9th inning. Toronto rallied for 3 runs in the 8th and won 4-2.
The Blue Jays should send a “Thank You” note to Ned Yost.
The Blue Jays had their no. 2, no.3 and no. 4 hitters coming up when Yost relieved Kelvin Herrera with two runners on base. Doesn’t it make sense to have your best reliever face the Blue Jays’ best hitters?
Never mind that the Royals can lose 7 more games and still expect to make the playoffs (now 6). Never mind that Greg Holland has the best K rate on the team. Never mind that Holland is well rested after not being used the night before. Old School Stupid can’t deviate from conventional wisdom and give his team the best chance to win—even with the Royals barely hanging onto playoff contention.
From loading the top of his lineup with hitters like Jamey Carroll, Chris Getz and Alcides Escobar because they “look” like traditional top-of-the-order hitters, to his tendency to allow starters to get beat up because they haven’t thrown 100 pitches yet, to his belief that Greg Holland will turn into a pumpkin if he ever has to get a five-out save, Ned Yost has easily cost his team half-a-dozen games this season.
Whitey Herzog wrote in his book “White Rat” that a great manager might “steal” 5 games a year with good tactics. Apparently, there’s a much larger number of games that a bad manager can give away with tactical stupidity. Old School Stupid will likely end the season throwing away twice as many wins as a smart manager can steal. Add in Old School Stupid’s contempt for walks, his weird fascination with Chris Getz, and his inability to get along with former hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, and Yost has probably cost his team a chance at the post-season.
Ned Yost’s contract runs out at the end of this season. If the front office truly wants to contend in 2014, the first move is to tell Ned Yost to do something that he doesn’t want from his players: take a walk.
Get more Kansas City gear in the Royals Store