Kansas City Royals: Fare thee well Ned Yost

On Monday, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost announced his retirement. He leaves some big shoes behind.

For the past decade, Ned Yost has been one of the constants for the Kansas City Royals. He had been there through the good times and bad, guiding the franchise from their initial rebuild to back to back World Series appearances. In 2015, the Royals struck gold, winning their second championship despite a somewhat flawed team. Then, as the Royals sank back down the standings and began yet another rebuild, Yost was there, a calm presence on the bench.

However, his time has come to an end. After speculation virtually all season that Yost would retire, he made that announcement on Monday. His final game will come on September 29, at home against the Minnesota Twins.

As it stands, Yost will ride off into the sunset with a number of Royals records. He is the longest tenured manager in team history by a long shot, having managed over 650 games more than Dick Howser. Yost has the Royals all time wins, and losses, records. And, like Howser, he led the team to a championship.

Yet, for his accomplishments, the general feeling was that the Royals won in spite of Yost, not because of him. The term “Yosted” came into being due to his questionable decisions, usually involving yet another bunt attempt or his bullpen usage.

And yet, for all of those questionable decisions, Yost was brilliant when it counted. He has the highest winning percentage of any MLB manager with 20 or more postseason contests, trailing only Steve Kerr and Bill Belichick in the four major sports. His ability to wrangle a World Series appearance out of that 2014 roster, and then win the following year, will be remembered fondly by the Royals faithful.

In the end, Yost should be remembered for both his shortcomings and his successes. His calm demeanor, and generally positive approach, never waivered during his time on the bench. That calmness earned Yost his detractors, and yet, it made him the right man for the job.

Although he will be leaving before the latest rebuild is complete, he has lain the groundwork for the next Royals heyday. He has gotten those younger players to believe in themselves, and to believe in the future. That may be Yost’s biggest legacy.

Fare thee well Ned Yost. Kansas City Royals fans will fondly remember those World Series runs, and how he helped lay the groundwork for what may be the next postseason push.