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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Ned Yost Newsbeat

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Posnanski: Its Time to Fix Manager of the Year voting

Was it actually Ned who was the Yost with the most?

1. Vote on the Manager of the Year AFTER the playoffs. This seems so obvious, it’s hard to believe that it needs to be said. The Baseball Writers in the olden days started voting for their awards before the playoffs because … there were no playoffs. There was only a World Series, and that was considered separate from the rest of the game. Voting at the end of the regular season made some sense then.

But now, the playoffs are the whole game. The 162-game season is secondary. Ten out of 30 teams make the postseason, and greatness is defined in October. Bruce Bochy has not won the Manager of the Year award for the Giants because the award is voted for BEFORE he led three teams to World Series titles. This is pure lunacy.

2. Vote on Manager of the Year every two years. We talk about small sample sizes a lot in baseball. Well, with managers, one season is just too small a sample size. In 2003, for instance, Kansas City’s Tony Pena won Manager of the Year, and that included my vote. Hey, I thought he did an AMAZING job inspiring a spectacularly limited team. They were somehow in first place for four months.

But four months is … just not very long in baseball terms. The Royals fell apart toward the end of the year, and they were horrendous the next year, and Pena quit early the following year, and as much fun as that 2003 season was, let’s be honest, Tony Pena was not Manager of the Year. He might have won Manager of the Month a couple of times.

If this year’s vote had been over the two years, we could have avoided that Matt Williams award in 2014 along with some of the other unfortunate choices, like Tony Pena.


Friday, October 02, 2015

How Ned Yost Made the Kansas City Royals Unstoppable - The New York Times

I’d like the writer to name one team which doesn’t blend analytics and scouting. One.

Yost might not be the best tactician but he’s done an extremely good job with the clubhouse.

To many, Yost is a holdover from baseball’s Dark Ages, when managers followed their guts on tactical decisions, the way they might play a late-night game of Monopoly. Suspicion of anything even marginally unconventional or innovative, let alone intellectual, was woven into the fabric of the sport. Players were judged by looks almost as much as by performance.

The correction has been thorough. In recent years, the ability to track, accumulate and analyze data has affected the way teams scout prospects, position their fielders and make nearly every other decision on how they play the game. More than a few now operate strictly by the numbers, guided by staff mathematicians who barely watch the games, so as to not be overly influenced by appearances.[Emphasis added] Analytical commentators and other observers, armed with formulas and metrics, crunch the numbers involved in Yost’s decisions and conclude that many of them are simply wrong.

Hat tip to Ben Lindbergh.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2015 at 10:21 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: ned yost, royals

Thursday, October 01, 2015

NYT: How Ned Yost Made the Kansas City Royals Unstoppable

That chemistry appears to have offset the construction of curious batting orders. Alcides Escobar, who has hit leadoff for much of the season, historically reaches base less often than the league average. The potent Alex Gordon was hitting sixth before he strained a groin muscle in early July. This in particular rankles the analysts. “Batting order is something a manager very clearly has control of,” says Dave Cameron, the managing editor of the widely read website Fangraphs, “It’s something Yost has done particularly poorly.”

Yost dismisses such criticisms, but others in the organization feel compelled to respond. “We have information that the fans and analysts don’t,” says Yost’s bench coach, Don Wakamatsu, who previously managed the Seattle Mariners. There, Wakamatus says, he occasionally put the slugger Russell Branyan at No. 4, the cleanup spot. “When I did, he’d break out in hives. But I’d put him at 2 or 5 or 6, and he was a world beater. Can the numbers account for that”?

What do you say, numbers?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 01, 2015 at 02:00 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, dave cameron, don wakamatsu, lineups, ned yost, royals

Friday, June 19, 2015

Royals beat Brewers 3-2 as Ned Yost becomes winningest manager in club history | The Kansas City Star The Kansas City Star

So, he wasn’t very good before the changes?

When Kansas City stumbled earlier this month, Yost and his players preached patience. Yost considered this a learned skill, something he could not always practice when he first became a manager. The team credited him for loosening the reigns and trusting his roster.

“I just respect the fact that he’s really adapted and changed,” said Jeremy Guthrie, who logged six innings of two-run baseball on Thursday. “Just like every player has to do. Just like a front-office person or a scout. They have to be able to learn, grow in whatever role they do. And Ned has done that in a way that I think is very, very visible for us 25 players in the clubhouse.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 19, 2015 at 07:04 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: ned yost, royals



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