Ned Yost Newsbeat
Wednesday, February 04, 2015
Yost described the game as “a baseball IQ test.”
On your phone or tablet, you will be given the option of playing any of the nine defensive positions on a baseball field.
The game then fires off different scenarios, and you’re supposed to touch the base where you’d throw the ball.
“You’ve got 30 seconds to answer as many as you can,” Yost said.
There are different levels and things get progressively more difficult. Is the infield in or back? Is the ball hit to your left or right? Is the runner fast, medium or slow? Is it a scenario in the first six innings or the last three?
“With nine positions, we have over 110,000 different scenarios, Yost said. “It just teaches kids to think, teaches them to think quick and where to properly throw the ball. Even college coaches said, ‘I would make my kids do that.’”
Posted: February 04, 2015 at 12:16 PM | 54 comment(s)
Sunday, October 26, 2014
“In close games, managers can sway and make a move that may turn the tide,” San Francisco’s Jake Peavy said. “That said, the majority of the games are going to be decided by the guys who put the uniform on between the white lines. Your manager has a big thing to do with the way he’s got his guys ready to play and the way they believe in him as far as the game management. And whatever he says, guys believe it’s going to work. It’s just the way it works, especially after you’ve had some success.”
Good stuff from Steven Goldman.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Friday, October 10, 2014
Major League Baseball’s division series action proved that big payrolls and star power can be overrated, while leaving plenty of managerial roadkill in its wake. Judging from the always measured and thoughtful public sentiment on Twitter, Brad Ausmus has no clue how to run a bullpen, Don Mattingly’s ability to make bad decisions knows no bounds, and Matt Williams isn’t equipped to run a convenience store, never mind a team with World Series aspirations.
Friday, October 03, 2014
It’s worth talking for a second about Aoki, because he so thoroughly symbolizes this team. As a young man, he was a major star in his home country of Japan, a whirlwind of a hitter a sort of a second Ichiro. At 29 he somewhat inexplicably fell off. He then found himself in Milwaukee, and this past offseason, he came to Kansas City. He was thoroughly disappointing until late September when, for no apparent reason, he briefly proved impossible to get out. He hit .458 the last two weeks of the season as the Royals held on to their first playoff spot in a generation.
But it is in the field that Aoki is a particular joy to watch; I have never seen a player look so confused while making so many good plays. It is like Aoki’s mind is a lost GPS voice repeating, “Still calculating,” but he somehow gets to the ball and catches it anyway. In addition to the backhanded stab over Cain’s glove, he also spun helplessly under a ball he’d lost in the lights, and he chased after one warning track fly ball by way of San Bernardino. But the balls all ended up in his glove, as always happens, and in this, he seems as surprised as everyone else. After catching the ball over Cain, he smiled and shrugged and theatrically tossed the ball into the booing crowd.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Missed (understandably, I think).that this has been posted. It also seems to have all sorts of audio issues, including eventually becoming totally unsynced. I don’t think even Rany and Joe talk over each other that much. Anyway.
- Unsurprisingly, the two discuss Rany’s team, the Royals. They go over the strange set of circumstances—expanded playoffs, exceptional parity, and second-half swoons—that helped the Royals advance to the postseason with 89 wins. They move on to the squad itself, and its unusual strengths of low-strikeout hitters and a superb defensive outfield.
- Rany describes what it was like to be at the game (at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field) where the Royals clinched the postseason.
- They discuss Ned Yost’s managerial acumen. Rany admits that Yost is a poor tactical manager, and has failed to develop the Royals’ vaunted minor league hitters, but also cites the dismissal of hitting coach Kevin Seitzer as a factor in the latter. Rany thinks that, even despite his tactical mistakes, Yost deserves some credit for the superlative performances of his pitchers. Rany: “Ned Yost clearly, in my mind, has a positive impact on the clubhouse stuff that you and I are in no position to quantify, and may not exist.” Joe is not a Yost fan. He thinks Ron Washington illustrates that we might mistake managing a specific clubhouse well for a more general “good clubhouse guy” skill.
- One manager whom they do both like is Buck Showalter; they express their admiration for winning 96 games with the Orioles’ roster. They also praise Joe Girardi.
- Joe doesn’t think that the Royals’ level of success justifies the high price paid for James Shields. Rany admits that he was previously vocally against the trade and is afraid of being seen as stubborn at this point if he sticks to that. But he praises Shields’ pitching so far, and believes that the Royals’ postseason performance this year also factors into the calculus.
- They do a little playoff discussion and prediction. Both like Kansas City over Los Angeles, and Washington over the wild card. Rany likes Baltimore over Detroit, Dodgers over Cardinals; Joe is opposite.
Ventura in the 6th surprised everybody.
Monday, September 15, 2014
“Ned Yost is the worst manager in baseball, except all the others.”
On Sunday, with the Royals up 4-3 in the sixth inning and starter Jason Vargas on his way out of the game, Yost brought in Aaron Crow with a man out and two on. Crow walked Yoenis Cespedes to load the bases, struck out Allen Craig, then allowed a grand slam to Daniel Nava to blow the lead and then some. Nava is one of the more extreme platoon bats in baseball — a switch-hitter, he’s got a career 125 wRC+ against righties and merely a 60 against lefties — and he even admitted to being surprised after the game that Yost allowed him to face a righty.
Worse, Yost’s postgame comments defy logic. He chose Crow because he wanted strikeouts, but Crow doesn’t really strike people out, with a K% mark tied for 296th of the 311 pitchers with 50 innings. He found it frustrating that the game was lost before he could bring in Kelvin Herrera, but didn’t actually bring in Herrera because “the sixth inning is Crow’s inning,” whatever that means. Crow’s velocity is way down and he’s having the worst season of his career, yet he was still allowed to face a hitter who had the platoon advantage in the biggest spot of the game, apparently because Yost feared Mike Napoli would pinch hit if he made a move….
Back in May, when Yost had to fend off complaints about his refusal to use Holland in tie games on the road, Jonah Keri did some research and came away with this:
Since the start of last year, non-Yost managers have used their closer in the ninth inning of tied road games 19 times out of 307 opportunities, a rate of just 6 percent. Even taking mitigating factors like closer fatigue and closer committees into account, that’s still an astoundingly low number. It’s about half the closer usage rate we’d see if managers simply rolled a die to pick which reliever to throw into the fire.
It takes every manager in baseball making that kind of call to get to a 6 percent usage number. In 2012, Dan Lependorf, then writing for The Hardball Times and now working for the Oakland A’s, attempted to come up with a way to come away with “manager’s WPA” in terms of bullpen decisions. While it’s possible to question the methodology, Yost’s 2012 was ranked as the tenth-best overall. That seems crazy, but maybe it’s not. You can see above that he used three of his four best relievers in the highest-leverage situations, and it’s not at all difficult to find examples of other managers doing the same things that drive Royals fans nuts.
Posted: September 15, 2014 at 11:51 AM | 46 comment(s)
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