Results tagged ‘ Ned Yost ’

Melvin happy for Yost

Former Brewers manager Ned Yost is back in the big leagues, replacing ousted Kansas City Royals manager Trey Hillman this afternoon. Yost, who joined the Royals over the winter as a special advisor, is the 16th skipper in Royals history. The move was made after a Royals win today, and for now you can read about it in this club press release

Yost managed the Brewers from 2003 until he was dismissed with 12 games remaining in the 2008 regular season. The Brewers were off to a 3-11 start to September at the time and had squandered a 5 1/2-game edge in the National League Wild Card Standings.
“I’m happy for Ned and I think everybody deserves a second chance in this game,” said Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, who was dismissed as GM of the Rangers in 2001, joined the Brewers in September 2002 and hired Yost a month later.
“I got a second chance myself, and I’m appreciative of that,” Melvin said. “I don’t know everything about the situation there in Kansas City, but I know Ned has as much energy as anybody.”  
That trait should serve Yost well in Kansas City, where the Royals are 12-23 including their win over the Indians on Thursday. They haven’t had a winning season since 2003, when Yost was the rookie manager of a Brewers club that had lost a franchise-record 106 games the previous season and undergone a major front office reorganization.  
From 2003 until his dismissal on Sept. 15, 2008, Yost’s Brewers were 457-502, including 166-146 in his final two seasons. But they were off to a 3-11 start in September 2008 and had squandered a 5 1/2-game lead in the National League Wild Card standings when he was let go.  
Under interim manager Dale Sveum, the team won on the final Sunday for its first postseason berth in 26 years. 
“I still think Ned was a big part of the ’08 season for us,” Melvin said. “I think he’ll do a good job for the Royals. I don’t know exactly what the expectations are and I don’t know their entire organization, but I know that in 2008 we didn’t have a closer with 30 saves, we didn’t have a 14-game winner and we didn’t have a .300 batting average. For all the people who were critical of him using CC [Sabathia] on three days’ rest, he helped CC get the biggest pitching contract in history, and he hasn’t worn down yet.”  
At the time of Yost’s dismissal and again on Thursday, Melvin had particular praise for Yost’s patience with young players. The best example was shortstop J.J. Hardy, who was in the lineup on 2005 Opening Day and struggled badly in the first half, hitting below .200 all the way through June 17. Amid pressure from above to play somebody else, Yost championed Hardy, and two years later, Hardy was an All-Star.  
Melvin also credited Yost for getting career years out of some mid-level players. Scott Podsednik, who is with the Royals now, jump-started his career under Yost in 2003 and 2004. Ditto for Brady Clark, who had never played more than 89 games before he played at least 128 in four straight seasons from 2003-2006 and got a two-year contract. Lyle Overbay emerged as an everyday player under Yost beginning in 2004. Dan Kolb and then Derrick Turnbow came out of nowhere to become All-Star closers. 
“He got a lot out of players in those early years while we were waiting for our younger players,” Melvin said.  “He had patience. A lot of good things happened for us while Ned was here.”  
Melvin said he last spoke with Yost during Spring Training, after Yost had been hired by the Royals as a “special advisor to baseball operations.” Yost was out of baseball in 2009, but he drew a salary from the Brewers for the final year of his contract. 
The Royals play a pair of National League Central teams — the Reds and Astros — in Interleague Play this season, but not the Brewers. 
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Yost lands with Royals

The Kansas City Royals announced today that they had hired former Brewers manager Ned Yost as a “special advisor to baseball operations.” It’s Yost’s first job in baseball since the Brewers dismissed him as manager with 12 games remaining in the 2008 season. 

Yost spent 2009 at home in the Atlanta area but has been trying to get back into the game. He was a finalist for the Astros’ managerial opening, but Brad Mills got that job instead. 
Speaking of the Astros, they designated former Brewers outfielder Jason Bourgeois for assignment today to make room for newly-signed pitcher Brett Myers. Houston claimed Bourgeois off waivers from Milwaukee in October. 
And fellow former Brewer Brad Nelson re-signed with the Mariners on a Minor League contract. The Brewers released Nelson, a longtime farmhand who was once considered Milwaukee’s top prospect, after he began the 2009 season 0-for-21 at the plate. 
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Yost still a bit defiant about sudden Brewers end

yost480.jpgFormer Brewers manager Ned Yost has had 13 months to mull what went wrong in Milwaukee, and he broke a long period of relative silence Thursday after interviewing to be the next skipper of the Houston Astros. 

Here’s what Yost learned from the sudden end to his Brewers tenure: 

“Don’t lose 10 out of 13 games is the best thing I can figure,” he told reporters in Houston, “and hope your offense stays on track so you don’t struggle to score runs.” 

The Brewers failed on both fronts during Yost’s last two weeks as Brewers manager in 2008, and a four-game Phillies sweep that left Philadelphia and Milwaukee tied atop the National League Wild Card standings was the last straw. Yost was dismissed with 12 regular-season games to play.

Now, after a year spent at home near Atlanta, Yost is looking to get back into baseball. He is among 10 candidates already identified by the Astros, who are searching for a replacement for the departed Cecil Cooper. 

Like the Brewers did back in Fall 2002, when Yost got his first big league managerial job after 12 years on Atlanta’s coaching staff, the Astros are conducting their search in public. Yost interviewed with Astros officials at 10 a.m. CT on Thursday, then met with reporters. 

“It’s six years of experiences that you learn [from],” Yost said of his Milwaukee managerial tenure, “and I think more than anything else the ability to sit at home for the first time in 35 years like I did this summer to review where you’ve been and where you’ve gone and think of all the aspects of your leadership and where you can become better was really, really beneficial for me. There’s a lot of areas where I think I can get better. It was beneficial to sit and take account of all those.” 

Yost is one of the most experienced of Houston’s candidates. He stressed that in his media session.

“I don’t think there’s any substitute for experience,” Yost said. “I think I learned a ton of great lessons being 12 years with Bobby Cox, and I learned a ton of great lessons the last six years with the Milwaukee Brewers. I think that it only helps.” 

Yost has remained mostly out of the spotlight since his Brewers dismissal. He graciously agreed to take part in a conference call with Milwaukee reporters the next day but then dropped off the grid except for one brief newspaper interview during one of the Brewers’ road series against the Braves. He drew a salary from the Brewers all summer and made one trip to Milwaukee to return a leased car, but did so while the team was on the road and did not visit with any club officials. 

Yost to interview today in Houston

yost.jpgFormer Brewers manager Ned Yost and former Brewers player Randy Ready will interview for Houston’s vacant managerial post today and then will meet with the media as part of the team’s open search.

Yost’s interview, in fact, was scheduled to begin just as I write this at 10 a.m. CT.

My colleague Brian McTaggart spoke to Yost earlier this week, and here’s part of that story:

Yost went 457-502 in six years as manager of the Brewers and was let go with about two weeks left in the 2008 season, a year in which Milwaukee clinched the NL Wild Card on the season’s final day. Yost worked as a bullpen coach (1991-98) and third-base coach (1999-2002) under Bobby Cox in the Braves organization for 12 years.

“I think there’s a lot of plusses that make [the Astros job] attractive to me,” Yost said. “I’m very fond of the city, very fond of the ballpark. You look at their team, and I think they’re just a player or two away from being a really, really good club again. There are a lot of things I can bring to the table that I can use to help make the organization better.”

One thing that struck me on the field as the Brewers celebrated their 2008 Wild Card clinch was how many people gave thanks to Yost. Interim manager (and now hitting coach) Dale Sveum was among them, and so was general manager Doug Melvin, who spoke again about Yost’s role in the team’s building process earlier this year:

“He’s a good man,” Melvin said. “I don’t want people to forget that we don’t win last year without Ned Yost. He put us in that position as the manager … and whenever we talk about last season and going to the postseason, I don’t want fans to forget what Ned Yost did to contribute to this organization. He allowed our young players to play. I remember him making the statement to me, ‘I’ll put losses on my back today for wins in the future for the Brewers.’ He did that.”

The Brewers figure to have more turnover this offseason than they did last year, but they will still return in 2010 with much of their core intact. If Yost gets the Astros job, do you think would that give him any kind of strategic advantage in his 15 matchups with Milwaukee next season?


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Randolph not on Astros' interview list

The Houston Astros are once again conducting their managerial search in the light of day and released a list of candidates on Monday afternoon. Former Brewers managers Ned Yost and Phil Garner are on it, but current bench coach Willie Randolph, who wants to get back into managing, is not.

The Astros will interview their candidates, then make him available to the press afterward. Here’s the schedule:

Wednesday, October 14: 10 a.m.-Dave Clark; 1:30 p.m.-Al Pedrique
Thursday, October 15: 10 a.m.-Ned Yost; 1:30 p.m.-Randy Ready
Friday, October 16: 10 a.m.-Bob Melvin; 1:30 p.m.-Manny Acta
Saturday, October 17: 10 a.m.-Phil Garner
Monday, October 19: 10 a.m.-Brad Mills; 1:30 p.m.-Tim Bogar

Lots of Brewers ties there. Besides former Milwaukee managers Garner and Yost, Randy Ready began his playing career with the Brewers and Melvin was once the team’s bench coach under Garner. Melvin was one of the Brewers’ managerial candidates before the team hired Yost in Fall 2002.

According to STATS…

While the Brewers coaching staff flies in formation around the Dodger Stadium warning track (bench coach Willie Randolph is walking clockwise and manager Ken Macha and pitching coach Bill Castro are running/walking in the opposite direction) I thought I’d pass along some tidbits from STATS, Inc. The good folks there send statistical facts and figures throughout the season, and today they included a couple of Brewers items of note.

For those fans who crushed Ned Yost for constantly juggling the lineup, here’s an interesting one: According to STATS, only seven big league teams used the same lineup as many as 10 times in 2008 and Ned Yost and Dale Sveum used three different batting orders 10 or more times. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was the only other skipper to use more than one lineup at least 10 times (twice), and he called on his favorite in a Major League-high 19 games.

On the other hand, eight teams never used the same batting order more than five times in 2008. They were the Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Indians, Tigers, City Royals,  Athletics, Cardinals and Blue Jays. The Royals never used the same lineup more than three times all season; the others all used their most common lineups five times.

One other Brewers item: Last season, Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun collected 39 doubles, seven triples and 37 home runs to lead the Major Leagues with 83 extra-base hits. The American League leader was the Orioles’ Aubrey Huff with 82, including 48 doubles and 32 homers. The only other big leaguers with as many as 80 extra-base hits last season were Cardinals: Albert Pujols (81) and Ryan Ludwick (80).