Is Royals’ Yost enjoying the ride? ‘Absolutely, it’s fun’

Manager Ned Yost says lessons he learned in Milwaukee are helping him enjoy the Royals' postseason push.

Colin E. Braley/AP

MINNEAPOLIS — Royals manager Ned Yost says he doesn’t read stories about himself, doesn’t listen to talk radio and certainly doesn’t get caught up in the world of social media.

It’s a good thing, too, because if he did, Yost would subject himself to  a mountain of second-guessing and a sea of insults.

That all comes with the territory of being a big-league manager, of course.

"It’s all counterproductive to what I need to do every day, which is manage this ballclub," Yost says. "I don’t pay attention to any of that other stuff."

And despite the pressure of being in the thick of the playoff chase, Yost says he is anything but stressed out.

"There’s always some stress, because you’re trying to win," he says. "… but all the other stuff, I don’t stress about."

In fact, Yost will go as far as saying he’s actually enjoying his job.

"Absolutely, it’s fun," he says. "… This is why we do it, to be here in our situation."

Yost did learn some lessons from his experience in Milwaukee in 2008, when he was fired with 12 games to go in the season, even though his team was 16 games over .500.

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That team, like the Royals, went on a torrid stretch. The Brewers went 20-7 in August.

Yet Yost admits he didn’t enjoy that ride as much as he is now. Soon after that Brewers August surge, they lost four straight, which became seven of nine and then 11 of 14.

And Yost was fired.

"I always thought that our entire destiny in Milwaukee was on my shoulders," he said. "It wasn’t. It’s not. It’s just not. Once you realize that, it relieves a lot of stress."

Yost remembers all too well what caused the stress in Milwaukee.

"All of a sudden … boom … we stopped hitting," he recalls. "We had a five-game lead and then we stopped hitting.

"And we didn’t have the starting pitching or the bullpen we have here. So once we stopped hitting, the pitchers knew that if we got behind, it was over. We’d get behind 3-0 and that would be it. So the pitchers really felt the pressure.

"And three times we had leads going into the eighth inning during that bad stretch and blew them all. It was just everything. That was a young group going through it for the first time."

Yost was going through that tough stage for the first time as a manager, too, and admits he didn’t handle it well. He’s much more prepared, he says, this time around.


And Yost believes he has a group of players who are prepared for a solid stretch run, too.

"We’re going to lose games," Yost says. "That’s going to happen. But you just don’t let one bad game turn into another, then another.

"We’ve got guys maturing, some older guys, and we’re getting contributions throughout the lineup. We just have better balance, I think."

You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email him at jeffreyflanagan6@gmail.com.