CHICAGO — Royals manager Ned Yost says he doesn’t let the circumstances of a struggling ballclub drive him crazy anymore. He’s been through it before, he says, and it doesn’t help matters.
"You’re always looking for ways to do something," Yost said. "But we’ve done everything and covered everything. All you can do is wait it out until we (start) winning.
"It’s not fun because it can drive you crazy. You’re always thinking about it. It used to drive me crazy in Milwaukee, but now I realize that you’ve done everything you can do and the coaches have them prepared.
"The players are all ready to go but they just have to go out and play. And there’s nothing you can do to help them do that. They have to do it on their own."
Yost recalled his fateful 2008 season managing the Brewers, when he was fired with just 12 games to go and his team 16 games over .500.
"We went like 20-8 (actually 20-7) in August and started September losing 10 of 13 (actually 11 of 14) and I got fired," Yost said. "We actually had the lead three times after eight innings during that and the closer … we could have been 6-7 there."
Yost said the Brewers’ offense — which featured Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, J.J. Hardy, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks — suddenly stopped hitting, much like the Royals’ offense has not been hitting.
"They had these stretches, too," Yost said of the Brewers. "Their pitchers weren’t as good as our pitchers are now, but the (Brewers’) offense would go through these funks where the pitchers would say, ‘Hey, I have to hold the other team to one or two runs or we have no shot.’ The next thing you know they’ve given up four runs because they’re trying to be too fine.
"And the offense, they’re scrambling to get back in the game and they’re not swinging the bat well anyway.
"It’s a cycle. A bad cycle."
What keeps Yost from pulling his hair out?
"It’s easier because you understand there are things you can’t control," he said. "Basically, I can’t control what happens in the game’s first six innings. I can’t push buttons to get hits. You put the players out there to perform.
"But after the sixth, you start thinking about pitching matchups. But you can’t control the outcome of the game. You try to protect the lead when you get it, or get a lead when you don’t have it. But you can’t swing (the bat) for them.
"So you stay patient and you stay positive."
Yost said he doesn’t have any sleepless nights anymore.