KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Royals manager Ned Yost insisted he was misunderstood if anyone thought he was insulting or calling out Royals fans after comments he made following Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over Minnesota.
After that game, in which 13,847 fans showed up at Kauffman Stadium to see the walk-off win on Alex Gordon’s two-run homer, Yost said: "I mean, what, 13,000 people got to see a great game? …
"I know there’s different things you can do. You can watch it on the Internet. You can watch it on TV. But there’s a real need for our fans to be a part of this. We had a great crowd (Monday) night, and I was kind of hoping we’d have another great crowd tonight, and we really didn’t.
"They’re a big part of our success, especially at home. Because the electricity they provide, the energy they provide, helps you get through games like this. You know? We’ve been working hard to make our fans happy and make our fans proud for a lot of years, and we’d like them out here to enjoy a night like this with us. Because this was a special night. This was a fun night. I just wish there could’ve been more out here to enjoy it with us."
There was almost instant fan and media criticism of Yost’s comments, locally and nationally. But Yost said he wasn’t criticizing anyone.
"I don’t feel like I (insulted anyone)," he said before Wednesday’s game. "And I don’t feel like I criticized the fans.
"One, I don’t do this job for the money. We did our (contract) extension last year and we did it in an hour-and-a-half. There was no haggling. And you guys know me, I don’t do it for the fame. I couldn’t give a crap about that.
"I’ve been to the World Series six times. I do this job so (the players) can experience it and all that goes with it. That’s one.
"And two, I want the fans to experience it. It’s a phenomenal experience, and the fans here haven’t felt that in (29) years. That’s the reason I do this job — I do it for them (the players) and the fans, and I want them both to experience a pennant race and a World Series."
Yost said he does sense that Royals fans are hungry for a playoff team.
"They got a little taste of it last year, but it was for the second wild card," he said. "This time it’s for the division.
"As a manager, I want every advantage I can have. And I don’t care what anyone says, when this fan base, this stadium, is full — the excitement and buzz they bring, is an advantage.
"Did I want more fans in the stadium (Tuesday night) enjoying that game? Yeah. I wasn’t criticizing them."
Yost also added that moving forward, he wants the Royals and fans to work together to bring a championship to Kansas City.
"It’s about the fans," he said. "I want them here to enjoy it with us. I’ve always felt that there’s a partnership between the fans and the players and the organization and the city. I want everyone to enjoy it together.
"I don’t know what’s going to happen (in September). But it’s going to be fun and interesting. And I want the fans to enjoy it and be a part of. And anyone who wanted to blow (my comments) out of proportion from that point is dead wrong. Anyone who was upset or took offense to it, well, I’m sorry.
"This is a great baseball town. It’s been a long time since they’ve been able to enjoy this and be proud of a team."