Yost embraces Royals rebuild in final years as manager

Ned Yost embraced the Royals' rebuild in his final years as a manager after a World Series title in 2015.
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After leading the Royals to their first World Series title in 30 years, Ned Yost wanted to stay through rebuilding. He assessed the team during the All-Star break, then told general manager Dayton Moore he planned to retire after this season.

“I just feel like that this team is in a position now that the worst of it is over,” Yost said Tuesday, a day after making his decision public. “I think that with some adjustments — we’ve got to get better pitching-wise — we can be in a place to win 70, 75 games next year, hopefully. You get to that point and you battle to get to .500. Once you get to that point, here we go.”

Yost, who turned 65 last month, managed Milwaukee from 2003-08, was hired by the Royals in May 2010 and did not get them above .500 until his fourth season. Kansas City won consecutive AL pennants, losing the World Series to San Francisco in 2014 and beating the New York Mets the following year for the second title in franchise history after 1985.

Kansas City went 58-104 last year and was 57-100 going into Tuesday.

“I’ve done the hard part and it’s been hard — losing 100 games two years in a row is not in my DNA. I don’t enjoy that one bit,” he said. “But I feel that was my personal responsibility to this organization and to this city because of what they have done for me and my family.”

Moore said the team was likely to delay hiring a new manager until the proposed sale of the franchise from David Glass to John Sherman is completed, possibly in November.

“I would never hire a manager … without complete 100 percent support of my boss,” he said.

Royals special adviser Mike Matheny and coaches Dale Sveum and Pedro Grifol could be considered. Matheny managed the St. Louis Cardinals from 2012-18 and Sveum led the Chicago Cubs from 2012-13.

Yost intends to take a year off from baseball and spend time with his family, tend to his farm in Georgia and hunt — he’ll be home for the wild turkey season.

“Turkey season is usually early in March, and I’ll be so happy to read about how spring training is going and getting to go turkey hunting,” he said.