New Kansas City manager Ned Yost meets with the media
Royals Manager Ned Yost had his first press conference today in front of a standing room only contingent of media in the Kauffman Stadium interview room.
Yost has been following Kansas City’s Double-A affiliate, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, for the last week General Manager Dayton Moore contacted Yost about the managing job on Thursday morning. After accepting the job, he sifted through possible lineups at his Springfield, Mo., hotel room. Yost was awake until 3:30 this morning. He took a two-hour nap and was up at 5:30 for the drive to Kansas City! He doesn’t anticipate major radical changes in the lineup at this time.
Yost described himself as a person who has a knack for motivating players. He wants to work heavily with individual players at first. While Trey Hillman was a hands on manager, Yost is not. He said that Trey Hillman did a great job of getting players prepared every day and that the players have been a class act. The club is a little shell-shocked at the moment. Yost’s main job at the moment is to get the players to leave everything they have on the field every day. He believes that this club is more advanced than the club that he inherited in Milwaukee and that they are not that far away from turning things around.
Yost stated that 85 percent of his managing philosophy comes from Bobby Cox, who he worked for in Atlanta. The other 15 percent comes from what Yost learned as Milwaukee’s manager.
He knows that the Royals have ingredients for success in their minor league system. Yost believes that Mike Moustakas will be a “big-time Major League player”. He also mentioned that Milwaukee (where he managed previously) stockpiled young power hitters like Prince Fielder, while the Royals are stockpiling young power pitchers including Aaron Crow and Mike Montgomery.
Yost’s philosophy on coaching is to have one coach totally in charge of the infield and one totally in charge of the outfield. Rusty Kuntz is back as the first base coach and will coach the outfielders, a position he held in 2008 and 2009. Yost emphasized the importance of bringing Kuntz back. Eddie Rodriguez will shift to the third base coaching box. He will also be the infield coach. Rodriguez speaks fluent Spanish and Yost believes that will factor into Rodriguez’ work with infielders Alberto Callaspo and Yuniesky Betancourt.
Yost believes that this is an attractive job. He is up for the challenge and understands the frustration of the fan base. He has full confidence that he can do the job. He added that George Brett (who celebrates a birthday on Saturday) called him from Italy and wished him well.