Ned Yost media session: Birthday edition

Before opening up tonight’s 7:10 contest vs. the Boston Red Sox, Royals manager Ned Yost was still raving about left fielder Alex Gordon and his outstanding performance both offensively and defensively in last night’s game. Gordon went 2-for-4, recording his team-leading 37th double, a career best, and a two-run homer, his 16th season home run that tied his single-season career best set in 2008. Gordon also notched his 19th outfield assist of the year throwing a bullet to second baseman Johnny Giavotella to retire Boston Red Sox’s Jason Varitek. Yost explained that Gordon’s superb performance is here to stay.

“He [Gordon] has worked really hard to put himself in this position and has always been a diligent worker, a guy that gives his best effort every time he steps on the field,” Yost said.

The Royals skipper commented that he didn’t have the chance to see much of Gordon’s performance last season since he was demoted to Triple-A Omaha to learn the outfield, but Yost says he kept his eye out for Gordon through the minor leagues and after his recall back to Kansas City on July 23, 2010.

“After revamping his [Gordon] swing a little bit during the winter, his bat stays in the zone longer and it allows him to get to more pitches and drive through more balls,” Yost said. “With his work ethic I was really impressed with the way he played left field last year more than anything else, being new at that position and he has just continued that on.”

Onlookers might take Gordon’s calm personality as a lack of emotion during the game but Yost reassured that he admires Gordon’s level-headed character.

“I’m looking for a professional player who comes up and plays the game hard every single day and plays the game to win but still has the confidence and the ability to stay within himself, and to go out and accomplish those things,” Yost said.

Ned Yost is also celebrating his 57th birthday. Yost is in his second season with the Royals after being announced as the 16th full-time manager on May 13, 2010. The Kansas City Royals and Around the Horn would like to wish a very special “Happy Birthday” to Ned!

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