Ned Yost media session: April 8, 2013
In this afternoon’s pregame media conference, manager Ned Yost was asked about his feelings on today’s home opener, and how he felt about his team at this point in the season. Yost said he would much rather have today be a regular day, but he and the team really enjoy the home opener and have been looking forward to it since spring training. Yost stated he really likes the way the team has been playing the game, and the way the starting pitching and bullpen have been performing early in the season. He then went on to say that the mindset of the club is different this season, emphasizing the belief that the team can compete every single day, and the goal is winning baseball games, as compared to the development of young players in addition to winning games in previous seasons. Yost also touched on the maturation of the offense this season, and particular the ability of young players to compete during each at bat without the effect of their previous at bats on their conscience.
The importance of the Royals home opener was the next question asked to Yost. He stated that the opener is much more important to the fans, but is also significant for the players. He then went on to compare the current Royals team to that of the 1991 Atlanta Braves and their similar make-ups and identities. The Braves, during the 1991 season started slowly, and then went on to win their division and compete in the World Series after finishing in last place in the previous season. Using that comparison, Yost said that the season is long, and that the process of wining takes time, emphasizing that nothing is won or lost in the first week of the season. He stated that the club wants to come in and put on a good show for their fans, but that it’s not life or death during the first homestand.
Yost’s final question was about the effect of starting pitcher James Shields to the team and the offense in particular. He stated that the team really feeds off the knowing that Shields will keep them in every ball game, and that the offensive knows they can score runs when they need to get back in the game.