Ned Yost media session: August 27, 2014

Kansas City will look to take yet another series this evening when the team, hotter than any in baseball, takes the field for game two of a three-game set in its final series of the season vs. Minnesota.

The Royals will do so without the services of Yordano Ventura, who has been scratched from tonight’s start and replaced by Liam Hendriks due to mid-back soreness. In order to make room for Hendriks, the Royals were forced to option reliever Aaron Crow to Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

“He’s got options,” said manager Ned Yost of why the club elected to move Crow to the Naturals. “We just have so few guys right now that have options, one. And we can get him back in six days. We needed a spot for Hendriks so we could skip Yordano and that’s what we came up with.”

Yost does not expect the absence of Crow to negatively impact the Kansas City bullpen for the time being.

“I think we’re okay,” he said. “Everyone is well rested down there. Frasor’s been rested. Bueno’s rested. We’ve got Bruce. Of course, we’ve got Kelvin and Wade and Holly. After today, we’re back with Vargy and Shields, and guys that generally go deep into the game to get us to September 1, and we should be fine.”

According to Yost, Crow will throw two innings tomorrow, take a couple of days off, throw an inning on Sunday, and return to the team on Tuesday.

“You don’t really want to do it, but we did it with Wade Davis last year at the end of the year,” he said. “It’s something that you just have to do. Luckily for us, it’s not a deal where we miss him for 10 days. He’ll be back in six days and right back in the thick of it.”

Following last night’s game in front of 13,847 fans, Yost fell under criticism for comments he made about the importance of having fans turn out for the team’s remaining home games. This afternoon, Yost clarified those statements.

“What I said last night, I think, was pretty self-explanatory,” he said. “The reason I do this job, there’s two reasons. One, is I’ve been to the World Series six times. I know that feeling. I know the excitement that goes along with it. One of my main things is I want these players to experience that. Because it’s very, very important. The chance to be able to do it is so far and few between. I want them to experience that. And the other thing is, I want our fans to experience that. It’s a special time. It’s been a long time since our fans have been able to enjoy a playoff run.

“To be able to win the division is one of the toughest things to do in sports and you don’t know when this opportunity is going to come again. For me, I just think it is extremely important that our fans get the opportunity to come out and enjoy this with us. As a manager, you want every advantage you can get. When our fans are here and they’re rooting, it’s a special feeling. The excitement and electricity that they bring to the stadium is a definite advantage for us.

Yost said that he gets considerable enjoyment out of fan participation and, again, alluded to the impact that fans have on the team.

“When you look up at the scoreboard in between innings and you see little kids jumping up and down wearing their Royals caps and their Royals jerseys, I get a thrill out of that. I get a thrill when we win the ballgame and we walk off the field and see our fans going nuts. I get a thrill out of that and I want our fans to enjoy that. I want our fans to be proud of what we’re doing. Anyone that thinks I said something negative or was criticizing the fans last night, they’re dead wrong. I just want them to be a big part of this with us, because, in reality, they are.”

Yost said that the team hopes to give Royals fans a September and October to remember.

“If we can do what we’re hoping to do, they’re going to remember it. These kids that are here jumping up and down, the ones I’m talking about being up on the Jumbotron, they’re going to remember this for the rest of their lives.

“I know this, when the place is filled, it definitely has an effect. When our fans are out there and they’re screaming and they’re yelling, that energy that’s provided that’s coming onto the field, it’s electric, I mean, it’s a buzz that you feel internally, and it does give you a bit of a boost. It’s a special, special feeling. It is an advantage to have them here.”

By Kolby Paxton

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