OTC: Royals’ Ned Yost Dealing W/ Pressure Of A Pennant Race & National Scrutiny One Day At A Time

“We don’t think like you guys. We think about today. That’s all we think about. We don’t think about keeping it up. We don’t think about anything but today. When you have that mindset, it takes so much pressure away from having to think about what the other team’s doing, how many games are left, how we’re going to keep this up, all these thoughts leave your mind when you stay focused on what we have to do today. When that occupies all of your thoughts, it makes it a lot easier.”
Ned Yost, when asked about the Royals being able to keep up their torrid 19-4 pace of the last month, 810 AM
GH: Whether Ned likes it or not – and he obviously does not – he is going to be asked about the pressures of a pennant race from now until his club clinches or is mathematically eliminated. This is what big-time MLB late-summer baseball is all about. Ned faced this scenario in Milwaukee and melted in the heat of that pennant race. It only makes sense that he be asked what he has learned and how he will escape what caused him to be a September casualty as the skipper of the Brewers.

“To be honest, I’m not.”
Jason Stark, ESPN’s MLB insider, 810 AM, when asked by Soren Petro how confident he is in the Royals making the playoffs, 810 AM
GH: With national exposure comes national scrutiny…and well-earned national pessimism.

“The Royals are getting some national TV exposure tonight on another network. They will be on Fox Sports 1 nationally tomorrow. And they will be the national game of the week on Sunday.”
Ryan Lefebvre, on the Yankees/Royals game being broadcast on ESPN Monday night, Fox Sports KC
GH: Are we still in the age where Fox refuses to say the letters ESPN? Doesn’t Lefebvre think he sounds a bit ridiculous?  He does to me.

“I don’t care about professional respect right now. All I care about is helping this team get to the playoffs. … Right now our focus is winning baseball games and treating this city to playoff baseball at the end of the year.”
Ned Yost, when asked if the two nationally televised games this week meant a heightened level of professional respect for the Royals, 810 AM
GH: Ned needs a crash course in media relations. There are so many better ways to answer these questions by giving almost the same answer but with a smile in his voice instead of a snarl.

“I’m still not sure what to believe. Are the Royals the team the way they played the last five weeks or before that? It’s very complicated closing the deal. I’m curious to see what happens if the Tigers apply pressure down the stretch.”
Jason Stark, ESPN’s MLB insider, 810 AM
GH: Stark is not alone in questioning the validity of this Royals team’s ability to withstand the heat of a pennant race. The best way to squash those doubts is to roll through September and claim the franchise’s first divisional crown in 29 years.

“They have a lot of confidence. They even had confidence in themselves when, we like to think of it as (when we were) treading water.”
Ned Yost, when asked about his team’s confidence, 610 AM
GH: This team has never lacked confidence. If anything, they have been overly confident without having the success on which to base their confidence.

“That’s three straight starts that James Shields has given up nine or more hits.”
Aaron Swarts, after Shields gave up 10 hits and six earned runs in 6.2 innings in the Royals 8-1 loss to the Yankees, 810 AM
GH: Big Game James is going to have to be a big part of the Royals September surge or there may be no Hunt for Blue October. The Royals have Shields for about six more weeks and how he will be remembered as a Royal will likely happen between now and his free agent status.

“I’ve been first baseman for this team for a long time, and I haven’t heard anything as of late that I’m not.  I’m sure if (Yost) wants to do something, he’s gonna call us all in and explain what’s going on. He’s got a tough decision, that’s a good thing, but I expect to be back in the lineup.”
Eric Hosmer, when asked about his expectations once he returns from rehab, 810 AM GH: Hosmer will be playing first base and Butler will be the DH. But there is a question as to when Hosmer will actually be ready to return to active duty. Read on.

“With (Hosmer) just starting to swing now, he’s probably two weeks away from coming back. I just think it’s too early to say this is what they should do or this is what they shouldn’t do.”
Brian McRae, when asked what the Royals should do once Hosmer is healthy enough to return to the lineup, 810 AM
GH: If Hosmer returns in mid-September, that gives him only two weeks to have an effect on the Royals pennant race. It could be just enough to push the club over the top…or over the edge. This is the kind of drama TV series are built on.

“This year we’re expecting Jamaal Charles to be Barry Sanders. He’s going to perform no matter who is (in the offensive line) in front of him.”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Klingler is right. We have become so taken with Charles that we expect him to make steak out of Fisher.

“Pinkel asked if team should wear white jerseys in heat Saturday: “We’re more mentally tough than that.’”
Dave Matter, @Dave_Matter, Twitter
GH: What does mental toughness have to do with putting your team in black jerseys and sending them out for four hours in 90-degree heat? Wear the white jerseys, Coach.

“I love going to Columbia, Missouri. That is a really underrated campus. It shocked me when I went there because I really didn’t know what to expect. I have four boys, and if they ever ended up saying they wanted to go to Missouri, I’d be very happy for them. It’s a clean campus, they love sports, they’re diehards when it comes to the Tigers, and I don’t think a lot of people realize how good it is. I’d put that on there.”
Kirk Herbstreit, when asked for some venues in college football that some people may overlook, SBNation.com
GH: As a high school and college kid following the Huskers throughout the Big 8, I came to love KU’s campus in Lawrence as well as Mass Street. I also really enjoyed the beauty of OSU’s campus in Stillwater. It was always too cold once I got to Ames to venture much farther than the stadium’s parking lot. I always thought Norman was kind of bland and Manhattan seemed too far off the interstate. Missouri’s campus was unknown to me because getting to the stadium was such a hassle on game day that I never ventured on campus the first ten times I visited Columbia – until my son enrolled there two years ago. MU’s campus is a gem and the town of Columbia ranks right behind Lawrence and Boulder as two of my favorite Big 8 haunts. If you have not made the trip onto the campus at MU, take Herbie’s advice and check out what you have been missing. 

GregHall24@yahoo.com and @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.

35 Responses to OTC: Royals’ Ned Yost Dealing W/ Pressure Of A Pennant Race & National Scrutiny One Day At A Time

  1. Frankentiger says:

    Getting to Faurot Field was a hassle? Take 1 of 2 exits, turn right , drive a couple miles, park, then enter the stadium with 10 of thousands of other husker fans.
    I grew up in Columbia and remember Nebraska license plates lining both sides of Stadium Blvd back in the 80s.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Frank,
      With 30K lost Nebraskans all taking the same road into CoMo on game day, believe me, it was a hassle. I used to park at the grocery store Schnuck’s up on top of the hill and run/walk the rest of the way to Faurot. I never saw the famous MU columns and quad until 2011 when we went on a recruiting visit.

  2. Jim says:

    Several years ago when my son was a freshmen at MU, I stopped in CoMo to drop off a few things for him on my way to the Ozarks for a golf trip. I parked in front of his dorm and carried a box of his stuff into the lobby and asked for him. He was in class, so i asked if I could just leave the box. I noticed a very unfriendly tone and several sneers from a few of the students passing by. Kinda struck me as odd, but just brushed it off. Got back in my vehicle and told my GF of the vibe I got while inside. She started laughing and asked if I realized what I was wearing. We both had a good chuckle. Perhaps the the KU golf shirt and hat were a bit of a turn-off to the locals.

  3. LibertyCat says:

    Manhattan is only 7 miles or so off the interstate, and you can drive 70 mph. It’s separation from the interstate is actually a good thing. No truck stops. Decent traffic conditions. People are there for a reason and not just passing through on the highway. It gives the town some character.

    • Richard Cranium says:

      HOLY SWEET JEBUS! Did you just try and say Manhattan, KS has “character”. Did you say that with a smile on your face, or just oblivious to what that town actually is? You sir do not understand what character means. I’ll give the sports teams their due, and maybe even that football stadium……but the town of Manhattan is a armpit shithole. The fact it is difficult to get to is a positive.

    • Juan Pablo says:

      There is a reason nobody ever comes back to live in Manhattan,Ks.

    • Kyle R says:

      Yeah, Manhattan is a nice town…but the people that built I-70 did it no favors.

    • Kansas Marine says:

      Manhattan, Kansas is a dump that reeks of cow manure. There’s a reason it’s called “the little apple.” Before Bill Snyder arrived the school was headed for irrelevance, and will again once he leaves.

  4. Gavin says:

    Jesus, Pinkel. After Aaron O’Neal you’re still going to make it about “mental toughness” and not about anatomy and physiology? I admit that I am jealous of Mizzou’s latter day success in football, but y’all have an idiot as coach.

    And before cracking on Charlie Weis, please understand I would say this about any coach who literally ran a kid to death but still wants to make it about mental toughness. This is just stupid and Pinkel, better than almost anyone, should know this.

  5. Juan Pablo says:

    “It’s a clean campus, they love sports, they’re diehards when it comes to the Tigers,
    Kirk Herbstreit, when asked for some venues in college football that some people may ”

    Wow! not much of an endorsement. About all campuses are clean and the kids like their sport teams.. Kirk must have not seen the empty Paige arena for MU basketball games.

    I have had fun in the Colombia entertainment district but the campus is boring and the football stadium is also boring, it is located off campus next to some highways like arrowhead. If you like a lot of asphalt it is great.

    KU has the best campus by far, the football stadium may have one of the best settings around and Allen Field house is one of the greatest.

    • Paul says:

      Faurot Field is off campus? Next to some highways like Arrowhead?

      The stadium is at the corner of Stadium Boulevard and Providence Road. Directly across the street are some new dorms, built several years ago to replace older residence halls. It’s a five minute walk from Jesse Hall and the heart of campus.

    • brett says:

      an unbiased review, courtesy of juan.

    • Greg says:

      And this year Mizzou just announced enrollment at 35,000 +. If you look it up that is appreciably more than ku or Kansas state. And interestingly enough the acceptance rate at Mizzou last year was 81%. While at ku it was 91% and k-state was 99%. So Mizzou is harder to get into AND has 8,000+ more students than either.

      Yes, Juan Pablo you are a genius.

      • Juan Pablo says:

        Swing and a miss.
        What does that have to do with anything MO has twice the population.

        • Greg says:

          Yes. Only people who live in Missouri got to Mizzou. I am guessing you are a ku t-shirt fan.

          Please name a classroom building. Waiting. Waiting.

      • AaronB4Mizzou says:

        I believe they also said the freshmen class was just 14 students short of the 2012 freshmen record. Also, ACT average for this year’s freshmen is 25.8, if I heard correctly.

    • Joe Blow says:

      So, you did not enjoy the futbol stadium in Colombia? That sucks to go so far and have a bad time..

  6. red says:

    Let me continue his post…”and the air in Lawrence smells like bubble gum…no flowers, no wait, it smells like rainbows.”

  7. Kyle says:

    “I don’t care about professional respect right now. All I care about is helping this team get to the playoffs. … Right now our focus is winning baseball games and treating this city to playoff baseball at the end of the year.”
    Ned Yost, when asked if the two nationally televised games this week meant a heightened level of professional respect for the Royals, 810 AM

    Well said, Ned!

  8. Hot Carl says:

    Missouri the state and Missouri the campus are shit holes.

  9. Kerouac says:

    “This year we’re expecting Jamaal Charles to be Barry Sanders. He’s going to perform no matter who is (in the offensive line) in front of him.” ~ Josh Klingler, 610 AM ~ GH: Klingler is right. We have become so taken with Charles that we expect him to make steak out of Fisher.

    - note to Klingler: for the record, both Charles and Sanders had at least 2 had Pro Bowl offensive lineman in front of them, during periods their career, so, it isn’t as if either them had it as hard as Gale Sayers, who never had even one.

    More telling present, nod radio, “and the hits just keep on comin” Case Charles, result of said a football sense he’s on borrowed time same as happened Larry Johnson/other backs before him, #26 useful RB life is beginning to toll.

    In fact, his yards per carry average has decreased every season he’s played full ones since he became the full-time starter in 2010; this is a trend that will continue, ditto his # of carries adding up. Still has a high ypc average to date, but he still hasn’t carried the ball a lot compared some others; time & those hits will keep comin’ whether carrying or receiving, and the legs will follow, dragging, due time.

    Jim Brown (he and Sayers still the best ever, my opine) actually increased his ypc his last season from what it was his penultimate, almost 300 carries. Brown ended 2359 carries whereas Charles current tote is 1043. The injured earlier career Charles has dodged bullets his name on them the last two seasons, but with continuing use his next 1316 carries (if Charles even manages survive them) will tell the tale whether as some imagine he’s as good as was Brown…. he isn’t/wasn’t, but then there can be no final arbiter, only subjective opinions.

  10. nick says:

    The Royals ARE the best team in the Central and SHOULD make the playoffs, but Yost makes me nervous. I feel like us Royals fans are, to quote Steven Tyler, “Living On The Nedge”.

  11. Juan Pablo says:

    It sounded like half the crowd was for the Yankees last night. I wonder if they all came out for Jeter. Curious to see how many show up tonight.

  12. The Salty Iguana says:

    With maybe 15,000 fans in attendance Saturdays in the fall, ku does have everyone beat in one category: parking. Get your free ticket from Shane Zinger and park right next to the stadium and see your jayhocks give up 50! What a setting! Best in the nation!

    Many high schools have a better game day setting than the dumpster fire that is kansas football.

  13. Joe Blow says:

    One year in my local baseball league, we were trying to pick a new name and I convinced everybody to become the Pirates (Royals was taken)…and the manager picked the black Spring Training jerseys. I took shit every year because we had to wear black jerseys in the summer (since I picked the name), but it honestly doesn’t make a difference in the slightest..

  14. The Word says:

    Anyone else find it interesting that Sporting KC has took a distant back steat in the sport landscape here since the Royals are hot and lead the division?

    They just don’t seem to be on anyone’s mind like they were this time last year. I wonder why?

  15. WashU campus > Mizzou campus.

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