Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Art Of Killing A Rally

Ned Yost and Dayton Moore came of baseball age in a time when batting average and RBI's were king and the sacrifice bunt was more than strategy, it was a way of life. Despite considerable - and easily accessible - research that shows certain stats and strategy to be overrated Yost and Moore continue to manage and general manage like it's 1982.

Last night Yost made a decision that had many, once again, questioning his managerial IQ. With 3 runs in and two runners on with nobody out Yost did what he does best, he let the Twins off the hook. He had Alcides Escobar sacrifice bunt. In the 4th inning. With Jarrod Dyson and Humberto Quintero the next two scheduled hitters. In the midst of a big inning he played for one and got none because both Dyson and Bert struck out looking. The move is still questionable but understandable if Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas are up next but they weren't. It was the team's eighth and ninth hitters that Yost entrusted to get at least one more run home, and they failed. Miserably. Poetic justice was served in the 5th inning when the Twins hit two home runs to take a three run lead they would never relinquish.

It's not hard to see why the Royals have put together so few big innings this year and much of that fault lies on Yost's shoulders. Sacrifice bunts and failed sacrifice bunts, along with a counter productive baserunning strategy, have killed too many rallies already this year. It'd be nice if he would notice the trend, and actually he may, but he is so dead set in his ways that he's not going to change. Because that's how baseball was played in his day and by gawd that's how it's going to be played today. Whether it works or not.

Yost seems very personable and is a great interview but he's a terrible manager. You can defend him by saying he doesn't bat, pitch or field and you'd be right, but the thing is, he decides who bats, pitches and fields. He is the one playing Yuniesky Betancourt too much. He is the one who refuses to try Aaron Crow in the rotation but will let Luis Mendoza, Nathan Adcock, Everett Teaford and Will Smith start games. He is the one who continued to bat Jeff Francoeur fifth when Francoeur was the closest thing to an automatic out you'd find anywhere in baseball. Hey it's great that he's hitting now but for a month plus he wasn't and Yost didn't care.

I'd go all in on the fire Yost bandwagon if I thought there was something to it. As it stands I think it's just a waste of time. Moore is not going to fire him because he likes what Yost is doing. I presume, since Yost is still here and hasn't changed tactics. Besides, if you want a more progressive manager I don't think you'll get one while Moore is around, which is to say you'll first need a more progressive GM.

But that's a post for another day.

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