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Yost honored to join AL All-Star staff

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals have their first members of the 2012 American League All-Star team.

Manager Ned Yost and head athletic trainer Nick Kenney were named Wednesday as a coach and a trainer, respectively, of AL manager Ron Washington's staff for the July 10 All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium, which will be televised at 7 p.m. CT on FOX.

"It's a tremendous honor to be able to do that, especially when it's in your own backyard," Yost said.

Yost will be joined as a coach by Oakland A's manager Bob Melvin. Washington's coaching staff with the Texas Rangers will be on hand to help with batting practice and other duties.

The National League coaches will be managers Ron Roenicke of the Milwaukee Brewers, currently in Kansas City for a series, and Terry Collins of the New York Mets. The NL will be managed by former St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, who retired after the Cardinals beat the Rangers in the World Series last year. La Russa also will have his Cardinals coaching staff from 2011 with him.

Yost, then-manager of the Brewers in 2005, was a coach on La Russa's NL staff at the Midsummer Classic at Detroit. As a coach on the staff of manager Bobby Cox's Atlanta World Series teams, Yost also participated in All-Star Games in 1996, 1997 and 2000.

"It's always an honor," Yost said. "I've been in this game a long time. I've been to the World Series six times, this will be my fifth All-Star Game. My fondest memories of my career come from the All-Star Games. The World Series are great, but there's so much work and so much goes on that you don't get to enjoy it."

The All-Star Game is a slower-paced event, Yost noted, but the competition and team feeling is genuine.

"My first All-Star experience I was shocked, because you have the best players from each team that show up and they just play this game, but the cool thing about it is when they walk in that locker room, they become a team. They come in with one focus, and it's like you've played with these guys forever," Yost said.

"There were guys that I'd see across the field, like Barry Bonds, that I'd never walk up to and talk to but, in the All-Star locker room, he was one of the greatest guys in the world to be around. It's was like you've known them forever, and a team bond resides inside that locker room. It was one of the coolest things that I experienced in the four times that I went."

Washington, whose Rangers share a Spring Training complex with the Royals in Surprise, Ariz., said he's impressed with the job Yost has done with a young team.

"It was an easy choice with Ned," Washington said. "I've known Ned for a long time, even when he was a player. We have a lot of respect for each other. If he needs me for anything, he calls. If I need him for anything, I call. If he can get it done, it will get done."

Kenney is in his third season as the Royals' head trainer and is a first-time All-Star.

"It means a great deal to me," Kenney said. "This is my 10th year in Major League Baseball, and to have an opportunity to work with these tremendous athletes is a great honor."

He'll be joined by Lonnie Soloff, the Cleveland Indians' head athletic trainer with whom Kenney worked in the past.

"He's a great friend of mine and he's one of my mentors, so to have the opportunity to rekindle that relationship and work this game is pretty special, too," Kenney said.

The Royals have had a dozen different players on the disabled list this season, including seven currently, so Kenney has had a busy summer.

"He's an All-Star trainer," Yost said.

Yost is the 10th Royals manager to serve on the AL staff. Dick Howser was manager in 1986 at Houston as skipper of the '85 World Series champions, and was a coach in 1982 and 1985. Others who were coaches were Bob Lemon, 1972; Jack McKeon, 1974; Whitey Herzog, 1978; Hal McRae, 1992; Bob Boone, 1996; Tony Muser, 2001; Tony Pena, 2004, and Trey Hillman, 2009.

Kenney is the fourth Royals trainer on the staff, joining Jim Dudley, 1976; Mickey Cobb, 1982 and 1990, and Nick Swartz, 1996 and 2006.