Oct. 29 Ned Yost workout day interview
Q. Yordano's numbers aren't good in the postseason, but are they deceiving --
NED YOST: Yeah, they're deceiving.
Q. How do you think he's pitched?
NED YOST: I think he's pitched great. I've got no problem or issues. I'm not a big number guy. I'm not looking at his postseason numbers, I'm looking at what I see on the field, and he's kept us in ballgames. I think he's doing great.
Q. Your club is kind of the anti-Money Ball approach; real aggressive hitting, with the stolen bases, the speed. Other clubs are starting to imitate it to some extent. Are you flattered about that? Are you worried?
NED YOST: No, I just think that it's -- you put the right pieces together you can be successful. And that's what Dayton Moore has done. He's filled this team with a bunch of tremendous athletes with tremendous character and a will to win. Yeah, they have different styles, we don't take a lot of pitches, but we don't miss a lot of pitches when we swing the bat. We have great bullpen, great defense, our starting pitching is very, very good. So if you put the right pieces together it works. It would be hard to say, this is a formula, get a bunch of guys that are going to swing. It's just the right guys that make it work, and that's the trick, getting the right guys together to make it work.
Q. What do you think is the biggest impact Dale has made as the hitting coach over the last two years?
NED YOST: You know, that's a good question, because there's been a lot of improvement under Dale. I think a lot of it has to do with just guys maturing at the Big League level. But Dale has stressed from day one to do your homework. Guys are much more prepared. They prepare themselves much more. Dale has a knack of getting through to these guys and getting them to understand their strengths and their weaknesses and how to be successful. He's just the best hitting coach I've ever been around. And it was funny when we made that change, you know, I knew how good Dale was, that he was an all-purpose coach. He's not just limited to being an infield coach. He's really versed in all aspects of the game. But he has studied hitting his whole life. So he can relate to these guys, if you're left-handed, if you're right-handed, because he was a switch-hitter. But his impact definitely has been huge.
Q. Kendrys is on the bench here in New York?
NED YOST: Yeah.
Q. Just to follow up, you said the other night you've only called like four sacrifice bunts all year.
NED YOST: Right.
Q. What is your general opinion of the role of the sacrifice bunt in the modern game? And does it change at all here with no DH?
NED YOST: It can a little bit, especially when you're facing tough pitching. You know, I used to use it a lot more but then I found out that my guys have a different style of play that they like to play, because I wouldn't put bunts on and they would bunt. Esky would do it. Guys would do it. And it was a style that they liked. They started getting into that winning mindset and, "what do I need to do to help my team be successful?" And they took it upon themselves. I've just about gotten away from putting on bunts all year long because they know when to do it and when they're comfortable doing it. I don't know, I'm just -- like you said, I'm a little bit old school. I still like bunting, I still like hitting-and-running, I still like stealing bases, because we're not a power-laden team. We kind of trailed off of some of that this year because we were hitting more home runs, and our offense has gotten better than it has been in the past. But I still think it's a useful tool at times.
Q. Gold Glove finalists were announced today. Royals had four: Gordon, Escobar, Hosmer, Perez. What does that say about your team, four Gold Glove finalists?
NED YOST: It just shows we're a great defensive team. I've said all along, even years back that I thought we had the capability of getting five or maybe six Gold Glovers, which kind of was really farfetched, but now to have four of those guys. And Lorenzo Cain is not even in the mix. There's your fifth one, right there, for me.
Q. Surprised by that?
NED YOST: Yeah, a little bit. I was surprised last year, too. It doesn't surprise me as much this year for some reason, I don't know why. He definitely should be in. I don't know how he can't be. What's the finalist, top three, something like that? Yeah, that's hard for me to believe he's not in the top three.
Q. First of all, do you have a "don't bunt" sign?
NED YOST: No.
Q. Secondly, your team has obviously been a great contact hitting team. They seemed to have raised it to another level. DeGrom had the fewest swings and misses by a mile in his start the other day. Do you feel the extra concentration of the postseason is attuned to that or what can you attribute it to?
NED YOST: Yeah, I would probably say that. These guys have been focused. I know you guys have heard this, but they've been focused on getting back to the postseason from day one of Spring Training. And you could kind of see their minds wandering a little bit in September because they were gearing themselves. They could hardly wait to get there, and then once they got there, you see what you see. I mean, we had a tough series against Houston and had our backs against the wall in Game 4. Looked like we were going home, and all of a sudden there's that focus and that intensity and that excitement of a playoff game. Boom, we win and then win Game 5, and a tough Toronto series. They've been focused and determined throughout the whole World Series.
Q. These two guys, starting pitchers tomorrow night, throw really hard. Do you think they take a peek at the radar gun? And do you think they take a peek at the other guy's radar readings and it gets competitive that way?
NED YOST: I think they do, but I don't think they compete to see who can throw the hardest. I'm looking at the radar gun all the time. That's how I can determine if the pitch was a cutter or what it was. My focus is on the hitter. I watch the pitcher start his windup and then I go straight to the hitter. So I have a hard time judging if it was a curveball, and then I look at the speeds. But I don't think they're competing to see who can throw the hardest. I think that the hitters, you know, they're always looking at it, so that it helps them know what they need to do. The defenders are looking at it, what do I need to do? Everybody looks at it. That's the first question they get asked when you go to a new stadium, everybody up and down the dugout, "Where is the radar gun reading?" They're looking for it.
Q. You guys have been behind in both the World Series games. You mentioned Game 4 in Houston. Before you got here, maybe specifically before the Wild Game last year, what's the most memorable comeback that you've been a part of, before the last few years of the Royals ascendence?
NED YOST: The Wild Card game.
Q. Before that.
NED YOST: I don't know. I don't know. I can't remember. Honestly there's nothing that sticks out in my mind, so it couldn't have been much of a great comeback, right? (Laughter). You asked me that question and the first thing that comes into my mind is the Wild Card game and the game in Houston, and nothing else comes into it. I think maybe one time we came back, we were down seven runs in the ninth inning and beat Philadelphia one day, but I'm not sure.
Q. Through the early rounds of the playoffs it didn't seem like there was a whole lot of home-field advantage, but what did it mean for you the first two games of this series? Honestly, is that something that was on your mind when you managed the All-Star Game?
NED YOST: That was the only thing on my mind. That was the absolute only thing on my mind was winning the All-Star Game. All my player selections, everything we did built around winning that game so an American League team could have home-field advantage. I felt like it was big for us last year with our fan base, even though we didn't win Game 7. But I felt like that was huge to have home-field advantage, and I felt like it would be huge again this year. So, you know, I was really focused on doing everything we could do to win the All-Star Game, so that the American League team that made it to the World Series would have home-field advantage. We worked hard at the end of the year to get home-field advantage in the League Championship Series, which really helped us. We played six games, we had four games at home, or we would have had four games at home, which was huge. Yeah, I think it's a big deal.
Q. If we go back to Game 1, there was a moment, Familia's quick pitch. It's something we've seen from a couple of guys in the Mets' bullpen over the course of the season. To what extent did you guys coming into this series discuss or scout stuff like that?
NED YOST: We did extensive video work on these guys, so we had a pretty good idea exactly what everybody was going to do and we were ready for that. It didn't catch us off guard when he was doing it.
Q. The statistics show that youth baseball in Kansas City went up wildly last year. And so many kids and coaches are watching what the Royals are doing right now. What do you hope they can learn from this team, the way they're playing right now?
NED YOST: Well, I think the most important thing that any young player can do, and if they watch us, they'll see us do it to a great degree, go out, play hard and have fun. I mean, that's the most important thing you can do as a young player, as a high school player, play the game fearlessly, don't be afraid to make a mistake. Play the game as hard as you can, and enjoy every second of it. And I think all of our fans or all the kids in Kansas City see us do that every single night.
Q. I had a manager tell me this summer that he almost never has to make "gut decisions" in a game, because every scenario has been gone over beforehand and his club knows what they're going to do when those come up. To what extent is that true for your ballclub?
NED YOST: It's probably 95 percent true. I've got a great coaching staff, and we try to cover every scenario that we can cover. And you have some -- to come to mind with the playoffs that we've had so far. We've had every scenario covered, with the exception of one, and that was Game 1, Ryan Madson on the mound, two guys on, two outs, with Daniel Murphy on deck, and we were going back and forth, do we bring in Franklin Morales to face Murphy in that situation? That was one situation we didn't really account for. And that was a gut decision that we would have had to make. And we had talked about it for it seemed like an eternity going through that, if we get to this situation in a tie ballgame, is this the move we want to make? But outside of that, most every situation that comes up we're totally prepared for because we prethought it ahead of time.