Yost plans to 'enjoy his family' after retirement

Royals skipper, Moore emotional about their 10-year tenure

September 25th, 2019

KANSAS CITY -- Royals manager Ned Yost said he came to his decision to retire shortly after the All-Star break, and he made it clear at a media conference on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium prior to the Royals-Braves series opener that he was going to vanish from the game for a while.

Yost had hinted in recent years that even when he did retire, he could see himself serving as an advisor to his close friend, general manager Dayton Moore. But that won’t be the case, at least not for a while.

“I’m going to take a year off,” Yost said. “I’ve had one summer off my whole life. And I had two months of summer off in 1981 when [the MLB players] went on strike. I want to go home. I want to spend the next summer at home and just relax. And then, I’ll look at it when we get down the road. I’ve got grandkids, family. And I just want to go home and enjoy my family for the first time in a long time.”

Yost and Moore held separate, but emotional, even teary-eyed, media sessions, a day after the team announced Yost was stepping down after this season.

Moore got choked up several times when asked to describe how his relationship with Yost endured for 10 years, a merger that produced two American League championships and a World Series title.

“It’s going to be hard not working with him,” Moore said, his voice shaking at times.

“It’s been an unbelievable honor to work with Ned. We had that synergy with the general manager and the manager, and the owner. Ned was absolutely the right person at the right time to lead us. I consider him a great friend, someone I love, and I love his family. Very proud that he’s the all-time winningest manager in Royals history. And I’m very proud that he can go out on his own terms.”

Moore said he wasn’t shocked when Yost told him that this season would his last.

“I wasn’t surprised because Ned and I had talked very candidly about the commitment it takes to do that job,” Moore said. “We talked every year about it. It has to be 100 percent commitment. If you commit 99.9 percent of your time you’re going to lose. And I think Ned, being a smart man, being a balanced man, being a God-fearing man, made a decision, just evaluating his place going forward, and he has earned that right.”

Yost said the decision wasn’t difficult.

“The biggest part of it for me was when we won the World Series in 2015, that was phenomenal,” Yost said. “Then in 2016 and 2017, I thought we had a chance to win again. I told Dayton then, ‘Let’s hang on and see if we can win it again.’ But after ’17, I knew with all those guys walking that we’d go through some tough times. I thought about [retiring] then, but I knew I had to go through the tough times as a manager because I could take it. I could take the negative talk. I knew I had to be a part of getting us through a tough time.

“But after the All-Star break, I went home, and then I came back and I told Dayton that [retiring] was what I was going to do. I have looked at the development of our young players and we’ve got a guy [Whit Merrifield] who will lead the league in hits, and we’ve got a guy [Jorge Soler] who will lead the [American League] in home runs, and a guy [Adalberto Mondesi] who will lead the [AL] in triples and be second in stolen bases. We’ve got Hunter Dozier coming on like gangbusters. We’ve got Salvy [Perez] coming back, which will be huge. If [Alex Gordon] comes back that will be huge. I just feel like this team is in a position where the worst of it, is over.

“We’ve got to get better pitching, but we’ve got the personnel to do it. But we could be a position to win 70-75 games next year. You get to that point, then you battle to get to .500. Then you go from there. We had four Minor League teams win championships this year. That is huge for the development of our organization. We’ve got all that pitching at high A and Double-A, and they’re coming. That’s huge. I feel now that the organization is in a spot where the hard part is over. Losing 100 games two years in a row isn’t fun. It’s not in my DNA. But I felt it was my personal responsibility to this organization and to this city because of what they’ve done for me and my family to see this through.”

Moore did not set a timetable for hiring a new manager, likely because of the team’s pending ownership transition from David Glass to John Sherman that won’t be completed until mid-November. It is believed Pedro Grifol and Dale Sveum from Yost’s staff will get consideration, as will former Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who was hired as a special assistant last offseason.

“It’s a simple process,” Moore said. “You seek counsel. You talk to people on your staff and in the industry ... it’s a leadership position. It’s a decision we feel capable of making. We will consider all opinions.

“I would never hire a manager or extend a manager without the complete support of my authority, my boss. Obviously, we’re in a unique position with an ownership transition. But that doesn’t mean this train is going to stop. We will communicate effectively with [Glass] and [Sherman], and make decisions at the appropriate time.”

Yost said while he hopes someone from his staff will succeed him, he believes Moore will make the correct choice. Meanwhile, Yost simply is eager to get back to his home in Georgia on Monday.

“I miss my family and I miss my farm,” Yost said. “But I will miss my players and I will miss Dayton, and I will miss the organization.”