Friday, May 14, 2010

Ned Yost info from "Quevedo at the Buffet"

Earlier today I asked Quevedo at the Buffet:

And so I was wondering as someone who has watched him day in a day out if you could maybe tell us a little bit about Ned ? You know stuff we'll soon find out weird quirks,what his interviews are like etc.

And here is what they had to say.....

Alright, you want dirt on quirks and interview habits, we've got it:

Ned HATES the media, thinks they're a bunch of simple-minded, unathletic fools. He will defend his players to a fault, and he'll chide media members for failing to see all the little things that his players do to contribute.

You want examples? We've got examples:

Rickie Weeks was one of Yost's favorite players. When he came up, Weeks was an absolute butcher at second base. Ned refused to move him, and that's worked out OK, in the long run, as Weeks is now at least serviceable at second base. (More on that topic in a second.) But when Rickie was really scuffling in 2008, both in the field and at the dish, Ned didn't want to hear about it. First, Ned bristled when asked if he considered it odd that Weeks, who had a .324 OBP in May, was still fourth in the league in runs scored:

"That's not a weird stat. Rickie is a run-scorer," Yost said. "It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. See, you guys have no concept. He's a run-scorer. So there's nothing weird about it. That's what he does."

Ned also refused to label Rickie an underachiever, despite the hype that accompanied a No. 2 overall draft pick:

"I wouldn't say he has underachieved," said Yost. "He has never been a .300 hitter (in the majors), so who says he is underachieving? He's working his way up. He's getting better in all phases of his game. For me, he has never underachieved because he never achieved up here. How can you say he has underachieved?"

Some other favorites:

In 2008, there was a famous dust-up in the Brewer dugout, as an irate Prince Fielder went nuts on pitcher Manny Parra. After the game, Yost was perturbed that reporters asked him what caused the fight:

"It’s a little bit rude when your neighbors are fighting next door for you to go knock on the door and ask what happened."

As you'll soon learn, managing the bullpen is not Ned's forte. For instance, in 2008, Yost insisted on using Guillermo Mota as his eighth-inning set-up guy, even when Mota had some spectacular and frequent flame-outs in that role. When asked why he continued to run Mota out there in the eighth inning, Yost matter-of-factly responded: "He's my eighth inning guy." The logic was almost overwhelming. Not to be outdone, Yost once inserted a washed-up Greg Aquino into a close game when other, more capable relievers were available. Asked why, Yost answered that Aquino fielded his position better.

Your new manager is also very high strung and prone to untimely fits of machismo. The Brewers were fighting to stay in the playoff race in 2007, and the players were showing signs of cracking under pressure. What did Ned do to steady the ship? Got himself tossed from three games at the end of September, including one in which he ordered Seth McClung to throw at Albert Pujols after a Brewer had been hit by a pitch earlier in the game. Yost's rationale for playing bean ball with a team that was out of contention? "These kids need to know at a time like this their manager is behind them." Behind them in the clubhouse, apparently.

As for the hitters, Ned developed a couple of curious habits with his line-ups. One was the so-called "money order": in the summer of 2008, Yost, almost without fail, used the same batting order -- 2B SS LF 1B RF 3B CF C P -- regardless of who was playing those positions. Thus, if J.J. Hardy got a day off and Craig Counsell got a start, Craig hit second, and if Laynce Nix subbed for Ryan Braun in left, Nix (yes, THAT Laynce Nix) hit third. The other quirk was Ned's "Sunday specials," when he'd put in most of his back-ups to give the regulars a blow. Of course, every manager wants to give his starters some rest during the season, and Sunday games often provide a great opportunity to do so, but Ned took this to the extreme, oftentimes sitting everyone but Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder on Sunday afternoons.

In the interest of equal time: Ned isn't completely worthless as a manager. Again, he'll stick up for his players at every opportunity, a trait which the players, especially the young ones, greatly appreciate. The players aren't looking over their shoulder every time something goes wrong, or hearing the skipper criticize them in the paper every day. When Yost was in Milwaukee he let guys like Hardy, Weeks, Prince and Braun just go out and play. He took the heat from the press, and was patient with them in their development. Whether that's going to be a benefit with the Royals -- who don't seem to be in the midst of a youth movement, given that you're running guys like Podsednik and Kendall and Ross Gload out there -- I don't know.

A big thanks again to Quevedo at the Buffet be sure and check them out for all your Brewers needs. Oh and here is they're post-on-Yost, be sure and check it out.

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