Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ned Yost; Mediocre Manager

On Sunday, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe brought us his ranking of Major League Baseball's managers. You can view the full article here. Here's what he had to say regarding the Royals commander and chief, whom he ranked as the 14th best skipper in the game.
"Management stuck with him through the tough times and Yost, with a ton of experience, is a stabilizing influence in the clubhouse. the Royals should be good for a while, and Yost is a solid choice to lead them."
For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you know that I am not a fan of Yost. I think tactically he is terrible. Of course, I also can't deny that last season's surge was impressive considering the depths from which the team had to climb from. I do think Yost deserves a great deal of credit  for preventing a young team from cashing it in after the wheels fell off in May. At the same time, the argument could also be made that he allowed a talented team's skid to snowball far too long early in the season.

Yost ranking 14th among active managers is as much of an indictment on the state of baseball management then it is on Cafardo's ranking. When you consider how far analytics have come in the front office, one has to wonder how long it will be before it has achieved widespread utilization in the clubhouse. Football coaches utilize cheat sheets to determine whether or not to kick the extra point, how long before managers are holding a run expectancy or a bullpen leverage cheat sheets?

Most of us feel as though there is no manager in the league worst than Ned Yost. Most of us also don't subject ourselves to watching the poor management decisions that run rampant throughout professional baseball on a given night. If Cafardo is right and Ned Yost really is middle of the road, think about the difference that is being made by the good managers.

Last season Terry Francona helped lead the Indians to a 92 win season, while his Royals counterpart guided the team to 86 wins. What would the records of the Indians and Royals have been if the managers swapped dugouts? Would the Royals have won 92, while the Indians just 86? Unfortunately, we'll never know the answer to this question.

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