Manager Ned Yost has gallbladder removed, returns to Kansas City Royals camp next day

David Brown
Big League Stew

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost said he had endured two years of recurring pain and just couldn't stand it any longer. Besides, he didn't want the discomfort he felt to prevent him from enjoying legendary Kansas City barbecue, to which he has become accustomed.

So, on Tuesday night, Yost left Royals camp in Surprise, Ariz. for nearby Phoenix, where a doctor who works for the Arizona Diamondbacks removed his gallbladder. By Yost's count, the surgeon made three incisions. Yost's wife had to drive him home after the outpatient surgery. And yet, by the next morning, he was back at work.

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What is the polite way to ask this? Ned, are you bonkers?'s Dick Kaegel has an answer:

To hear Yost tell it, there wasn't much to it.

"Two holes here, a hole here and they got it and yanked it right out," he said.

The surgery came at an opportune moment.

"The doctor said, when he was done, 'We got this out in the nick of time because you were really fixin' to have some problems,'" Yost said.

Yost, 57, said his gallbladder "started acting up" when he arrived at spring training and, after getting himself checked out, doctors found "two or three big stones," including one that was completely blocking a duct. How bad was the pain?

"It just feels like you've got four knives in your side and the rest of your insides are tied in like 50 knots and you can't stand up, you can't lay down. It's just horrible pain, but it generally subsides after four or five hours and you get a little sleep," he said.

Kaegel asked some of Yost's players and they were impressed with his pain tolerance and ability to transition quickly from surgery to ballpark. Left-hander Bruce Chen said, hopefully jokingly, that he couldn't ask for a day off anymore if his arm felt sore because, well, if Ned could take the pain... Getting back to the gallbladder, there's another part that I don't understand. Here's Ned, talking about when the pain is the worst:

"The worst part about it is that it comes after like spicy and greasy foods and one of my favorite things during the summer is to eat barbecue ribs. I'd eat 'em and, sure enough, that night you'd have an attack and I wasn't going through it this summer. Those ribs are too important to me."

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The gallbladder stores bile, which aids in digestion of fat. A person can function OK without a gallbladder, but some patients — perhaps more than some — have to be cautious about eating fatty foods (like barbecue ribs, Ned). Diarrhea, improper fat absorption and general blahs can result. Yost is still liable to have digestive problems if his diet continues to be fatty. And removing the gallbladder won't necessarily prevent gallstones from returning, either.

So, to recap: Yost makes a questionable decision to go back to work about 12 hours after having surgery. He also blithely plans on returning to his greasy diet of fatty ribs, yet he won't have as much bile stored to break it down in digestion, which opens him up to getting sick. Think he'll change his mind and lay off the ribs? Here's one more block of text from

Yost's wife, Deborah, drove him back to their Surprise hotel about 11 p.m. on Tuesday. He had a chocolate milkshake, went to bed and slept soundly.

A chocolate milkshake. Doesn't that have a lot of fat in it? I'm not a doctor and I don't even want to play one on the Internet, but does this strike anyone else as peculiar? Either the doctors didn't tell Yost what might happen, or he's ignoring them.

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Well, he does admit to being "hard-headed." Hopefully his gizzard is just has hard.

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