Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost continues to come through with great quotes that contrast sharply with the quality of baseball his team keeps playing.
After the Royals fell 4-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night for their seventh straight loss and their 18th in 22 games, Yost was asked what he's going to do about making his players accountable for their 21-28 record. This is what Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reported:
Yost on holding players accountable: "What are you asking me to do? Take my belt off and spank them? Yell at them? Scream at them?…"
— Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) May 29, 2013
You had me at "spank," Ned. Although, once you "get the belt," don't you cross over from spanking into "whooping"? It's a fine line.
It's also a quote that would be harder to conjure in the 1980s, when so many teams played in Sans-a-Belt slacks. This might not be as good as the "Third Baseman Tree" that Ned planted some time ago in an effort to replace Mike Moustakas, but it's still quality imagery.
Moustakas happened to be benched for the loss against the Cardinals, so Yost — it can be inferred — already was holding him accountable for his below-average output. And yet, Moose made his way into the photoshop for a Ned spanking. On the right, that's Susan Slusser, president of the Baseball Writers Association of America, ignoring the corporal punishment about to go down in the Royals dugout.
It's hard to believe the Royals were in first place in May, but they were, before the tailspin. They started the season 17-10. Everything started to go wrong, coincidentally or not, after Yost pulled James Shields with a 1-0 lead before he could complete the game. Obviously, there's a lot more wrong here than one game gone awry, afoul and askew.
What will it take for them to play as hoped? Planting trees? Several good whacks to the bottom? More of The Will To Win? Whatever it is, we're all depending on Bob Dutton and friends to keep quoting Ned Yost accurately.