Baltimore Orioles: Ned Yost punk’d us all
If you asked Baltimore Orioles fans, Ned Yost and his Kansas City team are one of the squads that they probably DIDN’T want to see celebrating a world championship. The manner in which the players conducted themselves in last year’s ALCS still rubs fans and many players the wrong way. But they now have to deal with the fact that Kansas City has won it all, and for that they should be congratulated.
Nevertheless, there’s one thing about that team which kind of doesn’t seem right to me – so I’m going to step out of my persona as a writer here for just a second. I’m what you call a “schemer.” Perhaps because baseball is a thinking man’s game, I’m always trying to outwit my opponent in anything. I’ve been told that you can almost see the smoke coming out of my head when I get going! And it’s guys like Ned Yost who have always been my downfall.
No, I’m not blaming Yost for any problems which may exist in my life. We’re all accountable for ourselves. However if you think back to last year’s ALCS, what exactly did Kansas City “do” to warrant winning some of those games? They got ahead by broken bat singles, bloops, and a mistake here and there by the Orioles. And that’s partially how they got ahead in games in this World Series as well.
Kings of Kauffman
Courtesy of Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
FOX’s Joe Buck even alluded to it during last night’s game; apparently Yost told him something along the lines of we just wait for things to happen. And in fact in the ninth inning last night Kansas City seemingly knew that something fluky would occur that would be in their favor. Sure enough, it did; Eric Hosmer scored on a groundout to tie the game.
Quite frankly, I wasn’t thrilled with his decision to run when he did – I thought it was overy-aggressive. FOX’s commentators seemed to think it was good base running, and if you’re going based soley on the result I suppose it was. But a halfway decent throw home from first base nails him at the plate. Unfortunately for New York, the throw was way up high and away.
However again my point here is that if you’re relying on things like that to win games, where’s the strategy?! So yes, as a schemer and as someone who constantly tries to outdo his opponents mentally, there’s a part of me that resents seeing a manager who seemingly thinks so little win a World Series. I’m saying that a little bit tongue-in-cheek, mind you. But the success of his seeming “hands-off” tactics leave me wondering if people such as myself don’t play right into opponents’ hands with all of our maneuvering.
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If I had gone to high school with Yost, odds are I would have had my eye on a girl in my class and scrutinized for weeks over which expensive restaurant at which to invite her to join me. Of course I would have to ensure that she didn’t actually think it was a date (more like two people just having dinner) because a girl like her couldn’t slum it with someone like me and so forth. Eventually I’d figure out a way to bump into her “at random” (of course that “chance meeting” in reality would have had my fingerprints all over it) and I’d come off as a blabbering fool – due in large part to the pressure from all that scheming…
…and in the wake of that moment, Yost would walk up and ask her out for ice cream on Saturday night. She’d be taken by his simplicity, they’d hit it off, and live happily ever after. Now I went off on a tangent there for a moment obviously, however in a nutshell that’s how the Kansas City Royals won the World Series. Certainly not by engineering chance encounters in the halls of a high school, but by allowing their opponent to out-maneuver himself. (Oh did I mention that prior to the “chance encounter I probably would have thrown up?! Nerves are a true killer!)
Make no mistake about the fact that Yost and his Royals aren’t just observers by any means. Of course they strategize and so forth. Once again folks, some of this is tongue-in-cheek. But when you see very few moves made late in games but those non-moves end up working out to the detriment of the opponent, it makes you wonder.
Incidentally folks, I’m not nor was I ever a stalker – contrary to what you read above! But I’m just the type to weigh everything and every move I make with an insane amount of gratity. Here I am admitting that the hands off tactics of someone like Yost worked, but I’m not willing to change myself. I’m just set in my ways I suppose!
Next: Baltimore Orioles: Buck Showalter and Trick or Trot for Kids
What will be interesting is whether or not staying together in Kansas City or money is more important to several of the guys on that team. Like the Orioles, they could look vastly different next year. But that’s another story for another day. Congratulations to Kansas City and it’s fans. Regardless of how they won, they won it all and they deserve the accolades.