History was made last night when the Kansas City Royals faced the Cleveland Indians last night. As the Royals stare down their quest to get back to the postseason, there was yet another memory of that amazing 1985 season. The spectre of Dick Howser, the last Royals manager to make the playoffs, was surpassed by Ned Yost.
With last night’s game, Yost managed game 771 of his career, passing Howser for the most games of any Royals manager. While the Royals have gone through a plethora of managers during the past two decades of mediocrity, being the manager of the Royals has not exactly been a position known for it’s longevity. After all, those 771 games are the equivalent of four full seasons and another 123 games. Not a single manager of the Royals has lasted for five full seasons throughout their entire 45 year history.
The Royals have employed some great managers. Jack McKeon, Bob Lemon and Whitey Herzog all won World Series trophies with other teams. Dick Howser likely would have been the manager of the Royals for years to come had he not succumbed to a brain tumor, forcing his retirement from baseball just a half season after winning the World Series in Kansas City.
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Now, Ned Yost has gone beyond each of those names. He may get to do something that no one else in Royals history has managed – get to a fifth full season. All that Yost needs is to manage another 38 games, something that he should easily accomplish should the Royals make the postseason. If/when that happens, Yost could truly distance himself from Howser on that list.
After going through seven managers in the past nine years, Yost has brought stability to what has traditionally been a revolving door. Even if he makes decisions that seem questionable at best, even if he has some truly head scratching comments in his press conferences, Yost has outlasted everyone else.
Ned Yost has managed the most games of anyone in Royals history. Maybe he can be the first to get to 1000 games. We’ll find out after these next few games.