JACK'S SMACK: Ned Yost needs to stop playing favorites & win some games

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Baseball happens to be the sport where the manager is always the scapegoat. If he happens to be the least bit surly, it's much easier for fans to choose sides, and most times – the manager will be the culprit.

I speculated in this space last week about the popularity of Royals manager Ned Yost. I used Whitey Herzog as the model. The white rat could be testy at times, but he was a heck of a manager and led the Royals to their first-ever playoff appearance as an expansion team in 1976.

This franchise hasn't been much good for the better part of the last 30 years. Yost has a chance to help make the Royals a winner again.

He's been given one of the better starting rotations in baseball. Many think the bullpen is the strength of the team.

But suddenly -- the pen is in disarray. Part of the problem is the manager. I don't like the way Ned Yost handles the pitching staff. Never have. He cost the Royals two games on the last home stand.

It's very early, but his handling of the staff is a red flag that should not be ignored.

Another thing that sticks in my crawl about Yost – he'll never admit that he's wrong. Never. He's a lot like our weatherman in that regard.

Yost has a quick fuse when things are not going well. It doesn't take a lot to set him off.

Nate Bukaty of 810 seems to be the designated media-agitator. He's always there with a question or two that seem to bring out a snarky response from the manager.

I find the exchange to be entertaining.

After all, how many excuses does Yost have when talking about his boy, Luke Hochevar -- the media's favorite punching bag, and for good reason.

Look, second guessing the manager is part of the fun. At least we care, now.

But with the highest payroll in Royals history – no more excuses. This manager needs to stop putting this favoritism of certain players ahead of the team.

The Royals need to win, and win now. I'm not so sure that will happen with this manager.

That's Jack's Smack.

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