Royals manager lets young player 'be themselves'

Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:06pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - After nine seasons as a Major League Baseball manager Kansas City Royals skipper Ned Yost decided to put games in the hands of his young players, who repaid the trust by reaching the World Series.

Yost said on the eve of Tuesday's World Series opener against the San Francisco Giants that he quit trying to fashion his players into an ideal about two seasons ago and encouraged them to be themselves.

"My mindset was always try to mould my players into what I thought they should be," Yost, who managed the Milwaukee Brewers for six years before joining the Royals in 2010.

"That comes from growing up in an environment with Bobby Cox, who had very strict rules and ideas about the game," added the former catcher who was on the staff of Hall of Fame manager Cox when he took the Atlanta Braves to five World Series.

"But you realize now that it's a different type of player than it was 10 years ago, and a totally different type of player than when I came up.

"One of the big lessons I learned was quit trying to mould them to be like you and just let them be themselves. Allow them to grow and play like they're capable of playing."

Yost said being less rigid also impacted the chemistry.

"I've found it's a lot more relaxed atmosphere. Guys are much more comfortable trying to be themselves instead of somebody who I want them to be.   Continued...

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost (3) talks with members of the media during a press conference the day before the start of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports