The Kansas City Royals, backed by strong defense and a top-notch bullpen, finished off their domination of the American League with a 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Kansas City has now won eight straight playoff games this year, a MLB record. Ned Yost talks about the win and season in general at his post-game press conference.
Q. You talk about grinding throughout the season as far as just taking one game at a time, not letting various moments get to you. Can you talk about how this team continuously being relaxed, being able to grind away?
NED YOST: They grind away. They have a lot of confidence in themselves. They’re a very loose group. Right from the beginning of the playoffs, I don’t know what clicked for them, but something clicked and they were totally used to this atmosphere. There was no pressure. They were loose. They were on the attack and very, very confident club.
Q. Can you speak to just how many different people contributed in this series. I know there can only be one MVP, but there seemed like there were a lot of candidates.
NED YOST: The starting pitching was phenomenal. The bullpen was unbelievable. Herrera, Davis, Greg Holland. Clutch hitting. We had clutch hits by just about everybody up and down the lineup. Moustakas had a phenomenal series. Hos had a phenomenal series. Lorenzo Cain, phenomenal. Salvador did a great job of handling the pitching staff. It was just a whole team effort.
Q. When the postseason started you mentioned about taking tons of abuse over time. Do you feel at all vindicated?
NED YOST: I don’t need vindication. I’m real you know, I’m comfortable with who I am. And everything that I look at, I don’t look at much. But I’m the dumbest guy on the face of the earth. But I know that’s not true. I am smart enough to hire really, really good coaches and use them. But I’m real comfortable in my own skin. I don’t feel like I need vindication. I’m not looking for it, don’t care for it.
My whole goal none of this was ever about me. To winning a championship was all about this city, our fans, and these players. I’ve been there six times before, I know how special it is. And I wanted my players to experience it. I wanted the city of Kansas City to experience it and our fans. We’re going to do that here next week.
Q. After the last out there it looked like I saw a big group hug and then did I see you run on the field into that mob and it almost looked like you were skipping on the grass.
NED YOST: That was not me, it was probably somebody else, but it wasn’t me. I stood back. Again, I’m very fortunate to have phenomenal coaches with phenomenal baseball minds; Don Wakamatsu, Pedro Grifol, Dale Sveum, Mike Jirschele made a big impact, Dave Eiland, Rusty Kuntz, the best first base coach in baseball. They have helped me unbelievably through this postseason. And a lot of the credit for what we’ve done definitely goes to them.
Q. When you stood back, what were the feelings going through you as you watched what was going on?
NED YOST: I just wanted to see their enjoyment. I wanted to see their satisfaction. I wanted to see them celebrate together out there because I know what this means to them.
These kids, from the minute you saw them you knew they were going to be special. Then they won championships in A ball together and they won championships in Double?A together and they won championships in Triple?A together. And then their goal was to get up here and win a championship, and today they accomplished that.
Q. How many hits and how many runs did your defense take away, not only in this series, but throughout the playoff run? Can you see it having a deflating effect on the opposite team?
NED YOST: It absolutely does. When you range as far as we range in the outfield, Alex Gordon making another spectacular catch today. Especially when these games are as tight as they are, you just feel like you’re never going to get a break, because our defensive guys are absolutely everywhere, and it is a bit deflating.
You get through the sixth inning and you’re down a run, and all of a sudden here comes Herrera, here comes Davis, and here comes Holland. That’s a little bit deflating, too.
Q. Does it feel like this whole postseason has been an opportunity for America to kind of learn some of your players, particularly in the case of Cain, who obviously is the MVP?
NED YOST: Absolutely. This is a wonderful time for America to watch our team. And I think what they’ve done is they’ve fallen in love with our team. They love our athleticism. They love our energy. They love the way these guys play hard and enjoy each other. And they love the way that they stand up and get clutch hits and make fantastic plays. And everybody is tipping their cap to each other. They love speed.
I think they just love the way we play the game. And I think it was a great experience for our players, but I think that we’ve made a bunch of new fans throughout the country.
Q. You’ve been so good about being able to change the channel, as you put it, and just shrug off stuff, but there were times there were loud boos in the postseason during that Wild Card game. How do you manage that?
NED YOST: Because they didn’t really understand the situation, but I did. I knew what we were doing there. This was the game plan, it just didn’t work out.
That was not the boo they were booing me, but more than anything else it was their frustration of 29 years of losing that prompted that. And I understand that. I understand the frustration in that. And I knew that even though it was directed at me, it was the frustration there.
So I’ve got to say it’s just like water off a duck’s back. I don’t really pay no attention to it because I understand what we’re trying to do. I understand the thought process behind it. And when it doesn’t work out, I know you’re going to be criticized, that’s just the way things go nowadays. And you get criticized when things go right. So what does it matter?
Q. From everything I read and heard it seemed to be the consensus that the Divisional Series and the Championship Series were going to be both tightly contested affairs. What is your thought on winning them?
NED YOST: They were tightly contested affairs. Every game in this series could have been changed by one swing of the bat by either team. It just happened that we were the team that got that one swing of the bat. They were all tight games. They were all close games. They were all nip and tuck games. We just found ways to win baseball games.