Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Ned Yost Legacy

When this season is over and we again fall just short of the playoffs, a big decision has to be made.  What to do with Ned Yost.  To me, there's one inning that completely defines the Yost era and why he is incapable of getting this club over the hump.  That was the top of the 7th on Monday night.  Faced with the decision of whether to leave CC in or take him out with the bases loaded, Ned Yost displayed an incredible lack of leadership unseen since the blank stare of Bill Callahan on the Memorial Stadium sidelines in Lincoln.  

Ned's decision to leave CC in the game was correct, and subsequently proven correct by the sure inning ending double play CC induced.  Leaving Rickie in the game was not the issue, either.  The look on Ned's face while pacing up and down in the dugout and the way he threw his hands up in the air and helplessly looked at Ted Simmons is all the proof I need to deliver a death penalty verdict to Mr. Yost.  In the most critical situation of his managing career, Yost absolutely shit the bed and sent the message to his young team that he didn't have confidence in them or in his own decision making.  

All of the other issues with Yost stem from this lack of confidence.  His terse know-it-all attitude with the media?  Check.  His refusal to bench Weeks?  Check.  His meltdown and repeated ejections at the end of 2007?  Check.  His comment that starting 24-10 would have been bad in 2008?  Check.

A team takes on the attitude of its leader.  Look at the Patriots or the Yankees under Torre.  Hell, I see it at work all the time.  Brauny said it right after the Red Sox series.  This team doesn't expect to win and that attitude starts with Ned Yost, regardless of his trite cliches.  Ultimately, that will be the reason the Brewers will be searching for a new skipper for the 2009 season.

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