Ned Yost, the Royals’ career leader in managerial victories who guided the franchise to the 2015 World Series championship, will retire after the 2019 season ends Sunday.
The Royals announced Yost’s retirement on Monday morning, the day after the team hit the 100-loss mark for the second straight season. He was the first Royals manager to lead the franchise to back-to-back American League pennants and finishes with a 22-9 postseason record.
“With the development of our young players and our returning veterans, I feel and hope the worst is behind us in this rebuilding phase of our organization,” Yost said in a release. “My plan all along was to get us through the rough times then turn it over to a new manager to bring us the rest of the way.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here as your manager and will never forget the good and the hard times we had together as an organization and a fan base. I will never forget the fact that you fans supported us through it all. Kansas City will always have a special place in my heart, and I look forward to rooting the Royals on to their next world championship very soon.”
USA Today baseball writer Bob Nightengale reports that former Cardinals manager Mike Matheny will be Yost’s replacement.
The Royals have hired former Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as a special adviser for player development last November, just months after he had been fired by St. Louis.
Matheny had a winning record every year as the Cardinals manager, finishing with a 591-474 mark for a .555 winning percentage.
Matheny spent 13 seasons as a catcher, playing for the Brewers, Blue Jays, Cardinals and Giants. He was working in the Cardinals front offense when he was named manager after the 2011 season.
He became the first manager to reach the postseason in each of his first four years as a manager and his 2013 won the National League before falling to the Red Sox in the World Series.
Matheny was fired in July along with two hitting coaches after the Cardinals fell to 47-46. Mike Shildt was promoted to take Matheny’s place.
Yost became the Royals manager in May 2010, taking over for the fired Trey Hillman after 35 games.
The Royals lost 95 games in 2010 but would improve in each of the next five seasons under Yost: 71-91 in 2011, 72-90 in 2012, 86-76 in 2013, 89-73 in 2014 and 95-67 in 2015.
The 2013 team was in contention for a playoff spot though the season’s final days. In 2014, Yost led the Royals to the playoffs for the first time since the 1985 World Series championship season.
Starting with the thrilling, extra-inning AL Wild Card Game victory at home, the Royals won a MLB record eight consecutive games to start the postseason, clinching the pennant with a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals forced a deciding seventh game of the World Series at home but lost to the San Francisco Giants.
After the World Series title over the New York Mets in 2015, Yost went 81-81 and 80-82 the next two seasons before bottoming out at 58-104 last year. The Royals are 57-100 with five games remaining this season. He’s 744-836 overall as Royals manager.