The Kansas City Royals came away with a dramatic walk-off win against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night. With his team trailing 1-0 in the ninth, Alex Gordon blasted a two-run homer that scored Alcides Escobar and gave the Royals a much-needed win to protect their 1.5-game lead in the NL Central. Despite that, manager Ned Yost was not all smiles after the game.
Yost was irritated at the fact that only 13,847 people showed up to the game.
“I mean, what, 13,000 people got to see a great game?” Yost asked reporters without being prompted to share his thoughts on attendance.
Of course, that led to follow-up questions. Yost welcomed them, because he clearly had an axe to grind.
“We’re in a pennant race, yeah,” he said. “We’ve been working on trying to build this team for the last three or four years to put ourselves in a position where we can contend for a championship. And not only the division, but we want to contend for a world championship. It’s really, really important we have our fans behind us at the stadium.
“I know it’s a school night. But I’ve been through this before in Atlanta (when the Braves first made the playoffs) in ‘91, where it didn’t matter what night it was, that place was packed at the end of August and September. The fans really got into it.
“They’re a big part of our success, especially at home. Because the electricity they provide, the energy they provide, helps you get through games like this. You know? …”
Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, who transcribed the above quotes, took issue with Yost’s comments and bluntly described them as “stupid.” It’s hard to disagree with him. For starters, Mellinger pointed out that the Royals are 4-6 in front of crowds of 30,000 or more this season. He also noted that on Aug. 26, 1991 the Braves played a Monday night game in front of 12,889 people while in a pennant race. Atlanta moved into first place with a win the next night, and 15,806 people were there to see it happen.
Mellinger’s well-reasoned takedown of Yost’s surprise attack on Royals fans is worth reading. He went on to discuss how the Royals have been bottom-dwellers for decades, so Yost has some nerve expecting a packed house now that the team has been hot for a few months. Do you know how much money fans have spent watching the Royals lose?
Yost’s remarks were poorly timed, to say the least.
H/T Hardball Talk