Ned Yost, long-time Braves coach, retiring as Royals manager

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost sits in the dugout before a spring training baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) ORG XMIT: AZCN1
Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost sits in the dugout before a spring training baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) ORG XMIT: AZCN1

Royals manager Ned Yost, a long-time Braves coach and Bobby Cox disciple, announced he’ll retire at season’s end, finishing an illustrious coaching career that included the 2015 World Series title.

The Royals held a news conference Tuesday afternoon before their game against – fittingly – the Braves. Yost, who’s managed 16 seasons in Milwaukee and Kansas City, was groomed by Cox during the Braves’ glory days.

“I’m happy for him,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker, another Cox protégé. “I’m glad he can go out on his terms. All the success he’s brought this organization since he’s been here. I think he’s excited about retirement.”

Yost, 64, spent 12 seasons on Cox’s staff with the Braves (1991-2002) as a bullpen coach and third base coach. He’d had a six-year major-league career as a catcher from 1980-85 with the Brewers, Rangers and Expos.

The Braves signed Yost as a veteran backstop to work with their younger arms in Double-A, as current Braves manager Brian Snitker recalls. Yost retired after the 1987 season and became a manager in the organization for the Single-A Sumter Braves, a team that Snitker managed in 1986.

“We signed him, we had some young pitchers in Double-A and he was an older veteran guy we signed to catch the young guys in Double-A,” Snitker, a long-time minor-league coach with the Braves, recalled. “Then he ended up managing in the minor leagues, got on Bobby’s staff.

Before joining Cox’s staff, Yost managed the Braves’ Single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League from 1988-90. He became the big-league Braves’ bullpen coach in 1991, holding that position until transitioning to third base coach in 1999.

The Brewers hired Yost as their manager in 2003. He held the position until Sept. 15, 2008, accumulating a 457-502 record. He led the Brewers to an 83-79 mark in 2007, their first winning season in 15 years.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore, a former Braves scout and executive, hired Yost as their manager in 2010. Yost oversaw the franchise’s great turnaround that included back-to-back American League pennants in 2014 and 2015, including the latter championship.

Yost, currently the longest tenured manager in the AL, guided the Royals to three consecutive winning campaigns (2013-15). The franchise had one winning season since 1994 before his arrival (2003).

He owns a career 1201-1338 (.473) record entering his final five games as a manager. He retires as the manager with the most wins in Royals history, with 744.

“He’s just a really good baseball man,” Snitker said. “He’s had a great career. He did really, really good here. I’m happy for him.”

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