It doesn't get much better than this. Or, more accurately for Royals fans, it hasn't been better than this in a long, long time. A walk-off win, first place, and an almost-certain playoff appearance on the horizon. Then here comes manager Ned Yost to ruin everything, blasting Royals fans for not showing up at the ballpark.
Alex Gordon's ninth-inning, two-run homer was all the Royals needed in a spectacular 2-1 win over the Twins that preserved a 1.5-game lead in the division. But after the game, Yost took issue with the fact that only 13,847 fans were there to see it. The Kansas City Star's Sam Mellinger has the full text of what he calls Yost's "rant." Some highlights:
"I mean, what, 13,000 people got to see a great game?"
"It's really, really important we have our fans behind us at the stadium."
"We had a great crowd last night, and I was kind of hoping we'd have another great crowd tonight, and we really didn't."
"We've been working hard to make our fans happy and make our fans proud for a lot of years, and we'd like them out here to enjoy a night like this with us. Because this was a special night. This was a fun night. I just wish there could've been more out here to enjoy it with us."
Update: Courtesy of the Fescoe in the Morning show on 610 Sports in Kansas City, here's the audio of Yost's comments. It's definitely not a "rant," and Yost sounds more exasperated than angry.
To Yost's words, Mellinger starts spitting hot fire. He notes that it was a Tuesday, a school night, the temperature above 90. He deflates Yost's claim that Atlanta, during its 1991 pennant chase, sold out every game.
And then he makes the only point that ever needs to be made when a player or coach complains about attendance: fans don't owe anyone their patronage.
[H]e must not understand how silly and out of touch he sounds when he talks about "trying to build this team for the last three or four years."
Three or four years?
Many of the people who spent their money and time to watch Yost's team on Tuesday night have been around for 10 years. Twenty. Twenty-five. And only the ones old enough (and young enough, come to think of it) to remember 29 years ago have had their loyalty and passion repaid with even a sniff of a playoff appearance.
All due respect to Yost's three or four years of hard work, but the fans he's talking down to had their hearts broken long before he came here and will be here long after he's gone.
Maybe he should give them some slack if a great five weeks of baseball hasn't swayed a generation of stink just yet.
On a glorious night for the Royals, Ned Yost manages to dump on the fans [Kansas City Star]