Thank You, Ned!
By Sam Kombrink
As many of you know, the Royals most accomplished skipper Ned Yost is retiring from Major League Baseball. It will be a whole new era for the Royals in 2020, and it will start with a new manager. I will list the positives from the season, and the best candidates to replace Yost. I will also give an update on our local Avila University Football team.
I can remember attending the 2014 AL Wild Card game, when Yost maked a move to pull James Shields from the game and replaced him with Yordano “Ace” Ventura. I can remember not agreeing with the call. Along with other fans in my section, we did not understand why he went to Ventura instead of putting in a relief pitcher. We thought all hope was lost after he gave up a home run, making it 7-3. We got those three outs and then it was rally time. The game went into extra innings, and thanks to an RBI from Salvador Perez we won the game 9-8.
At that moment, it felt like the Royals were unstoppable. The Royals then went on to sweep the American League and went to back to back World Series tournaments. They won it all in 2015 by hitting to get on base, stealing those bases, and having a dominant bullpen.
Yost finishes his career with a Winning percentage of .473 with a career coaching record of 1,203-1,341 and a record of 746-839 as Royals Manager.
We may not have always agreed with the moves Yost made, but we will always refer to him as a championship manager, and for that Kansas City can’t thank him enough.
The Royals finished the 2019 season with a record of 59-103. Not a record that anyone hopes for but it was expected, as it usually goes with rebuilding ball clubs.
Despite that, the Royals did have some positives during the 2019 season. For one, Whit Merrifield was the MLB Hit King for the second season in a row leading the MLB with 206 hits. Designated hitter Jorge Soler was the American League Home Run King, leading the AL with 48 home runs. He also set a new Royals franchise record for most home runs in a season. It was the most home runs in a single season by a Cuban born player in MLB history. Soler had a batting average of .285 and will be 28 years old next season.
Not one but three Royals players led the majors in triples in 2019: Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi and Hunter Dozier along with Arizona’s, Eduardo Escobar led the league with 10 triples.
The Royals will have a busy offseason searching for a new manager, and I think they should look inhouse. There is speculation that the Royals brought in former St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny to replace Yost. If I was the Royals front office, I would interview Matheny as well as other managers from Yost’s staff. One guy in particular I would like to see manage this team is Catching/Quality Control Coach and translater Pedro Grifol. He seems to have good chemistry with the team, was a part of the World Series staff, and I believe has the respect of the players.
Avila Eagles Football
The Eagles record is now 2-2 coming off a 26-20 home victory versus Friends University on Saturday at the “Z”.
Quarterback John Jacobs III finished the game throwing 9/18 for 134 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception. Wide receiver Christian Hopkins led the team with 5 receptions, 63 yards, 1 touchdown. The Eagles defense came away with 1 interception by Senior Defensive Back Ike Adigwu. The Eagles also recorded 6 sacks in Saturday’s win.
Make sure to pack the “Z” on Saturday, October 5th, for Avila’s Homecoming Game as the Eagles take on Bethany College (1-3). Kickoff is at 1 pm.
2019 MLB World Series Prediction
Houston Astros vs St. Louis Cardinals > Houston