Ned Yost was about to leave the ballpark after Thursday’s 8-1 win when he was stopped in the parking lot. Some Royals fans tried to offer him a beer.
One of the men said it was his birthday, and Yost followed by telling the group that his birthday was the next day.
He then asked the men how old he looked.
“They said, ‘Oh, you look 50, 51,’ ” Yost said with a smile. “I said, ‘OK good. You guys go have a good time and stay out of trouble.’ ”
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In actuality, the Royals manager turned 62 on Friday, though there wasn’t much in the way of celebration before the game.
“I came to the park,” Yost said. “Just another day.”
Royals pitcher Danny Duffy reported that one of the players bought a cake, though he didn’t know who it was.
“He’s a fun-loving dude,” Duffy said of Yost. “I couldn’t be happier to have him as our skipper.”
Yost, who signed a three-year extension with the Royals in the offseason, said in February that he would evaluate after 2018 whether he wanted to continue managing.
In his seventh season with the Royals, he is the fourth-longest tenured manager with his current team. Among current managers, only Mike Scioscia (Angels), Joe Girardi (Yankees) and Bruce Bochy (Giants) have had longer uninterrupted stints.
Yost believes the most important part of managing is earning players’ respect.
“I don’t do anything different when we’re running a good time than when we’re running a bad time, except for just making sure everybody’s keeping their head up and playing hard,” Yost said. “Because I know it’s a roller-coaster ride. You have ups, and you have downs. The managers that fluctuate in their temperament or in their actions from day to day don’t help the situation. You have to continue to stay as even-keeled and level as you can.”
Strange but true
The Royals set a weird Major League record on Friday. They became the first team ever to go four consecutive games allowing one run, with each of those tallies coming on solo home runs.
In the Detroit series, J.D. Martinez (Monday), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Tuesday) and Victor Martinez (Wednesday) provided the offense, while the Twins’ Brian Dozier accounted for the Twins’ only run Thursday with his leadoff shot.
Yost said before Friday’s game that while he knew his team’s record, he still was holding off on looking at the standings.
“I don’t even know how many games out we are, to be honest with you,” Yost said. “It doesn’t matter. We can’t get there tonight, so all we can do is focus on this game and win it.”
Kansas City entered the game nine games back in the American League Central and 6 1/2 games out of the final Wild Card spot.