Uh-oh. We’ve got our first big scandal of spring training: did Eric Hosmer text Ned Yost?
OK, this isn’t really a big deal, but it’s led to chatter among some Royals fans. It started about 12 hours after Hosmer had agreed to a contract with the Padres and Yost was asked by reporters at spring-training camp if the two had been in contact.
Yost said no.
“I’m not sure whose orders that was,” Yost joked. “I didn’t hear from him, even when I was on my deathbed.”
That was in reference to Yost’s near-death experience after he fell from a tree on his farm in Georgia.
The chatter made for a light moment in Surprise, Ariz., where the Royals have their camp.
But on Tuesday, after Hosmer had been introduced as San Diego’s new first baseman, he was interviewed on the MLB Network and made a point of saying he texted Yost.
The first question was about how Hosmer will remember Yost. Hosmer immediately addressed what Yost had said.
“Well, first of all, I’ll question his ability to use a cell phone, because he said I hadn’t reached out to him, and I’ve got the text messages on my phone that have conversations with us,” Hosmer said with a chuckle.
OK, that’s not conclusive, because those conversations could have happened at any point.
Hosmer then talked about having a great relationship with Yost: “But no, in all seriousness, Ned, what he did with all of us, I think the appreciation came from a lot of us for the back end of our career in our time with Kansas City.
“When we all first got called up into the big leagues, we all came up as a bunch of highly-touted prospects, and I don’t think we realized what Ned had on his plate. He did a lot for us as far as being a normal manager and at the same time trying to help all these young guys develop into good major-league players. I have nothing bad to say about any guys in Kansas City. They treated me with the utmost respect and first-class all the way. I wish those guys nothing but the best.”
One possibility on the did-he-text-or-not conversation: Yost admitted having some, ah, unusual experiences while taking pain killers after his accident. Perhaps he didn’t recall any text messages from Hosmer.
The most important thing on this, um, debate is it’s clear that Hosmer and Yost still have a good relationship.
You can see all of Hosmer’s conversation on the MLB Network here:
On Wednesday morning, Yost said he heard from Hosmer within the last week, but not during the offseason.
Another wrinkle to the tale: Hosmer changed his phone numbers during the offseason and that could have contributed to the confusion.