Digital Digest was on Thursday and we bloggers were foaming at the mouth for a shot at the champion (Dayton Moore). We had practiced, strategized and even solicited outside help. This was going to be the main event of all events. The pay per view was bought, paid for and then before it started it was over. Dayton had bobbed, weaved and worked us over like a pro in his prime facing a not ready for prime time opponent. We were of no match, he turned 5 questions into an art of ducking, jabbing and scoring like he was Floyd Merriweather Junior and we were the white slow pasty contenders fresh from the basement. His parting shot was a revelation that Zack had three interested parties two of which were on his no trade clause. What? Wait, who was the third? Alas but our time was up the final extension of his chin only to leave us whiffing.
What now? How can we show our faces in front of the blogger gym/basement again?
Oh ya the old Rocky coach who just gave the old guard a tongue lashing the day before. He'll embrace and open up with the new guys and gal on the block. He'll help mold us and reveal some interesting stuff along the way.
By looking at Ned's body language he looks quite intimidated by our presence.
Question #1 (Michael Engel Kings of Kaufman): I've read an article where you said the Royals have the prospects down the line to win a world series but you also related it to the Brewers who had Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun. What do you see different?
Ned Yost (condensed answer)- Just looked at mlb.com today and we've got Hos, Moose at #1 on the corners, Myers #2 behind the plate and Giavotella #10 at second base. We've got pitching right handed and left handed coming and relievers that I believe are going to be real good pitchers. The Royals have more depth top to bottom than Milwaukee and is more comparable to the situation in Atlanta.
My interpretation- He seems very excited about the depth of the system not being tied to just one or two young players. He knows most the players in the system and knows that the depth is there for a decent run and his job isn't tied to just one or two guys.
Question (Brian McGannon Royals Kingdom): Did you ever notice a negative effect from Zack?
Condensed NY - No. Zack is different and he was uncomfortable to communicate unless it was necessary. He's quiet reserved except when he's on that mound.
Question: Do you want Soria to pitch more + the sabermetric community believe the closer role is overinflated, would you consider bringing Soria in the game in a more high leverage situation?
NY - I know a lot of people say that and there is a lot of times the 6th inning is a black hole to me. If you can get through the 6th you are generally setup for the 8th, 7th. A lot of people say that but I don't see a lot of managers doing it. One day it could become a trend but you won't catch me doing it. But it does make sense there is merit to the thought. I want a guy that when I get to the 8th inning he's gonna close that out.
My interpretation - Plain and simple it might be the better thing to do but I am not gonna step out on that limb by myself. He tries to turn the game into an eight inning game and feels more comfortable going with the status quo until someone else throws their self on the sword.
Question (Nick Scott Royals Authority): Is setting the lineup the most overrated thing you do?
NY - Yes, yes it is. It's really overrated, I've read studies where sabermetric community states you can pull your lineup out of a hat and you're not gonna get much more production. You still go with a traditional lineup however you get your speed guy 1, your situational hitter 2, your best hitter three, your most power four your best RBI guy five and then your last hitters you line them up to that point. It's a little overrated
My interpretation- I'm just impressed that he's read some studies in regards to this. Yes I would like him to read some of the other stuff that states your two hitter is more important than your three but in the end he's right the impact of the order is minimal, unless you have Kendall batting second of course.
Question (Brian McGannon) Last year you batted Willie Bloomquist one game. Was that a message to tell young guys that if you work hard enough in your career you can earn this sort of thing?
NY : Nah I just felt Willie was gonna have a good day.
My interpretation- As he said earlier the lineup isn't an exact science and sometimes you just go with your gut. Simple, easy and real.
Question (Matt/Boots 58@Royals Review) What do you see as the makeup of the outfield?
NY: Going into this if we traded Zack we would definitely get some outfielders back. Looking at the makeup of our outfield everyone coming back were all left handed hitters. But we didn't know what we were going to get back in the Greinke trade, then it appeared a deal wasn't going to happen so we committed to Jeff and Melky. And one of the reasons they came here was the opportunity to play everyday. And we have Alex working hard everyday.
Quesion (Matt/Boots58@Royals Review) Do you plan on playing Alex everyday?
NY: Ya but kind of but Lorenzo Cain is in that mix, Blanco is in that mix and Dyson is in that mix. We'll have to see how things shake out. Melky is a switch hitter so you don't have a platoon advantage there, Jeff kills lefthanders and he's gonna do good against righties.
Question (Minda Haas mindahaas.net): Since playing time has been promised to outfielders, what happens if someone outperforms the others.
NY: Then we'll just sit down and read about it. I don't know we'll see what happens. In order to bounce back you've got to be given an opportunity and it can't be a week it can't be two days or three days. You have to give guys legitimate opportunities with patience and courage to give guys opportunities to be the players you hope they can be.
My interpretation: Right or wrong I think the Royals have made commitments to Franceour and are willing to give him the starting job everyday. Yost tossed in that bit about good against righties because he doesn't want to let on about a possibility of platooning him. I really get the idea that he's going to let the rest just shake out from there and he's open to any of the other two spots.
Question (Nick Scott): Have you ever seen the Hal McRae video where he goes crazy, do you ever sympathize and want to do that your self?
NY : Ya I've seen it but no I've been through this before. I know where we are doing, I know where we are going, I know what it's gonna take to get there, how were are gonna get there and that keeps me going. Doing it right.
My interpretation: Yost came off as supremely confident with this answer. I really get the impression that he is all in with this. Maybe it's cause he has to be but it really sounds like he believes. I never heard that commitment from Trey or the last few managers and perhaps its because I never sat in a room with them or believed myself the way I do but this time it sounded true and real.
For some of you perhaps these weren't great answers on Ned's part but to me it was refreshing that he didn't give coach speak. He gave us true from the gut type answers and at least for me that's all I was asking out of this opportunity.
Links to the other winners blog articles about the experience:Nick Scott The Internet Meets Dayton Moore Broken Bat Singles Podcast #41
Matt Boots 58 Royals Digital Digest 2011; It All Happens Here
Michael Engel Let's Get Digital
Minda Haas Jeff Franceour on leadership, FanFest odds and ends, FanFest musings: the Dayton Moore interview
Kirk Harris A Yeti goes to Fan Fest
Brian McGannon Billy Butler doesn't know any good places to eat in Idaho Falls, plus Dayton Moore
If I left anyone out please email me and I'll get it posted.