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The Wrong Move? Ned Yost's Contract Extension & A Royal Slide

The Royals gave Ned Yost a two-year contract extension in the middle of the season. After a slide to end the season, was that the right move?

Ned Yost signed a two year extension around the date of Major League Baseball's trading deadline at the end of July. At that time, it seemed that somehow the Kansas City Royals manager had generated some momentum despite the same basic roster that former manager Trey Hillman had failed to win with. No one expected Yost to vie for the division title or race back into the wild card standings. But Yost had the Royals around the .500 mark under his watch and it seemed he was the man.

Yet here we are further down the stretch and the road and Yost is 15 games under .500 for the 2010 season. Hillman began the season 11 games under .500. Given Hillman's descending winning percentage (.463 in his first year, .401 his second year, .343 this season), he deserved the axe. I'm just not so sure Yost deserved the extension. Now the Royals have their manager through 2012, which is when the youngsters should all be present and accounted for at the major league level. The question: is the right guy for the job?

The Royals are .436 in their winning percentage under Yost, but it's even worse than that when you dive into the results. The Royals bloomed early under Yost with a nearly .500 month in June at 13-14. As the season wore on, things got worse. Here in September, the Royals are tanking with a 7-13 record. Unless you're after a Strasburg type of talent and under orders from the front office to lose, this is bad news.

This is a sign of a sinking ship, a lack of focus and sharpness in young players who need a heavy hand to guide them through the end. Great momentum for the next season can be gained by finishing well, but the Royals -- already a poor club -- are saving their worst for last. It's a stench that will last well into the off-season and it's hard to believe that a few rookies can right a ship that's gone so awry.

With their final two series against the Twins and the Rays, things aren't likely get any better before season's end with both opponents in the playoff race.