Why Did the Brewers Fire Ned Yost?

I’m not going to deny that there are plenty of legitimate reasons for firing Ned Yost. I don’t have an opinion on the issue. What I do know is that his firing wasn’t motivated by these reasons.

The Brewers have been a nice story this season, but they really haven’t been as good as their record. Their performance has to do with the assembled talent, and not Yost. In fact, on August 4, I wrote the following.

The Brewers are not that good, and I think there is a decent chance that the front office will realize this before the month is over.

In fact, the Brewers winning percentage today (.557) is virtually the same as it was when I wrote this (.553). Might Yost have been partially responsible? Yes, but why wasn’t he fired six weeks ago?

The real reason he’s being fired is that the Brewers need a scape goat now that the team’s playoff chances are in doubt. The Brewers want to send a message to the fans that if they don’t make the playoffs, Yost was the reason. Now that he’s gone, they hope the fans will keep supporting the team. He might not really be the reason, but it’s something that fans can easily understand.

My point is that Yost wasn’t fired because he mattered, but because he doesn’t matter. Maybe he was too hard, too soft, or made some dumb tactical moves; but, he also probably made some good decisions. In the grand scheme of things, I think it’s difficult for a manager to really screw up a team over the course of an entire season.

4 Responses “Why Did the Brewers Fire Ned Yost?”

  1. Jason S. says:

    I think it’s partly to have a scapegoat and partly to prevent a repeat of last year’s late season swoon.  The Brewers have lost 5 in a row and are 2-8 in the last 10 and it started to look like once again a Yost managed team was going in the tank and he seemed clueless as to how to stop it.   There is no tomorrow for the Brewers.  With all of their free agents they will probably not be very good next year, so it’s this year or nothing if they are going to try to win the World Series. 

    Reports claim that his decision to hold Sabbathia out of the weekend series so he didn’t pitch on short rest sealed his fate.  I think it convinced the GM and owner that Yost didn’t take things as seriously as they did.

  2. Rick says:

    The Brewers had nothing to lose by firing Yost. The only thing I can think of besides the scapegoat angle is that he’d lost his players. That, and maybe they were trying to catrch lightning in a bttle like they did after the altercation between Fielder and Parra. 
    Not hard to understand with some of the moves and non-moves he made in games. He probably did cost them a few wins, or at the very least, lessened their chances of winning in a few games because of his decision to “go with his gut and hope the players come up big in a situation they are ill suited for”. The bad thing about this situation is that the Braves will probably bring him back to be the manager in waiting. On the bright side, it would be a seamless transition in in-game management style. Does he still have that clothing store in Stone Mountain to fall back on?

  3. Scott says:

    You don’t think a manager can screw up a team over the course of an entire season?  Let me introduce you to the 2004 Chicago Cubs.

  4. Voice of Reason says:

    Perhaps you should look at why & how the Brewers lost games in the time period you are talking about (or the whole season for that matter).

    Yost consistently failed to maximize the bullpen.
    -Brian Shouse has excellent splits against lefties, yet he’s faced nearly the same number of righties as lefties. It’s so bad in fact, that his R split is .301/.377/.452 while his L split is .173/.190/.286 & he’s faced MORE righties! Specifically & recently, Yost brought him in to face Chase Utley & Ryan Howard with a runner on first. Shouse got Utley to sacrifice & Yost asked him to INTENTIONALLY WALK HOWARD. So a lefty who has hit just .230/.312/.467 against lefties with a lhp who dominates lefties gets walked for Pat Burrell. Might be a good time to bring in a righty, huh? No. Not in Yost-land.
    -Consistently using Eric Gagne in the 8th inning. Understandably a mountain of money was invested in Gagne, but Yost needed to cut bait earlier in the year. The guy averages giving up 2/3 of a run every time he pitches! The following pitchers have a lower VORP than Eric Gagne: Tim Dillard, Julian Tavarez, Derrick Turnbow.
    -Consistent failure to use quality pinch hitters in critical situations. Bill Hall has been attrocious against righties this year hitting .173/.239/.317. On top of that, during the course of the season, Yost has frequently had a good–or at least better–left-handed bat on the bench (Branyan, Gross, Counsell & in September, Brad Nelson & Mat Gamel) but Yost fails to use them. Several times it has been a one-run game in the 9th with Hall up to bat against a righty & he’s stayed in the game. How does this make sense? How is this justifiable?

    Players play & managers manage. The problem has, to some extent been the players. But there is NO DENYING that Yost has consistently failed to put his players in the best opportunity to succeed. Over the last month Yost has taken his poor decision making to a new level. That is why he was fired.