The Kansas City Royals clubhouse will have a different feel in 2020 as manager Ned Yost announced his retirement on Monday after 10 seasons with the club.
After back-to-back World Series appearances in 2014 and 2015 (which Yost and the Royals won the second time), Kansas City have steadily declined with 81 wins in 2016, 80 in 2017, 58 in 2018 and 57 so far in 2019 with five games left in the season.
However, better times are ahead for the Royals, according to Yost, who is retiring at season's end.
And USA Today reported Mike Matheny is expected to take over as manager.
"With the development of our young players and our returning veterans, I feel and hope the worst is behind us in this rebuilding phase of our organisation," Yost said in a release.
The all-time winningest manager in club history. Back-to-back AL pennants. A ring in 2015.— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) September 23, 2019
Thank you, Ned. For the smiles, the memories and everything you did for this club. #AlwaysRoyal pic.twitter.com/Qjuo6hvvnE
"My plan all along was to get us through the rough times then turn it over to a new manager to bring us the rest of the way. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time here as your manager and will never forget the good and the hard times we had together as an organisation and a fan base. I will never forget the fact that you fans supported us through it all. Kansas City will always have a special place in my heart, and I look forward to rooting the Royals on to their next world championship very soon."
Yost, 64, became the franchise's winningest manager after just five seasons and retires with 744 wins with the Royals.
He also managed the Milwaukee Brewers from 2003-08, collecting 457 wins to retire with 1,201 for his career – good for 45th all time.
Matheny, 49, most recently managed the Cardinals from 2012 until the middle of the 2018 season when he was fired. He had a 591-474 record with St Louis.
Matheny would have pieces to work with as he takes over a club led by second baseman Whit Merrifield, a 2019 All-Star; outfielder Jorge Soler, who became the first Royal in franchise history to hit 40 home runs this season; and third baseman Hunter Dozier, who has enjoyed a breakout 2019 season with 26 homers and 86 RBIs.
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