KANSAS CITY — For his final game as Royals manager on Sunday, Ned Yost took out the lineup card to the umpires instead of third base-coach Mike Jirschele. And as expected, Yost received a huge ovation from the fans at Kauffman Stadium.
And then it was back to business for Yost as he wrapped up his career in Kansas City. His team beat the Twins, 5-4, on Brett Phillips’ walk-off sacrifice fly in the ninth. The Royals finished the 2019 season 59-103.
What’s left are memories for Yost, who guided the Royals to consecutive pennants in 2014 and ‘15, and a World Series championship in ‘15. He will spend the next week packing up mementos from his manager’s office, and those in his condo in Kansas City. Then he and his wife, Deborah, will head back to their farm in Georgia and “start the rest of our lives together,” as Yost said.
“It’s just time,” Yost said repeatedly during the week after announcing his retirement on Monday.
Yost ends his career as the longest-tenured manager in the American League and the winningest manager in Royals history with 746 wins.
Sunday’s game also signaled the end of another era: David Glass witnessed his final game as owner after running the franchise for 20 years. Glass is selling the team to Kansas City businessman John Sherman.
“We’ve gone through a lot of good times together,” Yost said of Glass.
The Royals played hard in Yost’s final game, typical of his tenure. Yost got his first Salvy Splash after the game.
Jorge Soler’s breakthrough season ended with a bang as he clobbered home run No. 48 in the first inning. Soler now has hit more home runs than any Cuban-born player — Rafael Palmeiro had the previous mark at 47.
Right-hander Jorge López, who figures to have a shot at the rotation in 2020, grinded through five innings, giving up six hits and four runs.
The Royals finished the season with the American League-leading home run hitter in Soler (48), the MLB hits leader in Whit Merrifield (206), and in a tie for the league lead in triples leaders — Merrifield, Hunter Dozier and Adalberto Mondesi had 10 apiece, as did Arizona’s Eduardo Escobar. Mondesi also finished second in MLB in stolen bases with 43.