Ned Yost/Savant or Doofus?
There seems to be no middle ground on Ned Yost these days.
The Brewers manager seemed to be Public Enemy Number One two weeks ago, as Milwaukee went 10-20 while suffering the indignity of a no-hitter, crafted by Detroit's Justin Verlander.
The general tone of the letters to the editor in the sports section: Off With Yost's Head. Too many different lineups. Goofy defensive shifts. Yost doesn't know how to pull his starters, they'd shriek, or they'd belittle him for the way he used the bullpen.
Yost apparently got a lot smarter over the last 13 days or so, piloting the Brewers to a 9-2 mark and a seven and a half game edge in the NL Central.
The roster tweaks? Now they're seen as giving everyone the chance to play.
Starting pitching? Stellar of late, which makes the bullpen that much more effective.
Momentum is a funny thing in baseball...you know when you have it but you don't know how long it'll stick around.
One residual effect can be seen in the Miller Park stands, where Milwaukee is still reaping the benefits of a 24-10 start--people bought in, big time, snarfing up tickets at incredible rate. Fan response usually lags a few steps behind Big Mo.
Enjoy the latest hot streak while it lasts--and, it's even okay to take pity on our foes. Watching the Royals Friday night took me back a few years when it was the Brewers playing the cruddy baseball. Seeing Ryan Braun steal an uncontested base brought back all those days when it was a Brewers gaffe eliciting the grandstand giggles. Now, we expect more, with the bar set so high that such miscues wouldn't draw a laugh, but rather a collective clicking of 40 thousand tongues.
What's cool about Miller Park these days is that there are 40 thousand tongues inside in the first place.