The 2012 season for the Kansas City Royals was supposed to be the final step towards becoming a perennial playoff powerhouse for the rest of the decade. Instead, it has turned out to be much of the same that a demoralized fanbase has grown accustomed to since the glory days of George Brett and Co.
After having one of the top-rated minor league systems in all of Major League Baseball over the past few seasons, the injection of youth has taken over the Royals' roster.
Holdovers in Billy Butler and Alex Gordon were joined last season by Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Danny Duffy to name a few. After showing signs of life last September (15-10 record) with much of the current roster intact, the Royals came into the 2012 season with the slogan "Our Time."
After a 3-13 start, including losing all 10 home games, the Royals are starting to lose grip on the enthusiasm that everyone in and around the organization came into the season with. And someone has to be held accountable.
Although most of the on-field results are directly attributed to the players, they have to be put in the position to win. That failure to do so falls solely on general manager Dayton Moore and manager Ned Yost.
It seems Moore gets a pass with his reputation from Atlanta and with much of the Royals' big-league roster enduring great success in the minor leagues. The thought is that it will eventually come together. And with an owner in David Glass, who is seemingly out of touch, Moore slips under the radar. This leaves Yost as the natural scapegoat.
Yost was fired in Milwaukee in September of 2008 amidst a cold stretch. However, the Brewers were still able to make the playoffs.
Who is most to blame for the Royals' 3-13 start?
Shocked by the move then, Yost simply didn't have any answers as to why the Brewers were playing so awful at the time or why he was removed from his post. This is very similar to the state of affairs in Kansas City where Yost just doesn't seem to get it.
Having trotted out 15 different lineups in 16 games, Yost is showing signs of panic, something that cannot be exposed as a manager. It is a lack of confidence in his players and only indicates he indeed fears he is falling out of favor and that he needs to scramble until something finally works.
Moore's job is safe at this point. And the players are going nowhere since that would be the ultimate slap in the face after depending on them to revive baseball in Kansas City. So the only move that will prevent a browbeaten fanbase from jumping ship before it is too late would be to cut bait with Yost.
Although on life support now, firing Yost may be just what the doctor ordered to resuscitate a season that is already on its death bed a mere 16 games in.