In a move that no doubt left many Brewers fans scratching their heads, GM Doug Melvin announced on Friday that the team had exercised their option for Manager Ned Yost for 2009. Yost had signed a two-year extension in February 2006 with the club option for '09.
From the outside this might not seem very newsworthy. To those that follow the Brewers closely, this is something that many Brewers fans cannot stomach. Yost took much of the blame from the fan base in 2007, after the team's collapse after a 24-10 start to the year. Many fans looked at Yost's misuse of the bullpen and constant changing of the batting order as the main reasons to call for his job.
Yost has compiled a 374-435 record in his five seasons with Milwaukee. He will be joined on the bench this season by former fellow Brewer, Ted Simmons. Many critics of Yost have pointed to this move as a sign that Yost will be fired at the first sign of trouble this season.
Yost has always remained unaffected by any sort of criticism. He has a calm, steady demeanor that both he and the organization feel is the best fit for a young ball club. Yost very rarely shows his emotion in the dugout or in front of any television cameras. He treats his players like men and expects to always get their very best effort.
As I said, I know many Brewers fans aren't happy with this news. Personally, I think Ned Yost is a very good coach and has the personality and temperament to lead the Brewers to the playoffs. His team is a year better and now has the experience needed to stay the course no matter what is thrown at them. Look for Yost to build on last year's success and be one of the favorites for National League Manager of the Year.