KANSAS CITY -- Managing a young team and living on a farm combined to give Royals manager Ned Yost an adage to go with a long losing streak. "Adversity is the fertilizer for maturity and growth," he said. Naturally, before Monday night's 4-1 loss to the Blue Jays, Yost spent time discussing the Royals' recent travail with reporters.
"These kids have never faced expectations," Yost said. "They're very young, but you have to learn how to deal with that. It's a tough lesson; it's a hard lesson."The 2012 Royals, brimming with talent recently mined from the Minors, arrived home with a 3-3 road record and were expected to start fulfilling all the preseason promise of reversing years of losing efforts in Kansas City. "They are convinced that they are the group to turn that around. They won't ever stop doubting that, but there are certain things you have to go through before you can get into that position," Yost said. "No team is going bring up a group of young, talented players and go from start to finish without a struggle." After Sunday's loss to the Blue Jays, the Royals' 10th in a row, Yost mentioned baserunning mistakes and believes breakdowns in fundamentals can be a product of players trying too hard. "That's exactly what it is. You lose your mind," he said. "When you want to win a game so bad that you can taste it, you do things that aren't smart. Because all you're doing is thinking about winning a game. You're not thinking of the situation, you're not thinking about the consequences, you're not weighing the risk and reward, you just want to score that run to get you one run closer." Yost told general manager Dayton Moore that the danger he's watching for is players getting comfortable with losing. "That will not be tolerated, no matter who you are in that locker room," Yost said. "As you long as you continue to fight and play hard every pitch of the game, we'll get through this. But as long as guys are getting comfortable and taking pitches off, that's when you'll find your butt on the bench or down in Triple-A. And we've got a lot of guys that have options." With that comes a positive assessment from the skipper. "I have zero of it," he said. "These kids are fighting with everything they've got. But that's the standard, that's what we do. Don't anybody get comfortable with this, and the good thing about it is that nobody has."