PITTSBURGH -- A furious Ned Yost admonished media outlets for feeding what he called "a frenzy" on Monday over an erroneous blog report that he was to be dismissed. "That's bull," the Brewers' manager told beat reporters before the start of his daily afternoon availability. "That's a joke. That's totally irresponsible. It's a joke to print [stuff] off a blog. You kidding me?" The Brewers were off on Monday after being swept in an ugly Interleague series in Boston. Sunday's 11-7 setback marked the fifth straight loss overall and the ninth straight road loss for a team that took sole possession of last place in the National League Central for the first time since the end of the 2004 season.
At 20-24, the Brewers entered Tuesday's series opener against the Pirates 7 1/2 games behind the division-leading Cubs. The Internet post purporting Yost's demise appeared on Sunday night and was a major topic of radio and Internet discussions all day Monday. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, who did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh, shot down the rumor and himself chided reporters who perpetuated the report. Catcher Jason Kendall, who has been through two managerial changes with the Pirates and another with Oakland, said that he knew nothing of Monday's whirlwind. "I think it's ridiculous, but what can you do?" Kendall said. "Something like that is ridiculous ... but there is always going to be somebody [to blame], and the manager is usually the person. That's the way baseball has been forever. Ned has this team doing the right thing, we're just scuffling. We play the game right, and it's not from a lack of effort, we're just in one of those funks. We have to turn it around." Does Yost fear that questions about his status will distract his team? "They do a pretty good job [of ignoring it]," he said. "They still are somewhat affected by it a little bit, but not to a great degree. They're pretty smart about it and understand where it comes from. "The blogs and the radio talk-show guys, it's fun, but they don't have all the information. To sit back and criticize or talk about certain situations when they don't have all the information, that's why it gets hard to sit back and listen or give it much credibility. That somebody doing a blog can start a frenzy over nothing is a joke. I expected more out of those people [who responded to the blog] than what I got. I'll know better next time. ... "There's no legitimacy there at all, but we put it on the Internet for everybody to see and raise havoc over. It's not fair and it's not right, and you [beat reporters] want to have a working relationship? You start pulling cheap [stuff] like that?" Adding to Monday's brouhaha were comments made by left fielder Ryan Braun on Sunday afternoon after the Red Sox finished their sweep. According to Braun, the Brewers "didn't expect to win" against the World Series champions. "I felt like we were competing, and I know everybody tried hard, but it's not about trying hard," Braun said. "You have to go out there and expect to win, and I almost feel like we didn't expect to win any of these games." There were no arguments from Yost. "I have no problem with what Ryan said," Yost said on Tuesday. "Everybody has the right to say what they want to say, all right? This is stuff that we preach all the time, about believing in yourself, feeling good about yourself, confident in yourself. These things happen when you go through a tough stretch; you tend to lose a little confidence. One win, two wins puts you right back to where your confidence needs to be. "They're fighting," he added. "They're trying hard. It's not that they don't expect to win, but they're pedaling as hard as they can and they don't get anywhere. Sometimes you just have to slow down a little but and kick it into a little bit higher gear to get where you need to go."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.