KANSAS CITY -- From the moment Spring Training started until the last out of Game 5 of the World Series, Royals manager Ned Yost knew he was riding a champion horse.
That confidence in his team never wavered, not even when the Royals were six outs away from elimination, down, 6-2, in the eighth inning against the Astros in Game 4 of the American League Division Series. The Royals, of course, staged an incredible five-run rally to win that game. They then bested the Blue Jays in the AL Championship Series and the Mets in the World Series to win it all.
"What I found out, in these situations, you can't control anything," Yost said. "You can't just say, 'Go get hits.' But you sit back and you trust your club. You have faith in your players that they're going to go out and give their best effort. And if their best effort is not good enough on that given day, you put your arms around them and thank them for it because that's all you can do.
"But there was no panic or fear [in Houston]. And all of sudden it was boom, boom, boom, and we got a bunch of hits. I don't think there was any doubt because we did it before in the [AL] Wild Card Game the year before. They knew they could [win] and they went out and did it again."
But as special as this championship ride was for Yost, he's not sure it has all sunk in yet.
"This has really been weird for me, a weird feeling," Yost said. "I thought I would be jumping up and down and just blow up in 90 different pieces when we won. But I feel like it's what we knew was going to happen and we went out and accomplished it.
"Maybe this winter I'll sit back and realize it that hey, we won the World Series and it's very, very special. Don't get me wrong. It is special. It's just something that I knew in my heart we were going to do. I just knew it.
"I just knew it was a matter of time before we did it. I saw our players come into Spring Training with the same determined attitude and they were very convicted that this was going to be our year. So, for me, it was just like I had the answer beforehand. When they asked the question I had the answer.
"It has been fun and exhausting and I finally got some sleep last night, but it's just something we set out to do and we did."
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.