Foxworthy has fun with his good buddy Yost

Foxworthy has fun with his good buddy Yost

Foxworthy has fun with his good buddy Yost
KANSAS CITY -- If you promise a comedian he can be your bench coach, you might be a redneck -- or Royals manager Ned Yost.

Yost's close friend, comedian Jeff Foxworthy, was in town on Tuesday, taking batting practice and later, telling the story of his ticket to becoming a Major League coach.

"I've got a sheet of notebook paper, and this is when [Yost was] between the Milwaukee job and this job," Foxworthy said. "I said, 'Hey Ned, if I ever want to be your bench coach, would you let me?' And he said yeah. So, I wrote it out, 'I Ned Yost, swear that Jeff Foxworthy can be my bench coach,' and I had him sign it.

"I still keep it with me, I've got it in my backpack today, but I'm going to let him off the hook tonight. Because I don't think you can bring a hot dog in the dugout."

Yost met Foxworthy, a Georgia native, when he spent over a decade coaching in the Atlanta Braves organization. The two have farms south of Atlanta and spend a lot of time together in the offseason.

"We met about 15, 16 years ago, we did a Bible study together and just became real close," Yost said. "We're hunting buddies and just got to be real close friends in the last 10, 12 years."

And while Yost might be described in Kansas City as "deadpan" or "sarcastic" more frequently than "funnyman," Foxworthy insists Yost has a great sense of humor -- outside of the baseball diamond, anyways.

"He's one of the funniest people I know," Foxworthy said of the Royals skipper. "So, we love watching him during the baseball season because he gets very intense, very competitive."

Foxworthy brought with him a contingent of Yost's friends from Georgia: brother Jay Foxworthy, Larry Burns and Glenn Garner. All four took part in batting practice and were given the opportunity to shag balls alongside the players.

The King Redneck himself spent more time schmoozing in right field with friend and fellow Georgian Jeff Francoeur than he did catching fly balls. Francoeur said the opportunity to have -- and poke -- a little fun helps deal with the drag of the season.

"I know Jeff from when I was in Atlanta, so he's great," Francoeur said. "It's one of those things where it's fun to have him out there, we were joking around about different stuff. The one good thing about Fox is, I know for Ned, they're good buddies, it keeps things loose. When it gets hot in the summertime, it's nice to have someone to joke around with and kind of have fun with."

Foxworthy played football and baseball in high school, but let's just say the 52-year-old probably won't be making an athletic comeback any time soon. A few balls managed to make it past the infield dirt while airborne, but the Royals will likely look elsewhere for right-handed power.

"They're not the best," Francoeur laughed, as he talked about Foxworthy's swings. "He's gotten better, to be honest with you. If you can imagine that, he's gotten better."

While Foxworthy might not be much of a player anymore, he still follows baseball avidly, starting with his hometown Braves. He says the Royals are his American League team, due to Yost, also admitting it was tougher to root for his friend when he managed the Milwaukee Brewers. And even down in Georgia, Foxworthy isn't immune to the hype surrounding Kansas City's young talent.

"It's exciting," he said. "This team's a year or two away from being one of the coolest teams to watch in baseball."

And if Yost is a man who keeps promises -- even the ones made jokingly -- Foxworthy might be watching from the dugout.

Adam Holt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.