Ross Atkins, the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, fired Charlie Montoyo on Wednesday and appointed bench coach John Schneider as interim manager because he felt his team had not performed to its potential.
After a difficult two-week span during which the Blue Jays only won two games in 11 starts, Atkins made the change. The club also experienced tragedy on July 2, when first-base coach Mark (Bud) Budzinski lost his daughter Julia, then 17 years old, in a catastrophic tubing accident on the James River in Richmond, Virginia. On Monday, Montoyo and other members of the Blue Jays organization were present at her funeral.
When questioned about the odd timing of the managerial decision, Atkins responded, “It’s out of respect for Charlie.” “Once you make a choice, it’s always better for the person, no matter the situation.
Simply put, we’re not performing to our potential. I see a few modest chances to contribute to that, and this was one of them. I notice both many specific places where we can improve and many specific things that are great.
The Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners are tied for third place in the American League Wild Card Standings with a record of 46-42 under the leadership of 56-year-old Montoyo. Following a four-game sweep of the Blue Jays in Seattle last weekend, the Mariners drew even with Toronto.
The Blue Jays’ 13th manager in franchise history was Montoyo. When Montoyo was hired in October 2018, Toronto had a record of 236-236. They had a 91-71 record the previous year but were just one game outside the playoffs.
Montoyo received a contract extension until the 2023 season in April. The Blue Jays were unable to match their performance from the previous season due to beginning pitching and a middle-relief debacle.
To end a four-game losing slide, the Blue Jays defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 at home on Tuesday. However, they have lost 18 of their last 28 games.