Charlie Montoyo is fired as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays;  John Schneider named interim replacement

TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Blue Jays fired manager Charlie Montoyo on Wednesday and promoted bench coach John Schneider to interim manager for the rest of the season.

Triple-A manager Casey Candaele was named interim bench coach.

The 13th manager in Blue Jays history and the first from Puerto Rico, Montoyo went 236-236 in parts of four seasons. The Blue Jays beat the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday to snap a four-game losing streak and improve to 46-42, which would put them in the playoffs as a wild card if the season ended Wednesday despite being in fourth place in the American League. East.

The Blue Jays are 3-9 in July. They went 1-6 on a road trip against the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners.

The Blue Jays’ slump began on July 2, when they were swept in a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays. Montoyo and first base coach Mark Budzinksi left the dugout during Game 2 after learning of the death of Budzinski’s teenage daughter, Julia.

Several members of the Blue Jays organization flew to Virginia together on Monday’s day off to attend Julia Budzinski’s funeral.

Montoyo, 57, replaced John Gibbons as manager of the Blue Jays after the 2018 season. Montoyo’s contract was extended through 2023 on April 1.

Montoyo oversaw a tumultuous period in Blue Jays history, with the team playing at home in three cities last season, including two minor league parks, due to border restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Blue Jays also played their 2020 home schedule at their Triple-A stadium in Buffalo, NY.

Montoyo led the Blue Jays to a 32-28 record and a wild-card berth in the expanded playoffs after the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but the Blue Jays were swept by the eventual AL champion Rays in the first round. The Blue Jays went 91-71 in 2021 and failed to tie for the AL wild card by one game.

Before joining the Blue Jays, Montoyo spent six seasons on the Rays’ major league coaching staff, including the last three as bench coach. He spent 18 seasons as a minor league manager in the Rays system and also worked with the Puerto Rican team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

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