Blue Jays fire manager Charlie Montoyo in surprise move

Blue Jays fire manager Charlie Montoyo in surprise move

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The Toronto Blue Jays fired manager Charlie Montoyo on Wednesday and promoted bench coach John Schneider to interim manager for the remainder of the season.

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

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Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo argues a call with first base umpire Ryan Wills in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees in Toronto, Saturday, June 18, 2022. 

Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo argues a call with first base umpire Ryan Wills in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees in Toronto, Saturday, June 18, 2022.  (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

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

The Blue Jays are 3-9 in July. They went 1-6 on a road trip against Oakland, which has the worst record in the majors, and Seattle that ended Sunday with a four-game sweep against the Mariners.

Toronto’s skid started July 2, when it was swept in a doubleheader against Tampa Bay. Montoyo and first base coach Mark Budzinksi left the dugout during Game 2 after learning of the death of Budzinski’s teenage daughter, Julia.

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Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Adam Cimber, right, is pulled by manager Charlie Montoyo, left, during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Sunday, July 10, 2022, in Seattle. The Mariners won 6-5. 

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Adam Cimber, right, is pulled by manager Charlie Montoyo, left, during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Sunday, July 10, 2022, in Seattle. The Mariners won 6-5.  (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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

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

Montoyo oversaw a tumultuous period in Blue Jays history, with the team playing home games in three cities last season, including two minor league parks, because of border restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Toronto also played its 2020 home schedule at its Triple-A stadium in Buffalo, New York.

Montoyo led Toronto to a 32-28 record and a wild-card playoff berth in the expanded playoffs that followed the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but the Blue Jays were swept by eventual AL champion Tampa Bay in the opening round. Toronto went 91-71 in 2021 and missed tying for the AL wild card by one game.

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Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo walks with a trainer after Bradley Zimmer was hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of the team's baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, July 7, 2022, in Seattle. Zimmer stayed in the game. 

Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo walks with a trainer after Bradley Zimmer was hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, July 7, 2022, in Seattle. Zimmer stayed in the game.  (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Before joining the Blue Jays, Montoyo spent six seasons on Tampa Bay’s major league coaching staff, including his final three as bench coach. Prior to that, he spent 18 seasons as a minor league manager in the Rays system and also worked with the Puerto Rican team at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

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