The 2021 Toronto Blue Jays finished with a 91-71 record, slightly worse than the two teams that made the AL Wild Card Game: the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.
They swore they would get revenge in 2022, and they built a roster capable of defeating anybody in the junior circuit, at least on paper.
Yet, the results so far have been extremely disappointing, with a 46-42 record and eight losses in their last 10 games.
The situation forced the Blue Jays’ hand and they announced the firing of manager Charlie Montoyo on Wednesday.
The decision was a bit shocking, but it makes some sense considering the circumstances.
MLB insider Jeff Passan analyzed the situation in a recent tweet.
“If the playoffs started today, the Toronto Blue Jays would be in. They’re 1.5 games out of the top wild card spot in the American League. That wasn’t enough to save Charlie Montoyo’s job. Bad losses and questions in the clubhouse about leadership were a devastating combination,” he said.
If the playoffs started today, the Toronto Blue Jays would be in.
They're 1.5 games out of the top wild card spot in the American League.
That wasn't enough to save Charlie Montoyo's job. Bad losses and questions in the clubhouse about leadership were a devastating combination.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 13, 2022
Indeed, the Blue Jays have been losing a lot recently, but the “how”, in this case, matters.
The Blue Jays Need To Start Winning Games
As for the leadership questions, it’s not easy to manage a clubhouse with so many stars and deal with the overall mood when things aren’t going well.
When the victories are coming in bunches, everybody is a good manager.
Great managers are tested in adversity, and how they find a way to improve.
That didn’t happen with Montoyo, and the ownership and front office probably felt that if he was kept around longer, the situation could have reached an ugly point.
John Schneider will now be tasked with the season turnaround.
They still have ample time to make things right, but now, they have several teams right behind them, applying pressure.