Charlie Montoyo is a likeable figure for a lot of reasons, but his care and attention for the fan base shows that he’s willing to go the extra mile.
The Blue Jays have had a tough first season under Charlie Montoyo, but the rookie skipper can hardly be blamed for the team’s record in the first year of their rebuild.
With that in mind it’s pretty difficult to make a fair assessment of the 53-year-old’s work, but that will come in time as this team continues to develop. The test he has definitely passed so far has been likeability, as the Puerto Rican has a passion for the game that is infectious for his players, and for pretty much anyone he crosses paths with.
On that note, Sportsnet had a pretty cool story during Sunday’s game against the Tigers. They highlighted that Montoyo makes sure to give away a copy of his lineup card to a young fan every game, which is a classy touch, and a great souvenir for youngster. That story was highlighted by Hazel Mae on Saturday.
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On Sunday she took things a step further, saying that Montoyo, who is frequently spotted in downtown Toronto when he goes out running, has started taking some giveaways along with him. In fact, if you run into Montoyo when he’s out and about, there’s a chance he might just give you some tickets to the next game as his personal guest.
These “extra mile” type of things are what can make the difference between being a good and a great manager. No, giving away tickets has nothing to do with in-game decisions, but Montoyo is modelling a passion for his team that should trickle down to his players, his coaching staff, and even the fan base. He could hide away and avoid the public, but instead he embraces the opportunity to spread the message of his exciting young roster.
This is a man who still looks for an opportunity to put a glove on and work with his guys first hand, even throwing batting practice on occasion. He had a long road to the major leagues and he paid a lot of dues, and it’s clear that he’s not taking this opportunity for granted, even during a difficult campaign.
As I said above, it’s tough to really say much about Montoyo’s work so far, but there have been very positive signs from young players throughout the roster, especially those that struggled earlier in the year and are now thriving like Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Danny Jansen. What I can say though is that Montoyo has the right attitude both on and off the field, and if you’re lucky enough to bump into him downtown, he might just show you himself.