Blue Jays: Charlie Montoyo shares thoughts on the MLB pause

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 21: Manager Charlie Montoyo #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays smiles before the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Dodger Stadium on August 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 21: Manager Charlie Montoyo #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays smiles before the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Dodger Stadium on August 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

ESPN recently interviewed a bunch of MLB managers about the pause due to the Coronavirus pandemic, including the Blue Jays’ harlie Montoyo.

One of the things I’m finding the most difficult about the nearly world-wide pause due to the Coronavirus pandemic is planning for future. Without knowing the answers to a lot of questions, it’s a pretty tough thing to do right now.

That’s exactly the case for MLB managers across the big leagues right now as they wait to be able to get back in the dugout and lead their respective teams. It’s not an easy time for anyone, and ESPN recently took the time to interview several MLB managers about how things are going, how this whole thing is changing their life at the moment, and how it affects their plans for the future. Those interviews included the Blue Jays’ skipper, Charlie Montoyo.

They asked a variety of questions, and Montoyo’s answer wasn’t featured in every section, but we still get a pretty good window into his thoughts for the time being.

The first question was about how this whole situation will affect baseball as a whole, and not surprisingly, Montoyo has an optimistic view.

"“It will be interesting to see how experiencing some things that we have never done before can perhaps turn into something that we implement in the game from now on. For example, if there is a doubleheader, playing fewer innings, or perhaps games in extra-innings ending in the 12th inning, placing a man on second, some of the things that are now done in the minors. Who knows, maybe those things will end up being implemented in our game from now on.”"

Instead of looking at the negative variables that could impact the game, instead Montoyo is thinking about some potential positives that could come out of all of this. I’m not sure that I’m a fan of starting a runner at second base, or playing games with fewer than nine innings, but I admire the open-minded attitude, especially about the potential season ahead.

Speaking of the season ahead, Montoyo believes there will be baseball this year, even if he’s taking a realistic approach to things.

"“I am confident that we will play baseball this year. Exactly when are we going to start and how, we don’t know at this point. But what will be interesting this year, in my opinion, is that when we eventually start playing, I think there will be more excitement because there will be more teams in contention. The best teams usually separate themselves from the pack midseason, and now, with everything being more condensed, I think there will be more chances for more teams to be in the hunt.”"

He touches on a great point about the potential for a wide open playoff race this year in a shortened season. The longer a season goes, and 162 games is a long time, the more likely that the cream will rise to the top. In a shorter campaign, who knows, if the Blue Jays can get off to a hot start once baseball resumes, maybe they could be an unlikely team to push for playoff contention and really makes things exciting.

And as if he hadn’t already displayed enough positive energy with his first two answers, Montoyo also let readers know how he’s been filling his time at home, and that it’s been a mostly positive experience.

"“It’s important to remember that we have no control over what is going on, so you have to focus on the positive. This has been a time for me to reflect and appreciate all I have, and realize how lucky I am to work for who I work for, to manage the Blue Jays, and to have the coaches and players that we have. I am also appreciating the time that I get to spend with my family, which is so rare. I am playing PlayStation with my kids. I also try to run every day, and I have my own salsa night at home to entertain myself.”"

The 54-year-old is absolutely right that we don’t have much of any control over this situation right now, and it’s good to hear that he’s making the best of it with his family. Obviously life isn’t that simple for all of us at the moment, but there’s something to be said for Montoyo’s attitude regardless of where you find yourself in all of this.

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It’s a strange thing being on the cusp of April and still being without big league baseball to watch, but hopefully life will return to normal sooner than later, and we can all take a page from Montoyo’s book and stay as positive as we can until it’s over.