Blue Jays: Manager Charlie Montoyo needs to defend his team

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 08: Manager Charlie Montoyo of the Toronto Blue Jays walks to the mound during a MLB game against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre on August 08, 2021 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 08: Manager Charlie Montoyo of the Toronto Blue Jays walks to the mound during a MLB game against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre on August 08, 2021 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Last night, the Toronto Blue Jays started a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles, eventually losing the game 6-3 that was tied until Julian Merryweather surrendered a three-run home run in the seventh that would seal the deal. The Blue Jays batting order left quite a few runners in scoring position and were not able to capitalize, ending the club’s eight-game winning streak but only their third loss in the past 14 games.

Cy Young candidate Robbie Ray made the start on the mound and didn’t really pitch like himself, going only 4.1 innings while allowing three earned runs off of two home runs but striking out eight Orioles. He kept the game close but he did get hit around to the tune of eight hits, with his slider not really working like fans have seen this season and the opposing team being all over his off-speed pitches.

While the Blue Jays did lose last night, the bigger storyline coming from the game was the dramatics on the field, starting with Orioles manager Brandon Hyde becoming very disgruntled with Ray on the mound in the second inning. Video cameras showed Hyde voicing his displeasure with the southpaw in an NSFW tirade you can find here.

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo did nothing as the opposing manager screamed at the club’s starter and it is time for Montoyo to stick up for his team.

First off, how Charlie Montoyo didn’t walk out of the dugout to defend his pitcher is completely outrageous from a fan point of view.

The opposing manager is screaming and swearing at your starter and you’re going to sit there with your arms folded and say nothing? I’m not saying he has to go over there and give him a ‘Stone Cold Stunner’ and have the game turn into a frenzy but you cannot, under absolutely no circumstances, let the opposing manager say anything to your pitcher like that without intervening.

Now what Hyde did was unprofessional and the Orioles manager, who lost out to Montoyo for the Blue Jays managerial job in 2018, did issue an apology postgame once he realized the entire world picked up his actions via hot mic, “I just wanted to apologize to all the fans out there, the Blue Jays, Robbie Ray, and Charlie Montoyo.” I am sure he will get a stern talking-to from the Major Leagues.

Later in the game, relief pitcher Fernando Abad would cause Blue Jays fans to go up in arms after colliding with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as he made his way to home plate. The play was obviously moving very fast and you would like to think that Abad didn’t do this intentionally, but feel free to watch the video below and make your own judgment. Once again, manager Charlie Montoyo sat in the dugout and did nothing after this exchange.

As the manager, it is pretty much a given that you have to defend your players (unless you are Tony LaRussa), and taking “the diplomatic” approach of staying in the dugout just looks weak. I understand that if Montoyo comes screaming out of the dugout this game probably gets ugly really quick but you have to do something. Anything. I give credit to Joe Siddall, who echoed the same sentiments that this article is portraying in that Montoyo did nothing and that’s not acceptable when the opposing manager is yelling at your starter.

A similar situation happened in late August against the Chicago White Sox, where the umpire had called some borderline pitches a strike, and Jays’ bench coach John Schneider became visibly upset and was eventually tossed by the home plate umpire in the 6th inning. Whether or not it was frustration-based or an attempt to rally the club when they were down by two runs, Schneider showed that he actually cared about what he felt called was not going their way. Montoyo, once again, sat there and did nothing. Actually, that’s a lie, he put his arms up in disgust. A step forward let’s call it.

I have been critical of Montoyo and his actions in the past, mostly stemming from his mismanagement of the bullpen and awkward lineup decisions late in the game, but last night really sticks in my craw.

I get that Montoyo is not the type to be up in your face and won’t go full Aaron Boone and yell at the umpire from the dugout, but to not do anything when Hyde is essentially jawing at your starter just seems weak and a letdown to every member in that dugout who is looking for you to have their backs when situations like this arise. And then to come out after the game and make a weak statement, “I don’t want to comment on that… All I know is my guy kept his composure, stayed focused and did the job. And that’s why we stayed in the game. That’s what I’m going to say about that,” just amplifies that Montoyo doesn’t have the fire or intensity needed for a manager of a postseason caliber team.

Next. Players the club missed out on this past off-season. dark

Fans were also not pleased with his lack of action on social media last night and frankly, I do not blame them. His laissez-faire attitude for tough situations is getting old really quick and it might be time for the Blue Jays to look into a change this off-season for someone with a little more intensity under his hat to get the club going.

Where do we stand Blue Jays fans? How do you think Charlie Montoyo handled the situation last night?