The complicated legacy of John Schneider

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Is John Schneider’s terrible decision making killing the Toronto Blue Jays and their hopes of postseason success?

Or is he keeping a deeply flawed team from going off the rails?

Whichever way you see it, one thing is for sure – even Schneider’s staunchest defenders cannot deny that he has had some epic meltdowns this season.

Don’t believe me? Below, I’ll break down his most dramatic, spectacular, viral catastrophes so far.

If you’re looking for ammunition to hasten the skipper’s demise, you’ve come to the right place. And if you back John Schneider, well, what you’ll find below will at least be good for a laugh.

To get there though, we must first start at the beginning …

John Schneider – Prodigy

The start of John Schneider’s managerial story is just about as stereotypically folksy as you’d expect from the game of baseball.

A career minor leaguer who rose as high as Triple-A, one day in 2008, a then-27-year-old Schneider, with multiple injuries and concussions under his belt, simply walked off the diamond in the middle of a game, hung up his cleats on a chain link fence which surrounded the field, and returned to the game as the first base coach.

From that moment, Schneider’s rise was nothing short of meteoric.

By the start of the next season, he had been named the manager of the Blue Jays Rookie-level team in the Gulf Coast League, and two years after that, became the youngest ever manager of the Single-A Vancouver Canadians.

In Vancouver, Schneider would lead his team to a championship, then move up to High-A and win the first ever championship in the history of the Dunedin Blue Jays, before repeating the feat again with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, where he was named Manager of the Year.

By the time he reached Toronto as a bench coach in 2019, Schneider was considered something of a prodigy, a blue-chip prospect, so to speak, in the managing game. Surely, when Schneider took over as the manager of the Jays in August of 2022, the front office believed they’d found the guy to lead the team for the next decade.

And in many ways, the decision has worked out pretty much how they’d hoped so far.

Since Schneider took over as manager, the Jays have gone 133-97, good for a 94-win pace over a full 162 game season. For context, only four times in 45 years of Blue Jays history has the team won as many as 94 games, and not since the back-to-back World Series year in 1993.

Looking at this year specifically, the Jays currently sit on pace for 90 wins, despite the near wholesale underperformance of their batting lineup. Perhaps this is not quite where the team expected to be at the start of the season, but again, for context, the Blue Jays have only won as many as 90 games eight times.

It’s not just the record though. Look at the pitching staff, which sits as perhaps the best in franchise history – at this moment, they lead the league in ERA, and certainly a part of that can be attributed to the way the manager handles his pitchers.

The point is, it’s hard to say that Schneider’s tenure has not gone pretty well to this point. It’s just that, on the flip side, it might not seem that way because, well … the meltdowns have been so dramatic.