The complicated legacy of John Schneider

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August 13-25: Benching The Babe

Speaking of Davis Schneider …

We all remember Schneider bursting on the scene, famously hitting a home run in his first career at-bat, on his way to an astonishing .367/.472/1.172 slash line over his first 35 plate appearances. The strange thing was, after those first 35 plate appearances, Schneider basically fell off the map, starting only one game in the next two weeks.

Sure, his exclusion from the lineup is probably at least partially down to the front office, but still, to deprive an at-that-time-struggling offense of its hottest bat was a glaring blunder.

And when he did finally get back into the lineup? Well, he went 3/3 with a walk, a home run, a double, and three RBI, leading the Jays to victory against Cleveland. The next game, he hit another home run and another double. In fact, in 16 games afterwards, Schneider hit .380 with a .516 OBP, five home runs, nine doubles, and 14 RBI, while the Jays went 10-6.

Note that when Schneider was effectively benched between August 13-25, the team went 4-5. And in the only game he started during that time, he hit the game winning home run.