A not-insignificant chunk of Toronto’s baseball fanbase were collectively rattled over the Blue Jays’ decision to rest its star 19-year-old rookie slugger for a divisional game versus the Red Sox on Monday — which happened to be a national holiday right across the country.
President Mark Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins found themselves in front of the social media flamethrower after Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was given the day off during one of the team’s most attended home games of the season.
On Monday, Atkins tried to, uhhh, take some of the blame for the situation, I think? But in the process he threw manager Charlie Montoyo directly under the bus.
"The one thing that I regret is that in all the things that I have talked about with Charlie is that I had not talked to him about the importance of Victoria Day." pic.twitter.com/naDlRKAU5m
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 21, 2019
“Yeah, I mean, really it’s Charlie’s (Montoyo’s) process. There’s a lot of things to factor in those decisions and we ask for a lot to be factored in,” Atkins said to reporters.
“One of the things we don’t ask him to think about is when fans may or may not be here when he decides on everyone’s playing time.”
On the popular Victoria Day Monday, the Blue Jays had their largest crowd of the season on hand since Vlad Jr’s April 26 MLB debut.
Atkins, apparently, laments not telling his manager the significance of the holiday for many baseball fans in the country.
"The one thing that I regret is that in all the things that I have talked about with Charlie is that I had not talked to him about the importance of Victoria Day," Atkins said.
Prior to the Blue Jays’ 12-2 shellacking at the hands of the Red Sox, Montoyo explained his decision to sit the phenom slugger for the series opener against the defending World Series champs.
“We’ve got a set deal, he needs to get a day off. Everybody is going to get a day off, anyway, 16 straight days, so today was Vlad’s,” the Blue Jays skip said.
As Sportsnet’s Shi Dividi pointed out, the club has grown its sports science and performance department significantly since the Shapiro regime took over after the 2015 season, and logic and common sense points to that being the biggest factor in Guerrero being sat on Monday
I’m not sure about you, but nothing says “leadership” to me like shifting the blame for a move like this to your team’s first-year manager.
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