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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Atkins: Charlie Montoyo made decision to sit Vlad Jr. on Victoria Day

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.

“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.

Ever get the feeling that the management of the response makes the problem much worse than if they did nothing?

QLE Posted: May 22, 2019 at 08:00 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, charlie montoyo, victoria day, vladimir guerrero jr.

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   1. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 22, 2019 at 08:49 AM (#5844531)
Queen Victoria: “We are not amused.”
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 22, 2019 at 09:05 AM (#5844535)
He's 19. He doesn't need a day off in May.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: May 22, 2019 at 09:29 AM (#5844539)
Maybe Montoyo didn't even know attendance would be higher. I had never heard of the holiday until last week, and I go to Canada every year.
   4. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 22, 2019 at 09:35 AM (#5844543)
He's 19. He doesn't need a day off in May.
Well, that settles it for me!
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: May 22, 2019 at 09:42 AM (#5844547)
Also I don't think "day off" is the right phrasing. They want to sometimes give other people starts, it's not that they think Vlad physically needs rest.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 22, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5844557)
They want to sometimes give other people starts, it's not that they think Vlad physically needs rest.

Why? At least DH him. He's the main reason to come out and see the Blue Jays this year.
   7. formerly dp Posted: May 22, 2019 at 10:15 AM (#5844562)
I mean, basically the only reason. Lots of cheesed off people in the stands that day.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: May 22, 2019 at 10:15 AM (#5844563)
Why?
If you have to ask this question I don't even know where to begin.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 22, 2019 at 10:34 AM (#5844568)
If you have to ask this question I don't even know where to begin.

He's the #1 prospect in MLB, and the future of your franchise. He's accruing service time on the bench as well. There's zero reason for not to be playing 14 out of 15 games, and every home game. They have a DH slot available.

Are you really saying it's important to get Brandon Drury and his 69 OPS+ in the lineup? Cause that's who they started at 3B Monday.

On Danny Jansen needed to DH? I would think your regular catcher with the 49 OPS+ could use the full day off more than Vlad.
   10. Rally Posted: May 22, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5844569)
He's 19. He doesn't need a day off in May.


Actually, he's 20. So that changes everything.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 22, 2019 at 10:36 AM (#5844572)
Actually, he's 20. So that changes everything.

OK, he can have one day off in May. On the road.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: May 22, 2019 at 10:38 AM (#5844573)
There's zero reason for not to be playing 14 out of 15 games.
I generally agree. That means he is out of the lineup basically once in 15 games if perfectly healthy. He was out of the lineup on Monday. If they instead sit him 2 out of 15 it's basically the same thing.

Urena, Drury, and Jansen probably aren't good but they might as well find out to some extent.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 22, 2019 at 10:50 AM (#5844578)
Urena, Drury, and Jansen probably aren't good but they might as well find out to some extent.

Sure, but Jansen is the regular catcher. He should only play 100-110 games anyway. Why DH him?

I generally agree. That means he is out of the lineup basically once in 15 games if perfectly healthy. He was out of the lineup on Monday. If they instead sit him 2 out of 15 it's basically the same thing.

Except why do it at home? And why on a national holiday, when lots of people are probably tuning in?
   14. PreservedFish Posted: May 22, 2019 at 10:53 AM (#5844580)
Can we all agree that this was a small problem, and not a big one?
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: May 22, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5844583)
Except why do it at home? And why on a national holiday, when lots of people are probably tuning in?
Because, generally, those things shouldn't be the basis for your lineup/strategy/baseball decisions. Bush league teams have their upper management force those things on managers.

Assuming he's good enough to stick at the big league level, the fans will have plenty of opportunities to watch him play.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 22, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5844585)
Because, generally, those things shouldn't be the basis for your lineup/strategy/baseball decisions.

Why not? It's an entertainment business. Broadway shows don't use the understudies on Friday and Saturday night, unless the star is sick.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: May 22, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5844589)
Why not? It's an entertainment business.
Bush league crap entertains me less, not more. It's a team sport, not a skills display or dance routine.

I don't need 100% pure cold efficiency, but I don't want my favorite baseball team's on-field decisions made by the marketing and sales departments. This is the big leagues, if I want a baseball circus I would go watch the Sugar Land Skeeters or whatever.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 22, 2019 at 11:19 AM (#5844594)
Bush league crap entertains me less, not more. It's a team sport, not a skills display or dance routine.

So, you would have been less entertained if you were at Rogers field (or watching on TV) and Vlad Jr. was playing, for PR reasons?
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: May 22, 2019 at 11:32 AM (#5844603)
If I was a Blue Jays fan, overall, I would be more entertained if they generally avoided making baseball/strategy decisions based on holidays and PR stuff. Of course, on any given day I'd be disappointed if I went to the game and he wasn't playing. But my entertainment as a baseball fan isn't based on minute-by-minute or inning-by-inning thrills. I know it's the big leagues and I want my team to act like a big league team.
   20. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 22, 2019 at 11:38 AM (#5844608)
He's 19. He doesn't need a day off in May.


There's zero reason for not to be playing 14 out of 15 games, and every home game. They have a DH slot available.


Pretty sure the Jays play more than 15 games in May.

It sounds like the choice of day was sup-optimal (unless there was some specific reason the manager is being mum about), but "he doesn't need days off" isn't a sound reaction.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 22, 2019 at 11:38 AM (#5844610)
If I was a Blue Jays fan, overall, I would be more entertained if they generally avoided making baseball/strategy decisions based on holidays and PR stuff. Of course, on any given day I'd be disappointed if I went to the game and he wasn't playing. But my entertainment as a baseball fan isn't based on minute-by-minute or inning-by-inning thrills. I know it's the big leagues and I want my team to act like a big league team.

But they played Sunday on the road. It would have been trivially easy to sit Guerrero on Sunday so he could start at home, on the holiday.

This is exactly the kind of PR stuff a team should be worrying about. It's entertainment for the home town fans, and it costs the team nothing.
   22. formerly dp Posted: May 22, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5844620)
Yeah Vlad Jr is maybe the highest profile prospect the team has ever produced. And the supporting cast is downright terrible right now. Market the f out of him to the hometown fans.

I can, however, see the case for playing Jansen at DH: he'd finally started to heat up after slumping all season, so keeping him in the lineup is a good idea.
   23. Rally Posted: May 22, 2019 at 01:46 PM (#5844658)
But they played Sunday on the road. It would have been trivially easy to sit Guerrero on Sunday so he could start at home, on the holiday.


Sure would have. Good thing they didn't, since Vlad hit the game winning homer on that Sunday.
   24. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 22, 2019 at 07:37 PM (#5844775)

In any event, it's nice to see Vlad finally hitting. In the last 10 games he's raised his OPS nearly 400 points, from .393 to .768.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: May 22, 2019 at 08:47 PM (#5844788)
Giant smash HR to center tonight.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: May 22, 2019 at 10:00 PM (#5844800)
On the other hand, you know you're getting a big crowd on the holiday anyway so, if money is what you're concerned about, why waste a Vlad appearance. If folks are that excited to see him, he'll have a bigger impact on a Thurs getaway game with Tampa than a big holiday tilt.

And this is such a massive concern to the Jays that last year they didn't even play on Victoria Day (despite a home series before and after). Last year on the Sunday before VDay, the Jays drew 30,676 with no Vlad; this year on VDay itself they drew 26,794. Last year the day after VDay, they drew 21,500; this year 14,400. If Jays fans are champing at the bit to see Vlad, they've got a funny way of showing it. (The record was better last year but they were still 22-25 entering VDay and already 10 games back so not a big difference.)

Vlad's debut was Apr 26 and the Jays did see a huge jump over their previous Friday home game (from 17.3 to 28.7) ... but that effect faded almost immediately. The previous Sat/Sun, against Tampa, they'd drawn about 20,500 both days; on Apr 27-28, they drew 22.2 and 18.5. That drop from 26.8 on VDay to 14.4 on Tues was for a game against the Red Sox. Even in Aug last year, more than 25 games out, they averaged over 30 for a mid-week series against the Red Sox, somehow about 30 for a mid-week against the O's and even in Sept managed to scrape in 52,000 for a mid-week series against Tampa (cf 41,000 for the Twins earlier this year post-Vlad).

Possibly the kid hasn't had any impact on attendance. Possibly he's the only reason they could get even that many for the mid-week series against the Twins.
   27. Turfblitz Posted: May 23, 2019 at 02:02 AM (#5844832)
national holiday right across the country.



Hmmmm
   28. Rusty Priske Posted: May 23, 2019 at 10:12 AM (#5844878)
Random Rusty-related fact about Victoria Day.

I grew up in Victoria, B.C.

At the age of 19 I moved to Ottawa. It was only then that I realized Victoria was a national holiday named after the former Queen.

I thought it was a local holiday for the city. Like 'Chicago Day' or something.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: May 23, 2019 at 05:57 PM (#5845171)
I thought it was a local holiday for the city.

Quite common on this side of the globe. Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch all have their days. Melbourne gets the day off for the Melbourne Cup, Canberra has a day ...

and I assume the best of all is the Northern Territory's Picnic Day.

In Chicago, the public school kids got Pulaski Day off ... maybe the other city offices were closed ... everybody else had to work though.

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