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The time has finally come, Charlie Montoya is no more.  Although he cannot be totally blamed for the poor performances of some of the players, it was time for him to go, and time for a change.

In the day of all the stats that are available there is not much for the coaches to do.  Montoya put in his time and did not accomplish much.  The leadership was not there for the younger players and the respect was not there from the veteran players.

They needed a coach that stood up for the players and that taught them lessons of baseball.  They needed a coach, a hard worker, and what they got was someone who banged on their drums all day.

Included in this article are excerpts from previous articles speaking to Montoya – around the times he should have been let go before this season.

June 7, 2021

The Blue Jays are now 30-27 and only trail Boston and Tampa Bay in the division.  Tampa Bay continues to get the job done which is astonishing given the team’s make up and vacancies that have occurred.  They lost their top pitcher and have traded away a talented shortstop, but that is how they operate.  Guerrero Jr. is on a MVP pace and has improved on his defensive play.  Some Blue Jay players are still not doing the little things right, such as hustling out of the batter’s box every time.  The coaching has been suspect, once again including decisions with starting pitchers.  These guys have to be stretched out before the bullpen is overtaxed and out of gas come the end of the season.  There needs to be more accountability on the team and players need to be disciplined when appropriate.  Coaches cannot always play the nice guy.

 June 21, 2021

During the time between articles, the Toronto Blue Jays have sure had their ups and downs.  Over the long baseball season, it is usually those teams that avoid medium to long losing streaks that find themselves successful and in the playoff race.  The Blue Jays are running out of chances and need to avoid these losing streaks in order to keep afloat in their competitive division.  Following the game against the Yankees, on Wednesday, June 18, some may think that the Manager’s days are numbered.

In the final inning of this game, there was a “foul” ball that struck the umpire in the mask and the play was ruled a dead ball.  This pitch did not hit the bat of the batter and therefore should have been a passed ball and the runners should have been able to advance.  It is understandable how the umpire who just got nailed in the head could not interpret the correct call considering the blow, and it is also understandable how the other umpires at such a distance could not see the play.  These plays are common in baseball.  However, there are people to blame in a situation like this.

First, the batter never acted like there was no contact with the bat, not at all.  The catcher was quick to grab and console the umpire and remind him that it was in fact a foul ball.  The umpire agreed.  Secondly, the second baserunner in these situations, always run the play out.  If the ball was in fact ruled to be a passed ball after the fact, there was still one runner of two on the base paths serving no purpose at all.  Thirdly, the instant replay system.  A play where a defensive player holds their glove on a player for six seconds until they fall of the base for less than one second is reviewable, however a play that is nearly impossible for the eye to see, is not reviewable.  These rules need to change, and potentially could make a difference in a big game.  It usually takes a heated and important situation for a new rule to be implemented.

And finally, the Manager, Charlie Montoya.  He is a fun loving guy, a player’s coach, and we can all see why.  There needs to be more emotion and accountability on this team.  Without some wins by the end of July, there will be a coaching vacancy in Toronto.  This play occurred near the very end of the game, and there would have been video evidence in the dugout to show that the ball never made contact with the bat.  There needs to be some emotion and anger on the field when something like this occurs – if he gets kicked out of the game, there is only one more out to go — big deal! The players are all smiling on the bench, but this scenario is one where a coach needs to step in and kick some dirt around.  Ask the former author of this article.

Following a slow grounder to third base, veteran defender Joe Panik threw the ball away at first base.  He had tons of time to make the play however he made a poor decision and rushed the throw to first.  Veteran pitcher, one who could not make the cut on the Dodgers, Ross Stripling was quick to yell his disgust at Panik in the middle of the field for all players and fans to see.  This was truly embarrassing — a mistake, but one a veteran player absolutely does not make.  Panik would not even look into the eyes of Stripling after the play in the dugout, and no doubt had a discussion with Stripling in the clubhouse (where these types of conversations should occur).  What was the Manager’s reaction to this?  He offered Stripling a big hug after his pitching performance in the dugout.  Other Managers and veteran players would have been on Stripling for his actions.  It is good lesson for players and coaches in any league.  It is hard to believe that anyone is out there trying to make an error or a mistake. They happen.  A pitcher needs the defence behind him, and actions like this one make some not try quite as hard the next time.

There have also been many cases where base runners are not running 100% out of the batter’s box.  Anything can happen and every 90 feet are important.  Guerrero Jr. had yet another base running blunder when he ran home on a grounder back to the pitcher.  In this situation he needed to get into a run-down, allowing the other runners to advance.  Instead he is thrown out going back to third and then promptly slams his hand on the ground.  That would have been a terrible way to end a MVP season with an injury to a hand.  Remember mistakes happen, but a good Manager will point them out.  It is unsure whether this is happening on this squad.  They need a coach, and not a fan.

 July 18, 2021

Toronto Blue Jays’ manager Charlie Montoya must have read the previous issue of the Springwater News, after he was tossed out of a game last week against the Tampa Bay Rays for arguing balls and strikes.  A team needs to know their coach is behind them, and by getting in the umpire’s face once in a while, the players support this and know their manager has their backs.  The Jays are off to a hot start after the all-star break and have an important series coming up against the Red Sox.  This series could make or break the season and really have an influence on what the team does at the trade deadline.  Targets will be a closer, a third baseman, a catcher and a starting pitcher or two.  It seems like a big wish list, but there should be players out there to fill these spots heading into the last third of the schedule.  The Blue Jays are headed back to Toronto.  When they play their last game in Buffalo, one would hope they will acknowledge the fans before hopefully leaving Buffalo for the last time.  The Blue Jays now feature a state of the art stadium and facility for the AAA Bisons.  This should help the development of the players in the future.

 

ON THE FIELD WITH THE HILLSDALE HAYMAKERS

Written by: Taylor Shewell

The U11-2 Haymakers sponsored by Fence Right Inc. are nearing the end of their regular season and are right in the middle of the pack. Their last regular season game is Tuesday July 19th in Port McNicoll. They have had a great season so far with everyone contributing in their own ways.  Gracelynn, Grace, Morgan, Jaxson, and Kyle have been making some great defensive plays and are improving each week.  Jocelyn, Kaiden, Grace, Hayden and Kyle have had a great year at the plate.  Liam, Nathan, and James fulfill the team’s pitching duties with Carson catching.

Our U17-OASA team traveled to Napanee over the Canada Day weekend and walked away with a 2-2 record and an invite to the Ontario Summer Games in Mississauga Jul 22-24.  First game will be Friday at 11:00 vs the Wilmot Thinder.  All games will be streamed to our YouTube channel.

Our U13-OASA team had hard-luck, with a score of 0-2 at their OASA qualifier this past weekend in Grafton.  They will now compete at the B Provincials in Princeton/Drumbo Aug 6-7.

Backyard BBQ Teammate of the Week:

Congratulations to Gibson from the U9 team and Katerina from the U7 team for being named teammate of the week for their respective teams.

Next Week’s Games:

Playoffs start for the U9-U17 teams on July 25th. For the up-to-date schedule head over to www.gbmsl.ca

GBMSL Results    
Team    
U9 W 27-5
U11-1 L 2-6
U11-2 L 17-11
U13-1 W 14-5
U13-2 W 17-21
U17 W 1-25

 

 

Kempo Student Receives Award

Courtney Fiegehen was recently awarded the advanced rank of Blue Belt in the chinese art of Shung Long Kempo for her ongoing training under the guidance of Sensei Martin Ladouceur, Master Instructor at Double Dragons Martial Arts Studio (705-322-6951), a private club in Wyevale.

Courtney started her studies and training in October 2017 and continues to assist with the Junior classes while taking weekly private lessons from Mr. Ladouceur.  She is focusing on a return to the tournament scene later this year now that most of the COVID restrictions have been lifted.

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