Rocco Baldelli knows Charlie Montoyo well. Not only did they spend the last four seasons together on Tampa Bay’s coaching staff, but Baldelli once played for the 53-year-old Montoyo in the minors. Minnesota’s new manager counts Toronto’s new manager as both a mentor and a friend.
Not surprisingly, Baldelli was effusive in his praise when I asked him about Montoyo. Citing his experience and leadership skills, he opined that the Blue Jays are getting “a tremendous manager and a great person.” Fittingly, Montoyo was hired on October 25, the same day his 37-year-old protege was tabbed by the Twins.
Baldelli wasn’t caught by surprise when he heard the news from north of the border. He knew that Montoyo had interviewed with the Cincinnati Reds, and that he would soon be doing the same with Toronto. The second of those sit-downs obviously went well. Mere days after meeting with him, the Blue Jays announced Montoyo’s hiring.
All told, five candidates went through the interview process in Toronto. Baldelli didn’t want to go on the record as to whether he was one of them, but he did allow that his post-season vacation plans were put on hold for a period of weeks. Multiple teams met with him about their openings. That was to be expected. The “future-manager” tag was assigned to him by myriad members of the media over the course of the 2018 season. Read the rest of this entry »