The Toronto Blue Jays appear to have hired not only a qualified new skipper but a genuinely salt of the earth human being who will lead by example.
It did not take but a minute during Monday’s introductory press conference to quickly realize the type of person and the qualities that Charlie Montoyo possesses on and off the baseball diamond. Montoyo beamed with authenticity and sincerity with every passing question he answered for the Toronto media in attendance.
I admittedly knew very little of Montoyo prior to his name being churned through the rumour mill a few weeks earlier. I was a big supporter of John Gibbons and openly campaigned for Stubby Clapp to be appointed as the Blue Jays new skipper. However, I immediately jumped with two feet in onto the Montoyo train after that presser.
But wow……I now fully understand why the brain trust opted for the baseball lifer in Montoyo. This guy is going to be a leader among men for the new crop of talent coming up through the ranks. His baseball credentials speak for themselves however it is going to be the intangibles and his ability to relate to his players that is going to resonate during the dog days of summer.
Montoyo gushed for his wife and family during his presser while displaying empathy and understanding of the demands placed upon young players at the major league level. He was so appreciative and humble for the opportunity that he did not want to tell too many people of his hiring until it was made official after the press conference.
General Manager Ross Atkins spoke highly of the recommendations and references he received in regards to Montoyo from players and coaches alike around the league. Even a poorly timed question from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star couldn’t wipe the perma-smile off the new skippers face.
Montoyo is a teacher and a mentor more than a coach, his character strengths come from decades of minor league bus rides on the farm. He is the baseball underdog that is finally getting his big break north of the border.
Oh ya… and he is also a salt of the earth human being.