Is John Schneider a BAD manager?

September 26, 2023

The Toronto Blue Jays' recent game against the Tampa Bay Rays left fans and analysts questioning some of the managerial decisions made by John Schneider. In the bottom of the ninth inning of what was already a tense match, the Blue Jays held a 6-5 lead. It was a critical moment, and Schneider had a choice to make.

Schneider decided to entrust the game to his star closer, Jordan Romano, who was dealing with a cracked fingernail even before taking the mound in the ninth. It seemed to be bothering him a fair bit as he continually examined it between pitches. Despite the apparent discomfort, he soldiered on.

Unfortunately, Romano's performance took a hit, and he gave up three consecutive hits, allowing Tampa Bay to tie the game. Left-handed pitcher Tim Mayza was warming up in the bullpen. Josh Lowe, who was at bat for Tampa Bay, had struggled against left-handed pitchers this season. Yet, Schneider chose to stick with Romano after a mound visit, even though Mayza was warmed up.

The result was a first-pitch, game-winning single for the Rays, leaving Blue Jays fans wondering if Schneider's decision-making could potentially hinder the team's postseason prospects. This incident was not an isolated one, as Schneider's managerial choices have come under scrutiny in crucial games throughout the season.

One notable example was the decision not to pinch-run for Alejandro Kirk, who was on third base late in a game. Schneider's reasoning behind this decision remained unclear, leaving fans perplexed. These micro-decisions have led to concerns about whether Schneider's inexperience as a rookie manager might impact the Blue Jays' chances in high-stakes games.

The trend of questionable decisions in critical moments has not gone unnoticed. It seems that Schneider's managerial issues tend to surface during big games, making them even more concerning. Playoff baseball is often decided by these small, crucial details – the decisions made by managers on the spot, the execution of plays, and the utilization of pitching resources.

Schneider's managerial choices may put the Blue Jays at a disadvantage when compared to teams with experienced managers. As the postseason approaches, these decisions will be closely monitored.

In the end, the success of the Blue Jays may ultimately rely on the performance of star players like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and George Springer. However, Schneider's decision-making in critical moments could still play a significant role in the team's postseason journey. The Romano incident serves as a reminder that even in the heat of a playoff race, managerial decisions can make all the difference. Schneider's rookie status as a manager will continue to be a topic of discussion as the Blue Jays strive to secure their spot in the postseason.

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