SIMMONS: Managers/buddies Montoyo, Money, Baldelli proportion extra than simply lunches in combination


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As soon as per week, or so, Charlie Montoyo, Kevin Money, and Rocco Baldelli — they all huge league managers and buddies — get in combination on their computer systems for a bunch chat.

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On occasion they communicate a bit of baseball. On occasion they communicate a bit of technique. On occasion they communicate a bit of pandemic. Most commonly they discuss lifestyles.

And now, abruptly, fairly overdue on this stunning, explosive and engaging Blue Jays season, Montoyo can be seeing his splendid buddies in baseball on a daily basis for 12 video games — on a daily basis because the Blue Jays proceed to scrap their option to a wild-card place within the American League. Little need for a bunch chat, only a stroll around the box will do.

On Sunday night time, Montoyo took Money, supervisor of the Tampa Bay Rays, out for dinner. He claims he picked up the tab. Money disputes the declare. “I didn’t see the color of his cash,” mentioned Money.

And that’s what buddies do after they’re going at every different prior to the primary recreation of a three-game collection starts. A little bit shot right here. A little bit shot there. They compete about nearly the entirety, even who can pay the invoice or who’s going to pay the following time they ruin bread.

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Kevin Money used to be a minor league ball participant when he first met Montoyo, who on the time used to be managing probably the most Rays’ minor-league associates — and immediately he noticed one thing in Montoyo. He by no means idea, again then, that he would finish up as a big-league supervisor, let by myself managing the Rays. And he by no means idea when he were given the task to control and wanted a 3rd base trainer, that he’d finish up with Montoyo.

It wasn’t that means with Rocco Baldelli. He used to be a Tampa Bay lifer, the primary huge title in franchise historical past. He used to be a first-round select of the Rays long ago in 2000. He used to be with the Rays for the majority of his seven-year huge league occupation. And when Money used to be employed to control in 2014, Baldelli turned into his first- base trainer. Three hundred and sixty five days later, Montoyo joined the Rays training team of workers and the 3 turned into fairly inseparable.

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The 2 operating with and below Money, who’s more youthful than his former coaches and every studying from the opposite. Montoyo had his locker with Tampa proper beside that of Baldelli’s. And inexplicably and predictably, the 2 buddies had been employed for his or her first big-league managerial jobs on the exact same day in 2018.

At the moment, such a lot about their careers is intertwined: The Jays started a three-game collection on the Rogers Centre with the Rays on Monday night time. Then they play 4 video games in opposition to Baldelli’s Minnesota Twins. Then 3 extra in opposition to Tampa Bay. And 3 extra in opposition to Baldelli.

It is going to be all Montoyo, all Money, all Baldelli for the following 12 video games. And who is aware of, after that, perhaps a best-of-five playoff collection between Toronto and Tampa Bay.

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“I’m no longer shocked by means of how the Jays are doing,” mentioned Money. “When I used to be kicking across the minors, (Charlie) were given handed over for a couple of jobs. However when I were given this task, I assumed: ‘Charlie’s a man I need with me’ He had finished just about the entirety it’s essential to do within the minors. We gave him the chance to interview for our 3rd base task and he were given it.

“And the entire issues that I’d heard about him, that he used to be a stand-up man, that avid gamers completely raved about him, that he labored so exhausting, it used to be roughly no brainer for us. And our courting simply advanced from there, from colleagues on a training team of workers to a robust friendship.”

Sunday night time, it used to be dinner with Money. Later this week, it’ll be dinner with Baldelli. Montoyo insists that Rocco can be paying, however that appears to be how the connection works between the 3 of them.

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Tampa Bay, once more, is the wonder nice group in baseball. No longer a wonder to Money, only a wonder to people who learn about the roster and will’t determine this magic out. Whichever groups finally ends up profitable the wild-card recreation in October can be Tampa’s opponent in a first-round divisional collection. It received’t be Baldelli’s group. This has been a troublesome 12 months for the Minnesota Twins. They received’t be within the playoffs. And none of that alters this three-way friendship.

“Maximum of our name is making amusing of Rocco,” mentioned Money. “That’s simply what we do.”
There isn’t a large number of making amusing of Montoyo, no longer with what’s took place in recent years with the Blue Jays. The weekend collection in opposition to Baltimore remains to be unexplainable or, within the phrases of Montoyo: “Freakin’ improbable.”

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And he did, actually, say “freakin.” Which is how Charlie speaks. Which distinguishes him from his two splendid buddies within the majors.

“You watch that group, you’ll see Charlie’s affect,” mentioned Money.
“They’re younger and so they’re proficient and he suits proper in with that. We mentioned that final night time. He’s were given a host of proficient youngsters.

“And also you have a look at what he’s finished. He’s finished a truly excellent task of using all his avid gamers, which is what the most efficient managers do. You have a look at what he’s finished with that bullpen and with Pete (Walker). Now their bullpen is a drive. And I love what he’s finished with the remainder of the roster. That’s an outstanding group.

“There’s so much for Charlie to be pleased with there.”

ssimmons@postmedia.com
twitter.com/simmonssteve

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