Saturday’s game between the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays featured an epic gaffe from Toronto manager, John Schneider. After the game, Schneider offered a response that was equal parts confusing and blunt.
In the sixth inning, Schneider went out to visit pitcher, Alek Manoah. Schneider forgot that earlier in the inning, pitching coach Pete Walker had already visited Manoah.
Unless one of the visits is for a potential injury, two mound visits for the same pitcher in an inning means that a substitution is not optional. So, even though Manoah had thrown only 85 pitches and seemed to have plenty left in the tank, he was taken out.
When the game was over, Schneider took full responsibility for the mistake.
“I ****** up,” Schneider said to MLB.com’s Keegan Matheson after the game. As frustrating as the mistake was for the Blue Jays, that’s a refreshing take. A “The Buck Stops Here” approach is always a good one for a skipper to have. Only, then Schneider kept going.
“But I think, regardless of my ****-up, it was the right time to get him out,” Schneider said, adding (per Matheson) that the mistake wouldn’t happen again.
Here’s the problem with Schneider’s “it was the right time to get him out” argument. He didn’t seem to think so at the time. Home plate umpire Dan Iassogna did visit the mount while Schneider was talking to Manoah. But it wasn’t until Schneider was done (or, at least, he thought he was done) that Iassogna talked to him. Schneider was walking back to the dugout. He decided to leave his pitcher in the game.
Owning up to the mistake is a great step in the right direction. If Schneider wanted to own up to the decision, then credit reliever Tim Mayza for getting the last out after the forced change and not allowing a run to score, that would have been fine.
But the way he worded it made it sound like Schneider was trying to split the difference. It was clear to anyone watching, that wasn’t the case.