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Jim Bowden predicts John Schneider will be the first manager fired this season

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Photo credit:Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Georges
23 days ago
Jim Bowden recently published some bold predictions for the upcoming season, zeroing in on John Schneider as the manager most likely to be fired. He goes further to note that bench coach Don Mattingly would then take over in an interim role. How reactionary do you think the Blue Jays could be this year?
The 43-year-old Schneider took over for incumbent Charlie Montoyo at around the midway point of the 2022 season. He has orchestrated a 135-101 overall record, getting into the playoffs but losing in two straight games both years at the hands of the Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins.
Over the last three seasons, the team has won right around 90 games (89, 92, 91), seemingly showing that they are good enough to get to the playoffs, but not good enough to really make any noise once there. The early playoff exit frustration led many fans to plea to ownership to make a splash this offseason. Despite finishing as a finalist for Shohei Ohtani, they failed to hedge their bets with any other big-ticket acquisition, instead opting for the likes of Justin Turner and Isaiah Kiner-Falefa.
It’s hard to know how much credit or blame should be placed on Schneider’s shoulders, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he were used as a scapegoat if the team gets off to a slow start in 2024. Interim managers often have to spend several years before the stigma of ‘interim’ wears off. We have no idea if the team views Schneider as simply a stop-gap or if he’s a guy seen as more of a long-term answer.
Two of the more recent interim managers who have experienced a lot of success are the Atlanta Braves Brian Snitker and the Philadelphia Phillies’ Rob Thomson. Snitker took over as skipper in 2016 and never looked back, winning the 2021 World Series after 45 years in the Braves organization as a player and minor league coach. The timing was perfect for him as a new wave of talent was just beginning to arrive in Atlanta. Like Schneider, Thomson took over a team with a losing record halfway through 2022 and led them to the playoffs, losing in the World Series to the Houston Astros. The Sarnia, Ontario again took the Phillies on a deep run in 2023 before losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS.
Both Snitker and Thomson are notable success stories for interim managers, but the reality is that it’s typically rare for them to have staying power. Schneider should be in a position to receive the credit – good or bad – for however the season goes for the Blue Jays. A step forward for the team will reflect nicely on the leadership of the Princeton, New Jersey native, especially since the team remains mostly the same from last year. For that reason, Bowden’s prediction may have some legs, since the patience of the Blue Jays front office, as well as a capable bench coach in Mattingly, could cause them to pull the trigger quickly if things go sideways in 2024.

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