Aftermath of pulling Jose Berrios from wild-card game 'sucked,' Blue Jays manager says

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DUNEDIN, Fla. — When it comes to the playoff circumstances that exploded in real time, of course John Schneider has regrets.

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And picking up the pieces of the controversial call to pull starter Jose Berrios from Game 2 against the Twins included relaying just that to the pitcher himself.

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“I’ve told Jose, ‘Dude, I wish I had left you in and see what happens,’” Schneider said in an interview with the Toronto Sun.

The manager then pulled back the curtains on the messaging that went on to make things right.

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“The aftermath sucked,” Schneider said. “Playoffs are a different animal and you’re trying to take advantage of every single opportunity.

“I’ve told all these guys the way the season ended: We scored one run in two games, we left guys on base, we made base-running errors — which is kind of the snapshot of our season.”

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But Schneider also made it clear that communication could have been better all around, that he regretted the move and was adamant that his hands were on the lever to make all on-field calls, including bringing in Yusei Kikuchi for Berrios.

“It wasn’t like no matter what, you have to do this,” Schneider said. “It was a strong plan we had. It was using what you’re seeing, but not ignoring what we had seen over the course of the year. I think (people were so irate) because it was earlier than usual and with the way Jose was pitching.”


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Schneider explained that it was a playoff-specific plan, perhaps another reason that led to the bombastic reaction.

“We didn’t do that at all in the regular season,” he said. “But the amount of work we did do, we thought it was our best chance at that time.

“We’ve talked about communication and our process and how that flows into players. Me being in a more well-versed spot than I was a year ago or a month ago is helpful and them understanding the stuff I deal with every day and how I sift through information.

“It’s s— it didn’t work. But (now) the players know what to expect from me and what to expect from the entire organization.”

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