TORONTO – Toronto Blue Jays coach Mark Budzinski will miss the team following the death of his eldest daughter. Julia Budzinsky was seventeen years old.
“The Budzinskis have been part of the Blue Jays family for the past four seasons,” General Manager Ross Atkins said in a statement. “This devastating loss is felt by our entire organization as we mourn alongside Bud and his family. I have known Bud for over 25 years and have always been impressed by his commitment as a father and husband first. He is loved and respected by our entire club and holds a special place in our hearts.”
The Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays lined up along the spoiled lines before the first pitched for a moment of silence. Rays manager Kevin Cash said his team was “sad.”
Tigers manager AJ Hinch, who stayed with Budzinski during his minor league career, expressed support for his grieving friend before Detroit hosts Kansas City.
Elsewhere, Red Sox coach Alex Cora delivered a similar message from Chicago, as his team was facing the Cubs.
Pauline coach Luis Hurtado trained first base in Budzinski’s absence.
Budzinski and manager Charlie Montoyo left the dugout in the third inning of Game Two with a double-header against Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays were closed after losing 11-5.
Budzinski played four games for Cincinnati in 2003 and retired in 2005. After managing in the Cleveland minor league system, he joined the then-senior Indian League staff in 2017. Toronto appointed Budzinski in November 2018.