Blue Jays mourn death of first base coach Mark Budzinski’s daughter

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TORONTO - First base coach Mark Budzinski is taking a leave of absence from the Toronto Blue Jays following the death of his daughter.

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TORONTO – First base coach Mark Budzinski is taking a leave of absence from the Toronto Blue Jays following the death of his daughter.

The team announced the passing of Julia Budzinski, who was 17, on Sunday morning.

“The Budzinskis have been part of our Blue Jays family over the last four seasons. This devastating loss is felt by our entire organization and we grieve alongside Bud and his family,” said Ross Atkins, executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager of the Blue Jays. “I have known Bud for more than 25 years and have always admired his commitment as a dad and husband first.

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr., right, pretends to coach with first base coach Mark Budzinski in the sixth inning of their American League MLB baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Toronto Saturday September 28, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill

“He is loved and well-respected by our entire clubhouse and holds a special place in all our hearts.”

There was a moment of silence before Sunday’s game against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays.

Mark Budzinski left the Blue Jays’ dugout early in the second game of a day-night doubleheader against the Rays on Saturday. Manager Charlie Montoyo repeatedly left the dugout for the clubhouse during the game. Bench coach John Schneider filled in as manager during Montoyo’s brief absences.

After the 11-5 loss to Tampa the Blue Jays issued a statement saying that there would be no post-game media availabilities.

The team also closed its clubhouse to reporters as the coaching staff supported Budzinski as he addressed a “personal matter.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 3, 2022.

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