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Jays first base coach away from team after daughter’s death

Jun 13, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays first base coach Mark Budzinski (53) carries two empty pails during batting practice against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays first-base coach Mark Budzinski is not with the team following the death of his eldest daughter, Julia Budzinski, the team announced Sunday.

“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,” Blue Jays executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager Ross Atkins said in a statement.

“I have known Bud for more than 25 years and have always admired his commitment as a dad and husband first. He is loved and well-respected by our entire clubhouse and holds a special place in all our hearts.”

The Blue Jays said Budzinski will be taking time away to be with his wife, Monica, and children Josh and Lily.

Budzinski and manager Charlie Montoyo left in the third inning of the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Blue Jays closed their clubhouse after the game and said Budzinski was “dealing with a personal matter.”

Budzinski, 48, joined the Toronto coaching staff ahead of the 2019 season. He was on the manager Terry Francona’s staff in Cleveland in 2018 and also managed in the minors with the Lake County Captains (2014) and Lynchburg Hillcats (2015-16).

–Field Level Media