As manager of the Durham Bulls Charlie Montoyo has taken the field at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park countless times over the last seven years but this week it’s a little different as he manages the International League All-Stars.
“I was just telling the guys, I don’t take this for granted,” said Montoyo. “A lot of good players. A lot of ball killers that I’ve seen through the years. So it’s going to be fun to manage these guys.”
With four Durham Bulls on the roster Montoyo not only has familiar surroundings, he has familiar faces to lead.
“He kind of brought us all together and said congratulations,” said Bulls pitcher Mike Montgomery. “It’s an honor to be here and it is cool that he’s the manager.”
“I told them ‘play the game the right way, that’s all I ask.’ We’re going to play, there’s people watching, scouts… you never know who’s watching. Just play the game the right way. That’s all I ask,” said Montoyo.
Montoyo’s biggest challenge might not be managing his own players but instead, handling players from division rivals.
“And even more when you’re going to face the next team, their closer or something the next day,” said Montoyo. “So you gotta be careful, pitch counts and stuff.”
Still if anyone has a home field advantage, it’s Charlie Montoyo. It’s not his first Triple-A All-Star game but it will be his first at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
“Even better,” said Montoyo. “I didn’t have to fly anywhere. This is a great place. People get to see what I see everyday, great ballpark, good fans. This is a nice place to play. It takes a lot to have an All-Star game at a place, if you can tell, and so far from what I’ve seen, we’ve done a great job here.”
Montoyo’s job is just starting, the real work comes Wednesday night in the Triple-A All Star game.
- See video of WRAL’s interview with Montoyo & links to more coverage of the Triple-A All Star festivities here
Thanks to WRALSportsFan’s Ken Medlin, Jared Fialko & Erin Summers for this capcom story & photo.