Dave Stewart has accepted the job of assistant general manager with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Stewart, 41, the pitching coach of the San Diego Padres in 1997, considered an offer from Florida but chose the Blue Jays, for whom he pitched in 1993 and 1994.
The four time 20-game winner helped Toronto win the 1993 World Series after capturing the ALCS MVP award against the Chicago White Sox. He has always had a fondness for Toronto, where he continues to be involved in local charities.
Stewart's goal is to become a general manager. He was hired by San Diego as a special assistant in 1997, and took the job of pitching coach after the 1997 season only after he was promised that he would still keep his front office duties.
With Stewart overseeing the Padres pitching staff, they improved dramatically, from a franchise-worst 4.99 ERA in 1997 to 3.63 this year, third-best in the NL.
"I'm excited about the possibilities, but I'm not excited about leaving San Diego," the 41-year-old Stewart had said Monday. He said part of his decision has to do with where his 16-year-old daughter would be most comfortable.
His pitching staff was a big reason the Padres reached the World Series this year, where they were swept by the New York Yankees.
With Stewart overseeing a staff bolstered by the addition of ace Kevin Brown, the Padres' pitching staff improved dramatically, from a franchise-worst 4.99 ERA in 1997 to 3.63 this year, third-best in the NL. Atlanta and Houston, which had higher team ERAs than San Diego, were both eliminated by the Padres in the playoffs.
"I had no idea that we'd have the success we had as a saff," said Stewart, who was known for his steely glare when he was a pitcher.
"That was a beautiful thing as far as that was concerned. For me, I think I've not only gained a relationship with the guys, but I have a personal relationship with them. That's why that worked this year. I got to know my guys."
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