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#pounditWednesday, February 21, 2024

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doubles down on his anti-Yankees stance

Vladimir Guerrero Jr in a hat

Feb 17, 2020; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) looks on during spring training at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays superstar Vladimir Guerrero Jr. absolutely despises the New York Yankees. He made that abundantly clear back in November when he revealed he would never wear the pinstripes — not even in death.

On Friday, ahead of the first game of a three-game series between the two clubs, Guerrero Jr. doubled down on that stance.

“It’s a personal thing that goes back with my family,” Guerrero Jr. said through a translator, via the New York Post. “So, that’s my decision. I would never change that.”

Guerrero Jr. has never elaborated on what the “personal” issue actually is but it likely stems from his father, Vladimir Guerrero, being passed over by the Yankees during the 2003 free agency period. At the time, the elder Vlad was considered the cream of the free agent crop but the Yankees instead decided to sign the aging Gary Sheffield.

Although Sheffield put up back-to-back MVP-caliber seasons to start his Yankees career, he ended up taking a back seat to Guerrero, who won league MVP in 2004. Sheffield then fell off in 2006 while Vlad continued to dominate the league for another several years.

Despite that perceived slight, it makes little sense for Guerrero Jr. to vehemently refuse to play for the Yankees — at least publicly. If and when he hits the free-agent market in 2026, he’s going to want the high-rolling Yankees to jack up his price with a big offer. By shutting that down out of the gate, he’s likely to cost himself some money.

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