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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Articles tagged: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. takes funny shot at Yankees

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

Even in the offseason, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. loathes the New York Yankees.

Guerrero appeared this week at a Toronto Blue Jays team event and gave an interesting answer to a question from a young fan. The fan asked Guerrero and his teammates which opposing team was the easiest to play last season.

“The Yankees,” Guerrero replied with a grin.

Here is the video.

The former MVP runner-up Guerrero was probably being a bit more shady than factual with that answer. The Blue Jays finished second to the Yankees in the AL East last year and were 8-11 against them in head-to-head play. Guerrero also performed a bit worse against the Yankees than against everyone else (with a .260/.313/.521 slash line versus the Yankees as opposed to a .274/.339/.480 slash line overall).

But we know that Guerrero has a fiery cannonball of hatred for the Yankees. Just a few months ago, the Blue Jays star took an even more savage shot at the Bronx Bombers.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has amazing quote about playing for Yankees

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

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has made his name playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, which means he has gotten plenty of exposure to New York. The Yankees are a division rival, and also regarded as a destination for many of the game’s stars.

Not Guerrero, however. In a new interview with radio personality El Dotol Nastra, Guerrero said he would “never” sign with the Yankees — even if he were dead.

Guerrero is probably playing things up a bit here, but it sure sounds like his mind is made up. He won’t even be a free agent until after 2025 at the earliest, so Yankees fans probably never should have started to dream anyway.

Of course, given their budding rivalry, the Yankees might not have a great opinion of Guerrero either. He probably heard about what the team’s TV announcer had to say about him, after all.

Yankees announcer Michael Kay took petty shot at Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Michael Kay on the mic

Michael Kay is definitely the captain of Team Petty.

The New York Yankees officially clinched the AL East division with a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night. They had to wait an extra day to do so though because Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. beat them with a walkoff hit the night before. Guerrero celebrated his walkoff winner (at Rogers Centre in Toronto) by proclaiming, “This is my house!”

But the tables turned Tuesday when it was the Yankees who emerged with the win at Rogers Centre to clinch the division. As the Yankees celebrated their feat, Kay, the team’s TV announcer, got in a petty swipe at Guerrero.

“It’s really nice of Vlad Guerrero to let the Yankees celebrate in his house,” Kay said. Take a listen.

Even if the Yankees, at 95-59, have the division in the bag, they may still see Toronto in the postseason. The Blue Jays are having a fine year of their own at 87-68 and currently hold the No. 1 Wild Card spot in the AL. Though that gives them the luxury of (for now) avoiding the Yankees’ side of the playoff bracket, the two teams could potentially meet in the ALCS.

Baseball fans may indeed be hoping for a collision course between the two division rivals in the postseason. After all, the Yankees and the Blue Jays really do not like each other this season.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. worried about ‘another steal’ in MVP vote

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

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. thinks he was unjustly ignored in last year’s AL MVP race in favor of Shohei Ohtani. Now, the Toronto Blue Jays first baseman is concerned about the same thing happening to Aaron Judge.

Guerrero Jr. had a strong take on the AL MVP race for 2022, suggesting that Judge losing to Ohtani would represent “another steal.” The Blue Jays slugger told MLB reporter Hector Gomez that Ohtani is excellent, but Judge’s numbers are “way above Ohtani’s.”

The big justification for Ohtani’s MVP candidacy is his two-way prowess. With 34 home runs to go with a 2.55 ERA in 24 starts, Ohtani provides tremendous value on both sides of the game. Judge does not pitch, of course, but he is still hitting .310 with 57 home runs in what has proven to be a historic campaign.

Guerrero Jr. is still frustrated that he was overlooked for MVP last season because of Ohtani. The issue is a tricky one, though. If the MVP award were purely based on value, Ohtani would win every year. Judge, on the other hand, can point to his historic excellence.

Judge is viewed as the favorite at this point, but the case is not completely closed. Guerrero Jr. will certainly be furious if it goes the wrong way in his eyes.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. gave out a funny autograph

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

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had a productive game both on and off the field for the Toronto Blue Jays during their 9-2 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday.

Guerrero went 1-for-5, with his one hit being a three-run home run in the second inning to give Toronto a 5-0 lead.

After the game, the Blue Jays’ Twitter account posted a picture of Guerrero in the visitor’s dugout appearing to be autographing a baby. Or at the very least, the baby’s Blue Jays jersey.

The baby was being held over the railing near the dugout steps with their back facing Guerrero.

Take a look.

Guerrero later tweeted confirmation that he had indeed signed the baby.

While signing a baby is certainly unique, the object that Ole Miss head football coach Lane Kiffin was asked to sign during the SEC’s media days might have Guerrero beat.

The two-time All-Star has destroyed the Yankees in the Bronx during his four-year career. According to StatMuse, Guerrero had hit 10 home runs and 17 RBI in 28 games in Yankee Stadium entering Friday. He had also scored 16 runs, collected 32 hits and had 66 total bases.

After finishing behind Shohei Ohtani in the American League MVP race last year, Guerrero is putting together another solid season. In 116 games entering Friday, the 23-year-old was hitting .282 with 26 home runs and 75 RBI, and had a .509 slugging percentage.

If Guerrero goes on to have a long and successful MLB career, that baby’s jersey could wind up being quite valuable one day.

Video: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and father combine for cool ceremonial first pitch

Vladimir Guerrero and father

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and his father Vladimir Guerrero combined for a cool ceremonial first pitch on Saturday in Toronto.

The Jays were doing a combined bobblehead giveaway Saturday for the first game of their doubleheader with the Tampa Bay Rays. The combined bobblehead featured the Guerrero father and son duo.

Vladdy is a former AL MVP and Baseball Hall of Fame member. The 47-year-old played eight seasons with Montreal and decided to wear his Expos jersey for the ceremonial first pitch.

Vlad Jr. said that he is putting the autographed ball from the first pitch in his locker.

In addition to making the Hall of Fame, Vladdy was a 9-time All-Star, 8-time Silver Slugger and a former Home Run Derby champion.

Vlad Jr. was the runner-up to Shohei Ohtani in AL MVP voting last season. At 23, he seems like he is on track to follow his father’s path to Cooperstown if he keeps going strong.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. makes decision on Home Run Derby

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

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is tied for the 10th-most home runs in MLB this season, but the Toronto Blue Jays star will not be showcasing his power-hitting abilities during this year’s Home Run Derby.

On Tuesday, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reported that Guerrero declined an invitation to participate in the event during All-Star festivities at Dodger Stadium this summer. Guerrero apparently doesn’t want to risk re-aggravating the left wrist soreness he dealt with throughout May.

“My wrist is fine right now but I’ve got to be careful — there are too many swings in a home run derby,” Guerrero said Monday through interpreter Hector Lebron. “I don’t want to take a chance that my wrist gets hurt again and it gets bad and I won’t be able to help the team win, which is what we’re trying to do here. I don’t want to risk it.”

Guerrero’s caution is warranted. He already participated in one derby in 2019 and lost to New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso despite hitting 91 total home runs. Guerrero missed last year’s event to help keep himself fresh for the second half of the season. That certainly seemed to work, as the 23-year-old finished second in American League MVP voting after hitting .311 and leading the majors with 48 home runs and 123 runs scored.

Entering Tuesday, Guerrero’s 18 home runs placed him in a tie with New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton for the sixth-most in the American League. In May, Guerrero hit .217 with three homers and eight RBI in 26 games while dealing with wrist soreness. In June, he’s hitting .300 with nine home runs, 21 RBI and a 1.011 OPS in 25 games entering Tuesday.

With his wrist feeling better and his production heating up, it’s easy to see why Guerrero passed on the derby.

Video: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. goes Bo Jackson and breaks bat over knee

Vlad Guerrero Jr breaks his bat

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. pulled a Bo Jackson on Wednesday.

Vlad has dramatically improved his chase rate at the plate with two strikes, but he fell into bad habits on Wednesday.

Vlad was batting for his Toronto Blue Jays with a runner on first and two out in the top of the fifth against the New York Yankees. Jameson Taillon threw Vlad a 1-2 slider that was well off the plate, and Vlad chased after it with a weak swing for strike three.

Guerrero was so upset he slammed his bat against the ground and then snapped it over his knee.

Vlad had a hit earlier in the game and missed an opportunity to drive in a run by chasing there. It’s no wonder he was upset.

He also showed off some strength with that bat snap. It was impressive.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has 1 big complaint about last season

Vladimir Guerrero Jr in a hat

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is only 23 years old, but that is apparently old enough to be a little bitter.

Speaking this week with Dominican journalist Yancen Pujols, the Toronto Blue Jays slugger offered his big complaint about last season — that he did not receive a single vote for American League MVP.

“I knew I wasn’t going to win the MVP, but it bothered me that they [didn’t] give me a point for first place,” said Guerrero. “I knew [Shohei] Ohtani was going to win it, but not that it would be unanimous.”

In any other year, Guerrero’s numbers of 48 home runs and 111 RBIs on a .311 batting average and a 1.002 OPS might have been enough to win MVP. But unfortunately, Guerrero’s competition was the Los Angeles Angels two-way star Ohtani, who had a once-in-a-lifetime season in 2021. With 46 home runs at the plate and 156 strikeouts on the hill, Ohtani did something that no one had done since Babe Ruth, arguably even exceeding The Bambino’s two-way prowess. Ohtani walked away with all 30 first-place MVP votes, and he deserved every single one of them.

But on the bright side for Guerrero, he is still very young and should be able to put together many more MVP-worthy seasons to come. The All-Star hitter is definitely looking physically motivated to continue unleashing fire and brimstone on MLB pitching as well.

Photo: 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

Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s trainer reveals crazy amount of weight slugger has lost

Vladimir Guerrero Jr in a hat

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is here to chew bubblegum and get into great shape … and he’s all out of bubblegum.

Guerrero’s trainer Jose Fortuna revealed this week the crazy amount of weight that the Toronto Blue Jays slugger has lost this offseason.

“Thanks to God for giving me the opportunity of working with Vladdy Jr,” said Fortuna, per baseball insider Hector Gomez. “In just one month, we achieved the goal that we set for ourselves. With all of Vladdy Jr.’s hard work and dedication he was able to drop from 261 to 239 pounds.”

A 22-pound weight loss in one offseason is definitely no joke for Guerrero, who just turned 23. He had a monstrous 2021 season with 48 home runs, 111 RBIs, and a 1.002 OPS, all while playing at a listed weight of 250 pounds.

We recently saw pictures of Guerrero where his weight loss was apparent. The All-Star phenom has been putting the work in this offseason, and sounds ready to more than ready to pulverize more baseballs in 2022.

Photo: 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