The subsequent time the son of a highway group’s famous person visits the Bronx, the Yankees could be smart to regard him properly. Kids with lengthy recollections and abnormal ability enjoyment of revenge.
In the Nineties, it used to be Ken Griffey Jr. Now, it is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Just as Griffey tormented the Yankees again and again in his high, Guerrero, 24, is doing the similar in his. The newest punches came around the weekend in a chain victory for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Guerrero, their slugging first baseman, blasted a two-run homer to start out the scoring on Friday. On Sunday he did it once more, pulling a blistering liner into the seats close to the left box foul pole with two outs within the 6th inning. The Blue Jays went directly to win, 5–1, and the Yankees misplaced a chain for the primary time this season.
As he rounded first base, Guerrero pointed skyward. He stutter-stepped on his means round 3rd. He kissed his wrists as he pranced house. The crowd booed, and Guerrero reveled in it.
“Of course, you listen to it,” Guerrero, who’s hitting .341, stated in Spanish via an interpreter. “But they are now not going to take that house run clear of me. I’m simply going to proceed to run the bases and revel in it.”
Although Guerrero cannot be a free agent until after the 2025 season, he vowed publicly last off-season to never play for the Yankees. The declaration echoed one by Griffey, then with the Seattle Mariners, who was filmed signing autographs at old Yankee Stadium and vowed: “If they have been the one group that gave me a freelance, I’d retire.”
Griffey’s stance came from a sobering incident as a teenager, when he was sitting with his father, Ken Sr., on the Yankees’ bench before a game. A security guard told the Griffeys that the Yankees’ owner, George Steinbrenner, had issued an edict to clear the dugout. They did, but not before Ken Sr. pointed out that the son of a teammate, Graig Nettles, was taking grounders at third base at that very moment.
The takeaway — that a white player was given privileges not afforded a Black player — emboldened the younger Griffey, who hit 41 homers against the Yankees in his career, including five in a five-game playoff series victory in 1995. (Only one team, the Minnesota Twins allowed more homers to Griffey.)
Guerrero’s father, Vladimir Sr., never played for a New York team in his Hall of Fame career, although his career average against the Yankees (.319, including the postseason) is a bit better than his .316 career mark across the regular season. and playoffs. Whatever the origin of Guerrero’s issue with the Yankees, it seems to cut just as deeply.
“It’s a private factor,” he said Sunday. “It goes back with my family, and I’m not going to talk about more than that. Things happened in the past and I’m just going to leave it like that.”
Like Griffey Jr., Guerrero Jr. has thrived towards the Yankees. His slugging proportion at Yankee Stadium is .614, the most efficient of any participant within the ballpark’s 15-year historical past (minimal 100 at-bats). His 12 homers within the Bronx are essentially the most he has hit in any highway stadium.
“You get here and you get booed, and you can kind of do one of two things,” Blue Jays supervisor John Schneider stated. “Reggie Jackson stated, ‘They do not boo nobodies,’ so I feel Vladdy roughly labored off of that somewhat bit. We all know the type of hitter that he’s.
Toronto starter Kevin Gausman, who blanked the Yankees for seven innings on Sunday, stated Guerrero basks within the heel’s function.
“It seems like he loves playing here,” Gausman stated. “He says he does not like coming right here, however he performs lovely neatly right here. Anytime he comes as much as bat, we are all paying consideration as a result of he simply hits the ball so onerous. He’s a man that roughly likes being the villain after we come right here.”
The Blue Jays’ George Springer has experience with heckling; he played for the champion Houston Astros in 2017, the year of their sign-stealing scandal, and was among the players booed by opposing fans once the scheme was revealed. Springer said Guerrero is calm by nature, trusting in his talent and his process. But it is a subtlety that impresses Springer most.
“How he processes data is next-level,” Springer said. “He’s a student of the game in his own way. The way he goes about things, I mean, he remembers everything.”
Including, relatively clearly, one thing from the previous that drives Guerrero to conquer the Yankees each and every likelihood he will get.