Free Vladdy! Slugger tied to dugout bench

August 1st, 2021

TORONTO -- George Springer and some of his Blue Jays teammates lived out the dreams of MLB pitchers everywhere by taping to the bench on Sunday afternoon.

Guerrero, receiving his first day off since the 2019 season, is always in the middle of some mischief in the dugout, especially when the Blue Jays are rolling like they were in Sunday’s 5-1 win over the Royals. He had a little more free time, though.

“His teammates were telling me, ‘Please play him, please play him,’” said manager Charlie Montoyo. “He was driving everybody crazy, but that’s just who he is. He’s always having fun. He had a good day off and he earned it. He’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

You’re seeing Guerrero’s personality more and more as he mows his way through opposing pitchers and the Blue Jays’ record books in 2021. The American League MVP candidate is hitting .327 with 33 home runs, 83 RBIs and a 1.078 OPS through his first 101 games, putting himself on pace for one of the best offensive seasons the organization has seen.

In the background of some of these antics on Sunday, cracking a smile while trying to stay focused on his debut with the club, was José Berríos. The right-hander came over in a major deal prior to the Trade Deadline to help push the Blue Jays over the top, and a whirlwind past 48 hours was made easier for him by the win and the light mood in the dugout and the clubhouse.

“These guys like to have fun,” Berríos said. “They enjoy themselves and they motivate each other. That’s the most important thing for a team, when a team wants to have a lot of good days and future. I know I can still have fun out there with them. I’ve been having fun so far with this group.”

Guerrero is expected to be back in the lineup on Monday when Toronto welcomes Cleveland, where he’ll need to take brief breaks from dugout shenanigans to take a few at-bats.