Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Not a Boy
I will try to rise to the occasion on this, because I really don't care all that much.
Vladimir Guerrero gave an "ultimatum" to the Toronto Blue Jays about not calling him up and the Jays have responded by granting him his release.
This is what Guerrero said to Hector Gomez
Promises made to me were not fulfilled. I am not a child. One day I heard one thing and the next day another. I left the team, right now I am at home in Anaheim. I was not treated as a professional. I am not a boy. I proved that I’m ready, I have nothing more to prove in the minors with the numbers that I put. Last night after the game I sent my letter of resignation to the organization. I am not a boy. I demand respect. Let me make it clear I did not take this decision lightly, and had warned it would if I was not satisfied.
This has outraged a few Jays fans, who have called Guerrero a bitch, a whiner and other variations of those sentiments. And I think people need to relax and stop acting like they were left at the altar or something.
First of all, remember that this is in translation. I mean, there is a reason Latin ballplayers without a command of English don't like giving interviews to English media. Idiom doesn't always translate. Some things said in Spanish that are perfectly reasonable get garbled when translated. Guerrero is from a different culture, where saying things like "I am not a boy" might be totally reasonable. He's from a culture where pride is paramount.
Second of all, he's not a boy. This is Vladimir Guerrero. He is one of the greatest players to ever play the game and he was "The Man" for a long time. It is hard for those who were once "The Man" to no longer be "The Man." It can sometimes make a person a little mental. It happens. The mental toll this takes combined with the physical toll professional sports can have on a person can be overwhelming. Someone like Junior Seau is the extreme example, but I'm sure this effects many top athletes on the decline.
It's also hard for those who were never and will never be "The Man" to understand this.
I don't know what "promises" were made to Guerrero by the Blue Jays or what information was given by Anthopoulos and buffed up by his agent when giving the message to Vlad. Agents like to polish, buff and pump. It's their MO.
I wanted to see Vladimir Guerrero in a Jays uniform because it would've been cool. To start a career in Montreal and finish it in Toronto would've been romantic, for lack of a better word.
But there just wasn't room on this team for whatever skills remain to Vladimir Guerrero.
If he is to sign with another team and ends up coming to Toronto, I hope the fans just treat him like who he is- a player who was once one of the greatest who now plays for the opposition.