ladimir Guerrero Jr. was ejected for the first time in his career on Friday night, and it might not have happened if he wasn’t a rookie.
It’s been a year of first for a lot of Blue Jays this year, which will happen when you have so many rookies throughout your big league roster.
Most of those milestones have been on the positive side, especially when talking about Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The wunderkid has been incredible since the All-Star break, and at 20 years old he’s already putting the league on notice for the future, and even for the present.
That said, he’s still learning some important lessons at the highest level, and Friday night provided another opportunity for learning for Vlad Jr. After striking out swinging in the 7th inning against Hector Rondon, Guerrero Jr. turned around pointed at the umpire on his way to the dugout. Vlad Jr. was upset about a strike call from earlier in the at-bat, and was letting home plate umpire Mike Estabrook know that he felt he was at least partially at fault for the outcome of the at-bat.
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Estabrook let the 20-year-old get one or two comments in while holding up his hand, but unfortunately the young Guerrero decided to get at least one more word in, which was enough to get himself thrown out of the game.
The thing is, if Guerrero is a more established veteran, he probably gets aways with what happened last night. However, as a rookie the rules are a little bit different, even if you’re one of the most recognized players in the league already.
Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler talked about just that after the ejection, mentioning that things “would have been different back in our day”, if a rookie had acted like that toward an umpire. Martinez even went as far as to say that umpires around the entire league would know about it.
There’s no doubt that Major League Baseball is evolving at a rapid pace and that’s it’s also becoming a younger league in a hurry, but that doesn’t mean that the “unwritten rules of baseball” will go away any time soon. In the case of challenging at umpire as a rookie, that’s one lesson that Vlad Jr. kinda had coming to him.