There was potential for an argument between Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on Sunday, but the former handled the situation like an old pro.
Late in the game there was a pop up to the right side, and because of a shift that had been put on at the time, both Bichette and Guerrero Jr. found themselves on the same side of the infield. As the ball came down both players tried to make the catch, with the ball eventually settling into the glove of Vlad Jr. while the pair bumped into each other.
It was a pretty harmless moment in the game, but Bichette immediately let his first baseman know who the ball belonged to, and did so in what looked like the right kind of approach.
It’s a delicate balance when you try to correct one of the best players in the game, especially when you’ve known each other as long as Bichette and Guerrero Jr. have. Each of them have every right to carry themselves with all kinds of confidence after the way they’ve started their respective MLB careers, as they are already considered among the best young players in the world. However, it doesn’t matter how good you are, a pop up belongs to the captain of the infield if they’re calling for it, and that’s exactly what happened as Bichette went to play the ball in the 7th inning.
Bichette didn’t get into Guerrero Jr’s face about the play, and in fact it looked like he was trying to have a playful approach by tapping his teammates chest. However, when Guerrero Jr. disagreed with Bichette’s point, that’s when young Bo had to be a little more assertive, at least in their brief exchange on the field.
It was a moment that the broadcast crew pointed out at the time, and they mentioned that the “conversation would likely continue in the dugout”. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened and it looked like Bichette was making sure that the two young stars were not only on the same page, but that they were also still on good terms after a brief disagreement.
That’s exactly what you want to see from a young leader, a player that’s not afraid to correct his teammates and hold them accountable, but also one that clearly cares about the relationship and understands the bigger picture at play. He could have snapped at Vladdy and taken a more demanding approach, but that’s not going to help harmony in the clubhouse.
The duo have been teammates since they played together in Lansing in 2017 at the Low-A level, and haven’t been separated too much since. In a lot of ways I’m sure they’ve developed a brother-like friendship, where you can be stern with each other and know that you’re ultimately still on the same team, and still care about each other.
We don’t get to see all of the relationship dynamics in the Blue Jays clubhouse, but it was a positive sign to see the way Bichette handled himself on Sunday. What could have been a “thing” appears to have been dealt with in a positive and professional way, and both players should be a little better for it.