Toronto Blue Jays superstar Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made the Dominican Republic's absurdly special World Baseball Classic infield just a little less notable when he was forced to withdraw from the event to help manage his current knee pain.
That pain, despite what Guerrero Jr. indicated in his latest Instagram story, is not life-threatening.
Lucky for the Jays, Guerrero should return to the cage this upcoming weekend, and has a good deal of time to get ramped up for Opening Day. Hell, during his injury rehab and rest period, he's got a great opportunity to travel with the rest of the Dominican Republic team, or at least cheer them on. Their early-round games will be in Miami; Vlad's Jays train in Dunedin, Florida. He can be there. He can make it happen.
According to the cartoon Guerrero shared on his personal social account, though, that plan sounds akin to death to him.
I haven't had minor knee inflammation recently, but I'm pretty sure that when you do suffer from that affliction, surgeons don't shove you into a private hospital room behind glass so that all your teammates can bow their heads and surround you, hoping for a painless death. That seems to be what Guerrero's envisioning his next few weeks will look like -- and, again, he's getting back in the cage in, like, two days.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. shares dramatic cartoon about missing World Baseball Classic
From telling the haters to shush after taking middling Yankees reliever Matt Bowman deep in the middle of a Spring Training game the Blue Jays lost (which haters told him he couldn't do that?) to ruling out the Yankees in free agency years ahead of time (his dad told him that was a bad idea), it seems Guerrero Jr. might need a new PR team. Somebody, anybody who can frame things in the proper context for him.
It definitely stings to have to miss the World Baseball Classic, and it'll be a while before Guerrero Jr. gets another chance to put on for his country. So wish them luck. Express disappointment. Even add a "Cry Face" emoji. But maybe don't equate this minor knee tweak to passing away from some knee-based disease. Rafael Devers, Sandy Alcantara, Manny Machado ... they hardly knew ye!
At least when the White Sox got all that guff for hanging Eloy Jimenez's jersey in the dugout and taking it to the field for a pregame tribute like he'd died, he was seriously injured with a ripped pectoral. Vlad's cartoon takes this trend to new heights. If only Vlad were still around to see it...