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Rosie DiManno: Phenom Vlad Guerrero makes Blue Jays debut seem effortless

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27.04.2019

The dimpled grin transcends language.

It speaks Spanish. It speaks English. It speaks Vladdy.

Says: Hello world, here I am!

Leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth, scored tied 2-2 with Oakland. Deep into the right-field corner.

So hey, how do you like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. so far?

"Just the way I dreamed it.''

Maybe not quite. Maybe a walk-off home run starred in that CinemaScope dream, reprise of a year ago in Montreal, exhibition intro to the city of his birth. But the winning run crossing the plate — albeit Alen Hanson pinch-sprinting for Guerrero — was debut dandy.

And every move he made applauded by a Vladdy-giddy crowd at the Rogers Centre.

"I was just concentrating on every at-bat," he said later, after the Jays celebration at the dish, after the Brandon Drury home run, after the Blue Jays' 4-2 win over the A's. "I was just trying to do my job. It was exciting.''

A bundle full of words from the newly minted Major League Baseball player, delivered through team translator Hector Lebron.

Trundled pre-game, pre-debut, into a jam-packed press conference, shaking hands with every stranger standing along the wall as he made his way to the dais — kind of like a political candidate ascending the stage at a rally.

Somebody pass the dude a baby to kiss.

Except he's the bouncing baby Blue Jay, his arrival so eagerly anticipated and have-a-cigar celebrated.

The only words we heard Guerrero utter in English on Friday, after the translated Q&A with reporters, after the fist-bump greetings, after the click-click-click of cameras that had trailed him into the Rogers Centre — wearing an Expos jersey over jeans, on his maiden day as a big-league ballplayer — were these, directed at a club PR employee: "The answers were good?"

That's kind of sweet, that Guerrero would have been anxious about how he came across, amidst the media maelstrom.

He did just dandy.

A twinge of nerves could have been expected. Except Guerrero — the future and the franchise — has never shown even a flicker of unease or discomfort in the spotlight, not even the three years he's been under the glare, waiting to launch.

"First, I want to thank God, my family, my people in Dominican Republic and all the entire Blue Jays organization for giving me the opportunity to play the best........

© Peterborough Examiner