If you've tuned in to a single Toronto Blue Jays game over the past few seasons, you have surely noticed Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez getting up to some antics in the dugout or on the field itself.
The two Dominican sluggers both have infectious personalities and their energy seems to feed off one another. In a sport that often takes itself too seriously over a 162-game grind, their constant, beaming smiles are a refreshing sight.
Since Guerrero was called up to the majors in 2019, when Hernandez was beginning to establish himself as an everyday major-leaguer, the two have grown their bond beyond what you typically see from teammates.
“It all comes down to trust,” Guerrero told MLB.com reporter Julia Kreuz. “I feel like he’s part of my family. He’s like a big brother.”
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 4, 2022
Despite the age difference (Guerrero is 23 and Hernandez is 29), the connection was instant and only continues to get stronger.
“It’s like we were born to have this friendship,” Hernandez told Kreuz. “From the first moment I met him, I knew we were going to have a good relationship. And it’s only gotten better with time.”
From the celebratory water-cooler dumps to the sunflower seed showers to the Home Run Jacket, Guerrero and Hernandez certainly know how to have fun together. But they also lean on each other when things aren't going smoothly.
Guerrero hasn't been able to replicate the form that saw him finish second in MVP voting in 2021, while Hernandez is also having a down year when compared to his back-to-back Silver Slugger-winning campaigns of the past two seasons. The two friends have been there for each other through it all.
“This game will beat you down, so it’s the people that you surround yourself with, really, that will be the ones to pick you up,” Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said to Kreuz. “You have people to fall back on. You have people to vent to, people to laugh with, people to cry with.”
It's unclear what the future holds for Guerrero and Hernandez. The former is a franchise cornerstone and has the chance to go down as one of the greatest Blue Jays in history. The latter is a free agent at the end of next season and has found his name in the rumour mill as a trade option to patch up other areas of Toronto's roster.
Even if they are separated at some point down the line, it's safe to assume they'll be able to maintain their special relationship.
“Last year I went to visit him in Bonao, where he lives, in Maimon,” Guerrero told Kreuz. “We got his family and mine together, and it’s just one family. You can’t even tell who belongs to my family and who belongs to his family.”
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