Missing sports? So are the Blue Jays. Here’s how Vlad Jr., Bo Bichette and the rest of the team are keeping busy during the pandemic
Online gaming, diaper-changing, throwing bullpens, hosting baby gender reveals, Netflix-bingeing and much more
In Taiwan, professional baseball games have resumed—albeit with cardboard cut-outs in the stands resembling fans—and regular season baseball officially returns in Korea this week. But in North America, it could be weeks or even months before baseball is back. The Blue Jays are one of the many teams stuck in limbo until the league puts a plan in place to start the 2020 season. While it looks like baseball may resume at some point this season, it will surely be a shortened one and there may not be fans in the stands. As the isolation period enters its second month, here’s how the Jays are keeping themselves occupied without baseball in their lives.
The Blue Jays shortstop has been busy playing his baseball brethren as the Jays’ representative in MLB The Show Players League. Yes, you read that right: he’s been playing in a baseball video game tournament against his would-be opponents in real-life baseball. This is the closest resemblance to MLB baseball in North America right now. Bichette did the Blue Jays proud and made it all the way into the quarterfinals of the players tournament. Other than video games, Bichette is working out in his his home gym, trying to keep some sense of normalcy. “It’s putting a pause on life,” Bichette told Sportsnet 590 The Fan. “Especially for athletes, and really everybody in general. We live on routine, we live on expecting what’s going next, and right now, we kind of have no idea.”
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Vladito is working out in his native Dominican Republic. Until he gets the green light to play pro baseball again, he’s putting in the work to set himself up for a bounce-back sophomore season.
Not playing baseball right now is a big change of routine for this son of a Hall of Famer, but Biggio is making the most of his downtime and being a model citizen. He’s partnered with a hospital in his hometown of Houston to help provide hospital masks for local health care workers.
Jansen is one of the few Blue Jays staying back in Florida—close to the team’s spring training facility—during the pandemic. He’s thankful he has a garage and is using it as a makeshift batting cage with a batting net and tee. “My biggest fear is losing that muscle memory,” Jansen told The Fan. “But as long as I have this little cage and I have my routine to go to every day, I can still stay on top of it.”
The Jays reliever stays grounded by playing catch with his young daughter. If the above photo doesn’t melt your heart, nothing will.
A paused season doesn’t mean Anderson isn’t getting his work in. He was the first pitcher the Jays acquired during the offseason, which feels like a lifetime ago. Anderson’s playing some backyard baseball with his son, and the little guy has a mean swing.
In the before times, Grichuk got engaged to his girlfriend, Victoria Joy. With the wedding date presumably on hold, they have extra time to contemplate centrepieces and pick out items for their gift registry.
Borucki is one of few Blue Jays who may benefit from a delayed season. Prior to the pandemic, he was sidelined with an injury, and it didn’t look like he’d make the Opening Day roster. With extra time to rest and rehab, he might make the team this year. “This is a weird time to be a baseball player,” Borucki told The Fan. “There are a lot of unknowns, but basically, everybody’s just trying to stay in shape.” At home, Borucki said in a recent interview that he’s particularly proud of his current home setup, which includes a projection screen. He and his fiancée also pass the time by playing Call of Duty and watching Gordon Ramsay cooking shows.
— Travis Shaw (@travis_shaw21) March 26, 2020
Shaw is one of the newer Jays, having just signed a one-year, $4-million deal. Once MLB pulled the pulled the ripcord on the 2020 season, they sent the majority of players back home, but Shaw was one of the few Blue Jays who opted to hang back in Florida. “I’ve re-watched so many golf tournaments over the last two weeks that I’m running out of things to watch now,” Shaw told Sportsnet 590’s Good Show. Physical distancing restrictions are much looser in the state of Florida, which has allowed Shaw to kill time by playing golf two to three times a week.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
The man with arguably the best hair on the Blue Jays roster, Gurriel welcomed a son to the world this offseason. Gurriel presumably has his hands full taking care of a newborn during the lockdown, while also maintaining his signature locks without the aid of a hairdresser.
Was there a Blue Jays baby boom this offseason? Hernandez and his wife, Jennifer, became the proud parents of a baby boy back in February. It’s fair to assume they’re spending the pandemic changing diapers and trying to survive a lack of sleep.
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I guess you can call me the gardener because it’s safe to say that i planted that seed😉 Although, I did say I was disappointed in the video, I lied. I’m proud to announce that we will be blessed with a babygirl in July. A special thank you to Misty Brown for coordinating a flawless reveal, and Aunt Keva and my sister, @Ayanna.Javondria , for decorating our special occasion so beautifully!! thank @smooveboyab for capturing our special moment and thank you to all of our friends and family who came out to celebrate with us!!!!✨💕💜✨
Alford and his partner are expecting a child. He was a two-sport athlete in college—football and baseball. He currently plays professional baseball, but the family had a football-themed gender reveal.