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Friday, April 26, 2019

Everyone is suddenly excited about the Toronto Blue Jays

It's been a rough start to the MLB season for the Toronto Blue Jays, at least in terms of support from fans.

For the first time in more than a decade, the team failed to sell out its opening day at the Rogers Centre last month. A few weeks later, the season was panned as "unwatchable" after 111 strikeouts in just 11 games.

Analysts have been blaming management's "rebuilding" strategy for the lull in game attendance, as well as the recent loss of beloved veterans such as Russell Martin, Kendrys Morales and "Superman" Kevin Pillar.

Our one great hope? An exciting new player for fans to freak out over (and perhaps even buy some tickets to see).

That hope has emerged in the form of 20-year-old Vladimir Guerrero Jr. — a Canadian-Dominican third baseman who has been unironically hailed as "the greatest player in the history of organized sports."

Guerrero Jr., son of Baseball Hall of Fame-r Vladimir Guerrero, was born in Montreal but signed with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015. He's been playing in the minors ever since and is widely considered to be the top prospect in all of baseball right now.

Tonight, he makes his MLB debut in Toronto.

The Blue Jays are set to take on the Oakland Athletics at 7:07 p.m. at Rogers Centre and, according to sources inside the organization, ticket sales are the highest they've been all season to date with more than 30,000 people expected to be in attendance.

Previous to this, attendance had been hovering in the teens. By comparison, a game earlier this week against the San Francisco Giants where Pillar played against his former teammates brought in just over 20,000 fans.

"It's the beginning of a new era in Blue Jays baseball: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has arrived," writes's Gregor Chisolm of tonight's game.

"Guerrero hasn't even played in a Major League game, and yet when he does, it will immediately become one of the biggest moments in franchise history," he continues. "Baseball fans have been waiting a long time for this day to arrive."

by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO

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