The Toronto Blue Jays are giving support to one of their own players. Alejandro Kirk, the catcher for the Blue Jays, was the victim of body shaming after a video was posted of him scoring from first on a double from Teoscar Hernández double on Tuesday night. Matthew Ross, a weekend host on TSN radio in Montreal, tweeted the video and said that Kirk scoring is "embarrassing for the sport" and "feeds negative stereotypes" about baseball players. Kirk is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 245 pounds, which is not the prototypical size of a professional athlete. But Kirk's teammate Alek Manoah was not having anyone hate on him.
"What's actually embarrassing for the sport is people that go by the name of Matthew and have never played a day in the big leagues thinking they can control the narrative and stereotypes," Manoah wrote on Twitter in a response to Ross' now-deleted tweet. "Go ahead and tell that 8-year-old kid who is 10lbs overweight that he should quit now."
Manoah then told the Toronto Star what Ross tweeted was disrespectful. "That's a guy with a verified account and he works for a pretty big company so many people can tend to listen to him," Manoah said. "I just thought, the disrespect. I really don't like to say 'Oh, you don't understand because you're not in our shoes,' but … I just felt the need for somebody who has a platform — and he's using it in the wrong way — to kind of guide them in the other direction."
Ross may not like the way Kirk looks but he is one of the best catchers in MLB. Through 126 games this year, Kirk has a .295 batting average with a .811 OPS. He has hit 13 home runs with 59 RBIs and was selected to play in the All-Star game in July. Kirk made his MLB debut in 2020 after spending three years in the minor leagues.
"I think it's actually more amazing that he's doing it with his body type because the odds are stacked against him," Manoah said. "He's short. He's not fast. But he plays the position really well and he hits the ball. He does everything well and he's a great teammate. So if anything, it's more impressive. Not only has he persevered just to get here, but he has been really good while he's been here."