Alex Verdugo’s homer fires up ‘Bronx Dawgs’ stirring Yankees’ best start in 20 years

Alex Verdugo reacts after hitting a home run during the Yankees 3-2 win vs. the Marlins at Yankee Stadium on April 9, 2024.

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The New York Yankees haven’t just started the season strong, they’ve begun a celebratory trend underlined with a ‘dawg’ theme thanks to outfielder Alex Verdugo. On Tuesday, this frenzy reached a new level and added a celebratory barking craze.

Alex Verdugo has ignited a playful phenomenon ever since he christened the Yankees team as the “Bronx Dawgs” after their dominant four-game sweep in Houston. In the game against the Marlins, he made a more pronounced exhibit of it sporting a custom gray T-shirt emblazoned with the “Bronx Dawgs” logo. The image perfectly captured the team’s camaraderie and playful spirit.

This lighthearted label has taken on a life of its own, with Alex Verdugo’s teammates erupting in a chorus of barks from the dugout whenever he blasts a home run. Following Tuesday night’s 3-2 victory over the Miami Marlins, the player reveled in the team’s enthusiastic celebration after his go-ahead homer in the second inning.

The Yankees, currently holding the best record in Major League Baseball at 10-2, boast an offensive juggernaut featuring superstars like Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, and Anthony Rizzo. Alex Verdugo, seamlessly integrated into the lineup, has become another potent weapon in their arsenal.

Alex Verdugo celebrates after hitting a home run during the Yankees 3-2 win vs. the Marlins at Yankee Stadium on April 9, 2024.
NYY

“When I hear my teammates barking, especially Rizzo with his ‘Arf, arf, arf,’ it’s a lot of fun,” he said.

Alex Verdugo’s home run ignited not just the scoreboard, but also the dugout. Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo were among those howling with delight, adding to the lighthearted atmosphere that exemplifies the Yankees’ strong start. This unique celebration not only honors Alex Verdugo’s big hits but also underscores the sense of unity and brotherhood within the Bronx Bombers.

Alex Verdugo adds new energy to Yankees squad

His solo home run to right field ignited ‘uproar’barking’ among teammates, echoing a tradition he initiated back in Arizona when he hit his inaugural homer for the Yankees.

“I love it. I love it,” the player told about the celebration. “Anytime I hear the teammates barking … it’s a lot of fun. They are running with it and we love it.”

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New York Yankees newcomer Alex Verdugo isn’t just contributing timely hits, he’s injecting some lighthearted fun into the Bronx Bombers’ clubhouse. Despite a modest .220 batting average and 5 RBIs, His two clutch home runs have been instrumental in propelling the Yankees to a league-best 10-2 record.

Alex Verdugo, acquired from the Boston Red Sox, thrives in the electric atmosphere at Yankee Stadium, especially when his teammates erupt in a chorus of barks after his home runs. “Who doesn’t love a good bark, right?” he said with a grin, clearly relishing the camaraderie.

This isn’t Alex Verdugo’s first experience adapting to a new team environment. Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014, he made his debut in 2017 before being traded to the Red Sox in the blockbuster Mookie Betts deal in 2020. Last season in Boston, Alex Verdugo put up solid numbers with a .264 average, 13 homers, and 54 RBIs, but faced some disciplinary issues that drew criticism from manager Alex Cora.

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The transition to the Yankees, however, has been seamless for Alex Verdugo. He already knew and respected many of his new teammates from past on-field encounters. From the outset, he felt welcomed and encouraged to be his authentic self, which has allowed Alex Verdugo’s energetic personality to flourish.

“Even through the first 10 days, whatever it was, there was a couple good at bats in there to where I felt like my swing was clicking. I was just mishitting the ball,” Alex Verdugo said. “I’ve always been a guy that makes contact and sometimes it’s a little bit tough because I make weak contact if I’m not going right. I think the biggest thing was just trusting the process, trusting that I can let the ball travel. We are starting to see some results now and a lot better swings.”

The barking celebration has an amusing backstory, according to Alex Verdugo. He playfully described it as a progression from a “baby chihuahua” to a larger breed. Essentially, the size of the bark reflects the player’s contribution, with bigger achievements eliciting a more ferocious bark. This lighthearted approach adds to the positive atmosphere that surrounds the Yankees’ early-season success.

Alex Verdugo’s impactful plays and infectious enthusiasm are proving to be valuable assets for the Yankees. His ability to adapt to a new team culture while adding his own unique spark has demonstrably contributed to the team’s early dominance.

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