Alex Verdugo’s jibe makes Yankees vs. Red Sox series ‘very personal’

New York Yankees’ Alex Verdugo hits a home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Wednesday, June 12, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo.
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Joe Najarian
Friday June 14, 2024

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Alex Verdugo, the former outfielder for the Boston Red Sox, is set to return to Fenway Park this Friday for the first time since his trade to the New York Yankees last December. The outfielder, who played four seasons with the Red Sox following his acquisition from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the notable Mookie Betts trade, has been on scathing attack on his former team since arriving in the Bronx.

In a conversation with MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Alex Verdugo shared his enthusiasm about returning to Fenway, calling it his favorite ballpark and expressing his admiration for its unique atmosphere and design. He also mentioned his anticipation of reuniting with many friends still on the Red Sox roster.

However, Alex Verdugo fired salvos at his former team on many occasions. A few days back, he accused the Red Sox of not trying to win. His later years in Boston were also marred by disagreements with manager Alex Cora, resulting in several benchings due to issues like lack of hustle and punctuality. At his introductory press conference with the Yankees, Alex Verdugo seemed to indirectly criticize Cora, commending Yankees manager Aaron Boone for supporting his players rather than reprimanding them publicly.

Players of the new york yankees: Alex Verdugo and Juan Soto.
SL.com

Alex Verdugo, who was traded from the Red Sox to Yankees last December, is eager to see how Red Sox fans will react to him when he returns to Fenway Park this Friday. The player told MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo that he is prepared for any reaction from the fans, acknowledging the personal significance of the upcoming series as a revenge game against the Red Sox.

“I’m curious to see how the fans take it, how the first greeting is, I guess,” he told. “I’m open to whatever they do … It is gonna be a very personal series, just because I was with them for the last four years. But I’m excited about it.”

The contentious end to Alex Verdugo’s stint with the Red Sox has left some fans with mixed feelings, which could make for a fascinating reception when he takes the field this weekend. Despite any potential tension, the outfielder is eager to face his former team and expects the same competitive intensity he experienced while wearing a Red Sox uniform.

Alex Verdugo takes a jibe at Red Sox

Alex Verdugo also took a potshot at the Red Sox, which traded him after his four-year tenure, saying that their team lacked competitiveness.

“I think they were trying to play the long game or re-amp the minor leagues, get some new prospects in,” he said. “It would have been nice to see a little bit more initiative when I was there, just to try to force winning.”

Looking back on his time in Boston, Alex Verdugo expressed gratitude for the organization, particularly highlighting the 2021 season as one of the most enjoyable of his career due to the team’s deep playoff run to the ALCS. He emphasized that winning in Boston is uniquely special because of the passionate fans and the electric atmosphere at Fenway Park.

Alex-Verdugo-new-york-yankees
BostonRedSox

However, Alex Verdugo also remarked that the other seasons in Boston felt like the team was often struggling, lacking the necessary pieces to be consistently competitive. He voiced disappointment over the team’s failure to make key acquisitions at critical moments, particularly during trade deadlines.

Since his arrival in New York, Alex Verdugo has been a solid contributor, posting a .261/.317/.432 slash line with eight home runs and 34 RBIs in 64 games. His Gold Glove-caliber defense in left field has also been instrumental in helping the Yankees achieve the best record in the American League at 46-21.

But his comments are likely to ignite the fading yet historic Yankees and Red Sox rivalry.

What do you think? leave your comment below.

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