Red Sox’s Devers denies making gestures at Yankees’ Verdugo but Cora justifies

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During Saturday’s game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, a series of home runs sparked what seemed like competitive gestures between former teammates. Yankees outfielder Alex Verdugo hit a two-run homer in the third inning, accentuated by a notable bat flip and a slow jog around the bases.

Rafael Devers of the Red Sox responded in the following inning with a home run of his own, seemingly directing a gesture toward Yankees’ Verdugo in left field as he rounded the bases. However, Devers later clarified through a translator that his raised arms were part of a celebration with his teammates in the bullpen, not aimed at Verdugo.

“Obviously it was a big hit for us, it put my team on top at that moment. At the same time, they did it to us before. So nobody can get mad for those reactions. It’s just baseball,” the Red Sox player said. “It wasn’t directed at [Verdugo]. It was something that we do towards the bullpen. Everybody who hits a home run, they salute the bullpen, so it wasn’t anything to do with him.”

Devers acknowledged the competitive nature of such moments in baseball, noting that similar reactions had occurred previously and should not be cause for anger.

This exchange came in Verdugo’s second series against his former team since being traded to the Yankees. In his first series back at Fenway Park in June, Verdugo had also hit a home run and driven in four runs.

New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge, left, and Alex Verdugo celebrate after Verdugo hit a home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Saturday, July 6, 2024, in New York.
AP Photo/Pamela Smith

During Saturday’s game, Verdugo’s home run celebration was particularly pronounced, featuring a dramatic bat flip and a 32-second trip around the bases by the Yankees outfielder.

Despite these moments of apparent tension, the Yankees ultimately won the game 14-4.

Responding to Alex Verdugo’s leisurely home run trot, Red Sox pitcher Josh Winckowski downplayed any issues, recognizing the Yankees player’s penchant for emotional displays. Manager Alex Cora emphasized the importance of accepting such behavior, noting that if it was permissible when Verdugo was with the Red Sox, it should remain so now that he’s a Yankee. Cora extended this logic to Rafael Devers’ celebratory actions as well.

Cora pointed out Verdugo’s bunt single in the fifth inning as a pivotal play, despite Devers’ earlier 440-foot homer off Yankees ace Gerrit Cole giving Boston a 4-3 lead.

“I’ve seen that slow trot for us and we didn’t care, right? We let him do it here,” the Boston manager said. “If we were OK with it on our team, we should be OK with it on another team. And they should be OK, too, with Raffy doing it.”

Yankees’ Cole stares at Devers

When Rafael Devers hit a go-ahead solo home run off Gerrit Cole in the fifth inning, he took a moment to admire the ball’s flight before emphatically slamming his bat down in celebration. The display of emotion didn’t sit well with Cole, who fixed an intense stare on Devers as the Red Sox slugger rounded the bases.

This home run marks another chapter in Devers’ impressive history against Cole. The Boston third baseman now holds the record for most home runs (eight) hit off the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, surpassing all other batters who have faced the Yankees’ ace.

Cole, who visibly reacted to Devers’ home run celebration, later admitted that while pitchers dislike witnessing such displays, the remedy is to avoid giving up home runs altogether.

“As a pitcher you don’t want to watch a home-run trot, but then you probably shouldn’t give up a home run,” he said.

This interplay of celebrations and reactions highlights the competitive intensity of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, with both teams balancing emotional expression and sportsmanship.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

One thought on “Red Sox’s Devers denies making gestures at Yankees’ Verdugo but Cora justifies

  1. Stop it. Devers action was a clear reaction to Verdugo. Why can’t Cora or Devers be honest about it? Do they think they win any citizenship prize for saying a bold face lie? Devers did it because Verdugo did it, and Cora sticking up for Devers in a blizzard way was less dignifying. Why? Verdugo didn’t really do it against the players in that dugout, rather it was all about the Manager, the. bump, the. heat, Alex Cora.

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