Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora and outfielder Alex Verdugo walked back some of the team’s comments about Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah.
Alek Manoah is a showman on the mound, and that can sometimes rub teams the wrong way. As for the Blue Jays rival, the Boston Red Sox, it successfully triggered them.
In at least one outing, Manoah was visibly pumped up, and borderline disrespectful towards Red Sox hitters. As it turns out, they did take offense.
“If it’s a genuine reaction and it’s for the boys, not directed towards somebody, then yeah (it’s fine),” Alex Verdugo said in early April. “Like I’ll say it right now, I think Alek Manoah goes about it the wrong way, 100 percent I think he does. You can find videos of him, footage of him in Triple-A going like this to hitters. Last year, telling Franchy and Bobby like go sit, s–t like that and looking right at them.”
Red Sox: Alex Verdugo walks back comments about Alek Manoah
Ahead of Alek Manoah’s outing against the Red Sox on Wednesday, Alex Verdugo addressed his comments, suggesting he went about it the wrong way.
"“I regret saying what I did, at least to the media, because it’s something I think I should have just, man-to-man, said it to him,” Verdugo told reporters, per MassLive. “I feel like at some point now, I would like to have a conversation with him. I’d like to talk to him. Just me and him. Kind of clear out some air, just be professional about it.”"
Verdugo, at least to our knowledge, hasn’t received that opportunity yet. Alex Cora agrees that Boston has no ill will towards Manoah, as he suggested on Gresh & Fauria via Audacy’s WEEI 93.7.
"“We understand how (Manoah) works on the mound and he’s really good. He pitches with a chip on his shoulder and he’s very emotional. But I think it was more about those two at-bats, ya know… I think people are making a bigger deal (about it)…from our end, he’s a tough customer. He’s a big bully out there, he’s been good against us throughout the years. Hopefully today, we can get to him…. I don’t care about the celebrations, to be honest with you. I’m all in for that. I think it makes baseball fun…”"
Verdugo wants to avoid a beaning, but it’s unclear how Manoah and the Jays actually felt about his commentary. If Manoah was as offended at that public display as Boston was in regards to his on-field pageantry, we may have a problem.