Alex Verdugo shows up Boston crowd with HR in Fenway return after Yankees trade

Just like we drew it up.
Jun 11, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Alex Verdugo (24) looks on before a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Alex Verdugo (24) looks on before a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports / Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
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How. About. THAT?! After the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox series opener was delayed due to rain, fans were unsure if the game would be postponed. The first meeting between these two was going to leave us hanging like this?!

Thankfully the weather cleared up and the game resumed a little over an hour later (ha, nice try, you can't watch your Celtics without feeling conflicted now!). And within minutes, drama ensued.

Alex Verdugo made his return to Fenway Park to much attention this past week. These dates have been circled on the calendar for members of the media because of the way his tenure in Boston ended. He fell so out of favor with the Sox that they had no problem trading him to the enemy, without a care in the world that the deal would come back to bite them.

Well, in the first inning it did. Verdugo smacked a two-run homer off Brayan Bello, scoring Juan Soto who ripped a double in his at-bat. That gave New York a 2-0 lead.

And for good measure, Verdugo celebrated as he rounded the bases, showing up the Boston crowd as boos were showered down on him.

Alex Verdugo shows up Boston crowd with HR in Fenway return after Yankees trade

Verdugo was mercilessly booed when he stepped into the batter's box, but Red Sox should've known that this guy thrives off of that. His most successful moments came in those situations when he was in Boston — that's why Yankees fans hated him so much.

Killing him with kindness would've been the better route, but you know that "the rivalry" would never allow that. It's all about bleeding hatred until your last breath. We don't make the rules, we just live by them.

Admittedly, Yankees fans were nervous when Verdugo was first acquired from the Sox. For as agitating as he was as a player, he came with character concerns. He butted heads with manager Alex Cora. He didn't respond well to internal criticism about his growth, being the centerpiece of the Mookie Betts trade.

But Captain Aaron Judge saw an opportunity, and told the Yankees to get Dugie out of that toxic situation. Ever since, he's been thriving and in good spirits while the Red Sox fumble around .500 and have to answer questions about the direction of the franchise.