Boston's Alex Verdugo calling out Alek Manoah for disrespect is beyond ironic
By Adam Weinrib
Oh, look, kids! It's two Yankees enemies fighting. Sit back and grab your popcorn while we wait to see which irritant can get angrier at the other one.
Toronto Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah didn't exactly put himself in the Yankees' good graces last year by calling Gerrit Cole the "worst cheater in baseball" for no other reason than to "trigger" the fanbase. Because who doesn't love a good "trigger" after you've flamed out in the Wild Card round?! Triggered!!
You also might remember Manoah from telling Cole to go "past the Audi sign" if he really wanted to defend Aaron Judge and fight him ... even though Manoah himself had chirped at Luis Severino months earlier without making any sort of move towards escalating things.
Bottom line? The Yankees and Manoah have a long history of dancing around a fight without ever really doing anything about it. The Red Sox and Manoah? Apparently, Boston hates him for ... pointing at them when he strikes them out, or something equally whiny.
And who better to deliver that message than Alex Verdugo, the whiniest little whiner who ever whined?
Red Sox Alex Verdugo thinks Blue Jays Alek Manoah talks too much smack, should probably sit this one out
According to Verdugo, a "genuine reaction for the boys" is fine, but what Manoah's doing is, for some reason, not:
"“If it's a genuine reaction and it’s for the boys, not directed towards somebody, then yeah (it’s fine),” Verdugo said. “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. “So it’s like, s--t like that just pisses me off. It’s not the way it should be played. It should be played like you’re celebrating it with your team, you’re not f------g disrespecting another player who is – at the end of the day we’re just trying to compete, that’s it.”"- Alex Verdugo
Alex Verdugo, the patron saint of good behavior. The paragon of keeping one's mouth shut.
You can't play the game as cocky as Verdugo does, then get mad when someone else does it, while still being taken seriously. But what's more Bostonian than getting angry when you see your own behavior being portrayed by somebody else? Lifetime extension now for the man who's the perfect embodiment of what it means to be a Red Sox.
Verdugo for Mookie Betts? Huge on-field downgrade, massive upgrade in terms of fitting in in Charlestown. "What'd you say about my mother, Manoah?! A few minutes after I said something about your mother?! I should be allowed to do it! I'm me!"
Forget about Verdugo's on-field preening, too. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that while Manoah can sometimes be silly, and has definitely gotten flack for stating, "Pressure is something you put in your tires" before succumbing to playoff pressure and stinking up the joint, Verdugo has been accused of a whole lot worse.
According to the police report that leaked before his time in Boston, Verdugo was present for a sexual assault of a 17-year-old in 2015. He was not accused of anything other than being present and an unhelpful onlooker, but the story remains an underdiscussed part of the ex-Dodger's story, and one that's certainly been swept under the rug in recent years.
"“I don’t think there’s much further to comment on it. There was an investigation. There [were] a lot of things that [were] done with it, and like I said, I was cleared of anything wrongdoing, and if I was around for anything that had happened, I would have put a stop to it. I would have helped out. I would have done something.” Asked finally about who had cleared him of wrongdoing, Verdugo cited a “police investigation” and “a team thing, too,” before turning the discussion to his upbringing, and looking ahead."- Alex Verdugo
Seems a bit more serious than telling people you've struck out to go sit down, and probably worthier of scorn. But maybe that's just me.