Can’t we all just make up and be friends?
Following the Boston‘s 7-6 win over Toronto at Fenway Park on Tuesday, Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo told reporters that he regrets his choice words about Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah in early April.
“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 said. “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.
“Obviously, he’s one of those guys who’s a good pitcher and he carries a chip on his shoulder. We’re just going to see what happens. For me, it’s not going to be to go up there and try to get emotional with it.”
Speaking on the Baseball Isn’t Boring podcast on April 4, Verdugo told host Rob Bradford that he had an issue with Manoah’s behaviour on the mound.
“I think Alek Manoah goes about it the wrong way, 100 percent,” he said. “You can find videos of him, footage of him in triple-A going like this to hitters. Last year, telling Franchy (Cordero) and Bobby (Dalbec) like go sit, (expletive) like that and looking right at them.
“So it’s like, (expletive) like that just pisses me off,” Verdugo added. “It’s not the way it should be played. It should be played like you’re celebrating it with your team, you’re not (expletive) disrespecting another player who is… at the end of the day we’re just trying to compete, that’s it.”
In response to Verdugo’s comments, the Jays 2022 All-Star said, “Coming from him? I don’t give a (expletive).”
Verdugo may not be ready to take back his comments, but he now feels more comfortable giving Manoah the benefit of the doubt.
“I talked to a lot of Blue Jays, a lot of guys in general who all say he’s a good teammate, a good guy. Just when he’s on the field, he’s a different person with a different mindset out there,” he said. “Part of me, I can respect that and I understand that’s what he might need to get amped up. At the same time, this game is hard, man. This game will humble you. There are a lot of things and I feel like if you go about it more the right way, you’re going to get more respect, not only from fans but from opposing players.”
Manoah will take the mound in the series finale on Wednesday as the Blue Jays hope to avoid their first sweep of the season after dropping two straight one-run games in Boston.
Verdugo homered for a walk-off 6-5 win on Monday to kick off the series.