Boston Red Sox fans were finally able to move on from Alex Verdugo when the veteran outfielder was traded to the rival New York Yankees. Verdugo's stay in Beantown was not without off-field issues, meaning the trade was a chance for both sides to start fresh.
Well, it turns out that Verdugo is still interested in re-hashing old issues. The 27-year-old made an appearance on YES Network on Thursday to discuss joining the Yankees, saying that he's happy to have a manager who'll have his back and won't air out dirty laundry (unlike Alex Cora, apparently).
Unsurprisingly, Verdugo's comments drew the ire of many Boston supporters — including one Red Sox Hall of Famer.
Red Sox News: Jonathan Papelbon Roasts Alex Verdugo
Six-time MLB All-Star closer and 2017 World Series Champion Jonathan Papelbon took to social media on Friday to comment on Verdugo's complaints. Papelbon, who's known for being an open book, hit the disgruntled outfielder with a NSFW insult and stated that it was Verdugo who aired himself out "by being late, lazy, and unproductive."
You can't argue against Papelbon — Verdugo brought this situation on himself.
The Tucson, AZ native was benched twice by Cora during the 2023 campaign. The first instance came after the Red Sox faced the Cleveland Guardians in June. Verdugo recorded a ground ball but instead of hustling on the play, he showed zero urgency as he jogged to first base.
The second occurrence happened in August when Verdugo showed up just two hours before the first pitch in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. After benching Verdugo for the contest, Cora told reporters that he was "disappointed" in the outfielder and that he must do everything he can to be available for each game.
"From coaches to players to analysts to the front office, everybody has to be available every single day here. That's the bottom line. And, today, one guy wasn't available."- Alex Cora, Aug. 6, 2023
In other words, Cora wouldn't have had to "air" anything out if Verdugo showed more commitment to playing for the Red Sox.
It's also pretty evident that Verdugo wouldn't be benched for a one-time issue in either case. Cora can be a strict manager, but he likely would have issued a warning if these were Verdugo's first offenses. Instead, the benching was more likely the result of a series of issues.
It's in Verdugo's best interest to listen to Papelbon and shut his mouth.
After all, the retired hurler spent the first seven seasons of his career in Boston where he was teammates with Cora from 2005 to 2008. Chances are that the 43-year-old knows how the Red Sox manager operates a lot more than a whiny outfielder who isn't mature enough to deal with the consequences of his actions.
Unfortunately, Red Sox fans will have to wait a while before letting Verdugo know what they think of him. The Yankees don't visit Fenway Park until Friday, June 14 to begin a three-game series.
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