Red Sox’ Alex Verdugo takes issue with Alek Manoah’s on-field antics: ‘It just pisses me off’

Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo is no stranger to wearing his emotions on his sleeve. But even the fiery 26-year-old believes there are lines that should not be crossed on the baseball field.

Verdugo, for instance, is not a fan of the way Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah carries himself on the mound. This feeling of disdain towards the All-Star righty stems from an incident at Fenway Park on July 23 of last season.

In the sixth inning of that contest between Boston and Toronto, Manoah recorded back-to-back strikeouts of Franchy Cordero and Bobby Dalbec. After fanning Cordero on five pitches, Manoah stared down the designated hitter as he made his way back to the dugout and told him to “go sit the [expletive] down.”

Moments later, Manoah punched out Dalbec on a 95 mph heater at the top of the zone to retire the side. As he made his way back to the visitor’s dugout, Manoah pounded his chest with his glove before turning back to Dalbec and telling him to “sit down, [expletive].”

After the game, in which the Blue Jays won 3-1, Manoah attributed his gestures towards Cordero and Dalbec as being part of his competitive nature. Verdugo, however, does not see it that way.

“If it’s a genuine reaction and it’s for the boys, not directed towards somebody, then yeah [it’s fine],” Verdugo told’s Rob Bradford on Audacy’s “Baseball Isn’t Boring” podcast. “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’ and [expletive] like that while looking right at them.

“So it’s like, [expletive] like that just pisses me off,” he continued. “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, man, that’s it.”

Manoah, for his part, shrugged off Verdugo’s comments when speaking with Rob Longley of The Toronto Sun on Tuesday.

“Coming from him? I don’t give a [expletive],” Manoah said. “My job is to pitch and get guys out.”

The Red Sox were not the only team who took issue with Manoah’s antics last season. Back in August at Yankee Stadium, the 25-year-old drilled Aaron Judge in the elbow, which prompted Gerrit Cole to emerge from the dugout and shout at Manoah as if it was intentional. Manoah later told reporters that “if Gerrit wants to do something, he can walk past the Audi sign next time.”

Looking ahead to the 2023 campaign, which is already underway, the Red Sox do not see the Blue Jays until the beginning of May for a four-game series in Boston. As things stand now, Manoah would be in line to start one of those games for Toronto, so that potential matchup could be something to look forward to.

(Picture of Alek Manoah: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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