March 1, 2024

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Alex Verdugo throws shade at the Red Sox and Alex Cora during Yankees Zoom

Alex Verdugo throws shade at the Red Sox and Alex Cora during Yankees Zoom

Red socks

“The real reaction was, you know, crazy. I was hot.”

Alex Verdugo played four full seasons in Boston before being traded in December. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

It appears there is no love lost between Alex Verdugo and the Red Sox.

The 27-year-old is certainly tempted to hate Boston now — considering he’ll be wearing pinstripes through the upcoming 2024 season.

But after the Red Sox opted to trade Verdugo to the Yankees earlier this month, the outspoken Verdugo was candid about his move to the Bronx, as well as the current situation with his former team.

“The real reaction was, you know, crazy. “You were hot.” Verdugo said of the trade during his first Zoom call with New York reporters on Thursday. “I was like, ‘Man, they really sent me to the contenders, the Yankees,’ this, that. And then about a day later, I started sitting down and thinking and remembering how this year went with the Red Sox, and everything that was going on… I shaved my beard.” Right away, just so I feel like I’m in. I practice every day with a Yankee hat on, seeing how it looks on me, how it feels. Like I said before, a fresh start and that feels good.

“I just want to go into the organization. I just want to work hard and I want to prove, maybe, that a lot of ‘he said, she said’ things are wrong. I just want to show them, we’re all human, man, we’re all human. Yeah, we’re making “Mistakes. But how we learn from them and bounce back from them and how much strength we gain from that. I’m excited about this new beginning.”

Arguably the highest return in Boston’s franchise-altering trade that sent Mookie Betts to the Dodgers in February 2020, Verdugo had his fair share of peaks and valleys with Boston.

Over four seasons with Boston, Verdugo hit .281/.338/.424 with a .761 OPS and 43 homers while also finishing second in 2023 AL Gold Glove voting among right-handers.

But the Red Sox struggled to field a winning team during Verdugo’s extended tenure here, making the postseason just once during those four years.

“I thought they were in a rebuilding process,” Verdugo said of the Red Sox. As written by Julian McWilliams Boston Globe. “I thought Chaim Bloom did a really good job of rebuilding the farm system, getting young guys in, getting new guys in. And I think that’s the perfect goal. I think they used it.” [as a scapegoat] When they didn’t win to get rid of him.”

Amid a last-place finish in 2023, Verdugo has found himself in Alex Cora’s doghouse on several occasions.

Cora placed Verdugo on the pine tree in early June due to lack of crowds and benched him again in early August for allegedly arriving to the field late.

After sitting down with Verdugo in August, Cora gave one of his toughest postgame press conferences as a Red Sox manager.

“I’m very disappointed,” Cora said. Per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “This is probably one of my worst days here in this organization. Today we took a step back. I feel responsible because I am the leader of this team… “Today we took a step back as a team. We have to make sure everyone is available every day here so we can get where we’re going, and that wasn’t the case.

When talking about Yankees manager Aaron Boone and his defense of his players, Verdugo appeared to criticize Cora and his public criticism of the Sox outfielder last summer.

“I am very excited to work with Aaron,” Verdugo said. “I’ve seen the way he supports his players. Which he really is [sticks out] For me it is “These guys are savages!” He’s shouting at the referee. This is something I want to see from my country [manager], man. I want to see some fire, some fighting for the guys. Instead of turning people away, have their backs.”

Verdugo and the Yankees won’t play the Red Sox until June 14 of next season, and the longtime rivals are scheduled to play 13 times over the final four months of the 2024 campaign.

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