Red Sox

Red Sox’ Alex Verdugo is not a fan of Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah’s antics on the mound

"I think Alek Manoah goes about it the wrong way, 100 percent I think he does."

Boston Red Sox's Alex Verdugo plays against the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, April 1, 2023, in Boston.
Alex Verdugo is not a fan of Alek Manoah's knack for barking at batters during games. Michael Dwyer / AP

The next meeting between the Red Sox and Blue Jays could be a bit more heated.

Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo has never been one to avoid speaking his mind, nor does he ordinarily disapprove of raw emotion spilling out on the diamond.

But in an interview with the “Baseball Isn’t Boring” podcast this week, Verdugo didn’t hold back when it came to disapproving Toronto ace Alek Manoah’s cadence on the mound.

Manoah drew the ire of the Red Sox last season, headlined by a sequence last July when he told both Franchy Cordero and Bobby Dalbec to “sit the [expletive] down” after striking them out.

The right-handed hurler’s knack for barking at batters might be viewed by some as pure passion and adrenaline. But for Verdugo, it crosses a line between players on the field.


“If it’s a genuine reaction and it’s for the boys, not directed towards somebody, then yeah [it’s fine],” Verdugo said of Manoah’s taunts on the mound. “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, [expletive] like that and looking right at them.

“So it’s like, [expletive] 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 [expletive] disrespecting another player who is – at the end of the day we’re just trying to compete, that’s it.”

Verdugo is not the first AL East foe to call out Manoah. Last season, Yankees ace Gerrit Cole exchanged words with Manoah after he plunked Aaron Judge with a pitch back in August.

Manoah, who seems to have embraced his “heel” persona in the MLB ranks, later dragged Cole during the offseason when discussing the New York pitcher’s ties to “spider tack” and other foreign substances designed to improve grip and spin rate.


“He cheated, he used a lot of, like, sticky stuff to make his pitches better, and he kind of got called out on it,” Manoah said of Cole during a Sportsnet segment with former Raptors forward Serge Ibaka. 

Given that both Verdugo and Manoah have a history for freely stating their mind, it will be interesting to see what happens when they meet again on the diamond.

Manoah and the Blue Jays will visit the Red Sox at Fenway for a four-game series from May 1-4.


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