Jonathan Papelbon blasts Alex Verdugo: ‘He kind of rode himself out of city’

Crimson Sox

“You’re late. No person needs to play with these gamers. No person needs to play with them.”

Boston Red Sox's Alex Verdugo plays against the Chicago White Sox during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in Boston.
Alex Verdugo will now play towards the Crimson Sox as a member of the Yankees in 2024. (AP Photograph/Michael Dwyer)

Alex Verdugo didn’t precisely have type phrases for Alex Cora and the Crimson Sox after the workforce traded the 27-year-old outfielder to the Yankees in December. 

Whereas some bitter sentiment towards the Crimson Sox could possibly be anticipated after they dealt him to their best rival, Verdugo appeared to throw some shade at his former supervisor — particularly after drawing the ire of Cora a number of occasions throughout the 2023 season.

“I’m very excited to work with Aaron [Boone],’’ Verdugo mentioned in his first Zoom name with New York reporters final month. “I’ve seen the way in which he has his gamers’ backs. The one that basically [sticks out] to me is ‘these guys are savages!’ He’s yelling on the umpire. That’s one thing I need to see out of my [manager], man. I need to see some hearth, some struggle for the fellows. As a substitute of airing folks out, have their backs.”

Verdugo’s perceived dig at Cora clearly rankled the feathers of former Crimson Sox nearer Jonathan Papelbon, who referred to as out Verdugo throughout an interview with “Foul Territory” on Wednesday. 

“Once I got here up within the large leagues, you don’t go away someplace and simply blow up everyone after you allow,” Papelbon mentioned. “Man, I received a little bit pissed about that. And it’s not simply because I performed with Alex Cora, or (as a result of) Alex Cora is a buddy of mine. It has nothing to do with it. It has every little thing to do with the baseball gods and in the way in which baseball is. And I believed it was a (expletive) transfer. You don’t go away someplace after which name out everyone.”

Verdugo and Cora butted heads on a number of events throughout the 2023 season. 

Cora benched Verdugo in early June for an absence of hustle and benched him once more in early August for allegedly displaying as much as the ballpark late.

After sitting Verdugo in August, Cora provided up considered one of his harshest postgame press conferences as a Crimson Sox supervisor.

“I’m very dissatisfied,” Cora mentioned, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. “That is most likely considered one of my worst days right here on this group. At the moment we took a step again. I really feel accountable as a result of I’m the chief of this workforce… At the moment we took a step again as a workforce. Now we have to ensure everyone’s obtainable each single day right here for us to get to wherever we’re going to go and that wasn’t the case.”

Papelbon claimed Verdugo’s tardiness was a daily concern final season.

“Look man, I did 30 video games with NESN final yr, and I’m doing pregame. And this dude would come on the identical time that I confirmed as much as the sector,” Papelbon mentioned. “In some, like, (Dodge) Charger, rev his engine up — ‘Look everyone I’m right here on the park. Take a look at me.’ You already know what I imply? You’re late. No person needs to play with these gamers. No person needs to play with them.

“And I feel, sadly, final yr within the Crimson Sox clubhouse, they didn’t essentially have that man to say, ‘Hey, Alex, stop this (expletive). We’re all on this collectively. And if you wish to be like that, we don’t want you.’ And so I feel he kind of rode himself out of city.”

Whereas the Crimson Sox have struggled with considerably upgrading their roster this offseason, Papelbon believes Boston’s clubhouse can also be in want of a tradition change if the workforce needs to get again to its profitable methods.

“I’ve at all times been a giant, large believer that tradition eats analytics for breakfast, man. And I’ve at all times believed that. And analytics are nice,” Papelbon mentioned. “However should you don’t have that tradition in that clubhouse — you take a look at the Michigan guys man, they’d that tradition.

“They simply need a nationwide championship. I consider that goes a great distance. You’re not at all times gonna get alongside, however you all needed to be pulled on the identical street to achieve success. And when you could have one man that’s not pulled on the street. You simply don’t win.”