Alex Cora furious with Alex Verdugo amid benching
Alex Cora was livid Alex Verdugo over what transpired on Saturday.
Verdugo was effectively benched by the Boston Red Sox manager prior to the team’s 5-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. According to MLB.com’s Ian Browne, Verdugo was tardy. The outfielder reportedly showed up just two hours before the game rather than at least four hours before the game as is expected from players.
Source: Verdugo arrived roughly two hours before the game started today. Verdugo was asked if he was on time today. He said yes.
— Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) August 5, 2023
Though Verdugo was in the lineup when it was originally released earlier in the day, the outfielder had been scratched when the final lineup came out.
Verdugo told reporters after the game that he showed up on time and that he was “available,” but did not elaborate. He said he did not play due to a “manager’s decision.”
"Manager's decision… We're going to leave it at that. Just be ready to play tomorrow"
— NESN (@NESN) August 5, 2023
Cora was upset and said he felt the team “took a step back” with the Verdugo issue. The Red Sox manager indicated he benched Verdugo as punishment.
Alex Cora addresses why Alex Verdugo didn’t play today and reveals that today is one of his worst days with the Red Sox organization. pic.twitter.com/WQbekaroEm
— Zeke (@ZekeTelemaco) August 5, 2023
Cora said that it was one of his worst days as manager since he took over as Red Sox manager, which was in 2018.
The Red Sox are scrapping for a playoff spot and need everyone in the lineup. Verdugo was originally set to bat sixth and play right field. But after he was scratched, Adam Duvall played right field and batted fifth. Duvall went 2-for-4.
JT returns to the lineup! pic.twitter.com/EpYZwzRnL0
— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 5, 2023